Articles | Volume 14, issue 3
Research article
06 Mar 2020
Research article |  | 06 Mar 2020

Exceptionally high heat flux needed to sustain the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream

Silje Smith-Johnsen, Basile de Fleurian, Nicole Schlegel, Helene Seroussi, and Kerim Nisancioglu

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Cited articles

Åkesson, H., Morlighem, M., Nisancioglu, K., Svendsen, J., and Mangerud, J.: Atmosphere-driven ice sheet mass loss paced by topography: Insights from modelling the south-western Scandinavian Ice Sheet, Quaternary Sci. Rev., 195, 32–47,, 2018. a
Alley, R. B., Pollard, D., Parizek, B. R., Anandakrishnan, S., Pourpoint, M., Stevens, N. T., MacGregor, J., Christianson, K., Muto, A., and Holschuh, N.: Possible Role for Tectonics in the Evolving Stability of the Greenland Ice Sheet, J. Geophys. Res.-Earth, 124, 97–115,, 2019. a, b, c, d, e, f
Artemieva, I. M.: Lithosphere thermal thickness and geothermal heat flux in Greenland from a new thermal isostasy method, Earth-Sci. Rev., 188, 469–481,, 2019. a
Asay-Davis, X. S., Cornford, S. L., Durand, G., Galton-Fenzi, B. K., Gladstone, R. M., Gudmundsson, G. H., Hattermann, T., Holland, D. M., Holland, D., Holland, P. R., Martin, D. F., Mathiot, P., Pattyn, F., and Seroussi, H.: Experimental design for three interrelated marine ice sheet and ocean model intercomparison projects: MISMIP v. 3 (MISMIP +), ISOMIP v. 2 (ISOMIP +) and MISOMIP v. 1 (MISOMIP1), Geosci. Model Dev., 9, 2471–2497,, 2016. a
Aschwanden, A., Bueler, E., Khroulev, C., and Blatter, H.: An enthalpy formulation for glaciers and ice sheets, J. Glaciol., 58, 441–457,, 2012. a
Short summary
The Northeast Greenland Ice Stream (NEGIS) drains a large part of Greenland and displays fast flow far inland. However, the flow pattern is not well represented in ice sheet models. The fast flow has been explained by abnormally high geothermal heat flux. The heat melts the base of the ice sheet and the water produced may lubricate the bed and induce fast flow. By including high geothermal heat flux and a hydrology model, we successfully reproduce NEGIS flow pattern in an ice sheet model.