Journal article

Heat Flow in Southern Australia and Connections With East Antarctica

Alicia Pollett, Derrick Hasterok, Tom Raimondo, Jacqueline A Halpin, Martin Hand, Betina Bendall, Sandra McLaren



Viscosity and melt generation at the base of ice sheets are critically dependent upon heat flow. Yet subglacial heat flow is poorly constrained due to the logistical challenges of obtaining boreholes that intersect the bedrock beneath thick ice cover. Currently, continental estimates of Antarctic heat flow are derived from geophysical methods that provide ambiguous constraints of crustal heat sources, despite their demonstrated importance for accurate predictions of future ice sheet behavior. This study pursues an alternative approach by using heat flow measurements from rock units in the Coompana Province of southern Australia, which represent the geological counterparts of those beneath Wi..

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Awarded by Australian Research Council's Special Research Initiative for Antarctic Gateway Partnership

Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

Alan Aitken, Jorg Ebbing, and an anonymous reviewer are thanked for their comments which greatly improved the manuscript. Thorsten Becker is thanked for his editorial handling. Amy Lockheed, Luke Tylkowski, Tom Wise, Elizabeth Jagodzinksi, and Sarlae McAlpine are thanked for their assistance in collecting temperature data throughout the PACE Coompana Drilling Program. Robert Aebi is thanked for his technical assistance in the field, and Stefan Peters for his assistance with the production of parts of Figure 7. Funding for this work was provided by the UniSA Research Themes Investment Scheme, and A. Pollett is supported by an Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarship. J. Halpin is supported under the Australian Research Council's Special Research Initiative for Antarctic Gateway Partnership SR140300001. The Australian Research Council is acknowledged for support of this project via discovery projects DP180104074 and DP0987765. We also acknowledge Auscope for part funding of the downhole temperature logging equipment used in this study. Thermal conductivity and temperature data used to calculate heat flow values for the Coompana Province are available at the South Australian Geodata Database ( The global heat flow database can be accessed via