Impact of geothermal heating on the global ocean circulation

Adcroft, Alistair, Scott, Jeffery R. and Marotzke, Jochem (2001) Impact of geothermal heating on the global ocean circulation. Geophysical Research Letters, 28, (9), 1735-1738.


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The response of a global circulation model to a uniform geothermal heat flux of 50 mW m-2 through the sea floor is examined. If the geothermal heat input were transported upward purely by diffusion, the deep ocean would warm by 1.2°C. However, geothermal heating induces a substantial change in the deep circulation which is larger than previously assumed and subsequently the warming of the deep ocean is only a quarter of that suggested by the diffusive limit. The numerical ocean model responds most strongly in the Indo-Pacific with an increase in meridional overturning of 1.8 Sv, enhancing the existing overturning by approximately 25%.

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 0094-8276 (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: ocean circulation, heat flow
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GC Oceanography
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Ocean & Earth Science (SOC/SOES)
ePrint ID: 259
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 11 Dec 2003
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 17:59

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