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The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Short summary
Smith-Johnson et al. (The Cryosphere, 14, 841–854, 2020) argue that a very large heat flux of more than ten times the usual geothermal heat flux is required to have initiated or control the huge Northeast Greenland Ice Stream. Our comparison with known hotspots, such as Iceland and Yellowstone, shows that such an exceptional heat flux would be unique in the world and is incompatible with known geological processes that can raise the heat flux.
Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-339
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-339

  17 Dec 2020

17 Dec 2020

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal TC.

Comment on Exceptionally high heat flux needed to sustain the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream by S. Smith-Johnson et al., The Cryosphere, 14, 841–854, 2020

Paul D. Bons1,2, Tamara de Riese2, Steven Franke3, Maria-Gema Llorens4, Till Sachau2, Nicolas Stoll3, Ilka Weikusat2,3, and Yu Zhang2 Paul D. Bons et al.
  • 1China University of Geosciences, Beijing, China
  • 2Department of Geosciences, Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
  • 3Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Germany
  • 4Geosciences Barcelona, CSIC, Barcelona, Spain

Abstract. Smith-Johnson et al. (The Cryosphere, 14, 841–854, 2020) model the effect of a potential hotspot on the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream (NEGIS). They argue that a heat flux of at least 970 mW m−2 is required to have initiated or control NEGIS. Such an exceptionally high heat flux would be unique in the world and is incompatible with known geological processes that can raise the heat flux. NEGIS is thus formed and controlled by some other, yet unknown, process.

Paul D. Bons et al.

 
Status: open (until 20 Feb 2021)
Status: open (until 20 Feb 2021)
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Paul D. Bons et al.

Paul D. Bons et al.

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Short summary
Smith-Johnson et al. (The Cryosphere, 14, 841–854, 2020) argue that a very large heat flux of more than ten times the usual geothermal heat flux is required to have initiated or control the huge Northeast Greenland Ice Stream. Our comparison with known hotspots, such as Iceland and Yellowstone, shows that such an exceptional heat flux would be unique in the world and is incompatible with known geological processes that can raise the heat flux.
Citation