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Anomalously high heat flow regions beneath the Transantarctic Mountains and Wilkes Subglacial Basin in East Antarctica inferred from Curie depth
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  • Maximilian Lowe,
  • Ben R Mather,
  • Christopher Green,
  • Tom A. Jordan,
  • Jörg Ebbing,
  • Robert David Larter
Maximilian Lowe
British Antarctic Survey

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Ben R Mather
The University of Sydney
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Christopher Green
University of Leeds
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Tom A. Jordan
British Antarctic Survey
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Jörg Ebbing
Kiel University
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Robert David Larter
British Antarctic Survey
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The Transantarctic Mountains (TAM) separate the warmer lithosphere of the West Antarctic rift system and the colder East Antarctic craton. Low velocity zones beneath the TAM imaged in recent seismological studies have been interpreted as warm low-density mantle material, suggesting a strong contribution of thermal support to the uplift of the TAM. We present new Curie Depth Point (CDP) and geothermal heat flow (GHF) maps of the northern TAM and adjacent Wilkes Subglacial Basin (WSB) based on high resolution magnetic airborne measurements. We find shallow CDP and high GHF, beneath the northern TAM reinforcing the idea of thermal support of the topography of the mountain range. Additionally, locally high GHF is observed in the Central Basin of the WSB and the Rennick Graben, which has not been resolved previously, while the broader WSB show lower GHF. Across the study area the GHF values range from 30 to 110 mW/m2. Lastly, we compare our CDP estimates to recent Moho depth estimates and our GHF estimates to sparse in situ GHF measurements as well as to existing continent-wide GHF estimates, which shows closed agreement to previous seismic estimates.