Greenland geothermal heat flow database and map (Version 1)

William Colgan, Agnes Wansing, Kenneth Mankoff, Mareen Lösing, John Hopper, Keith Louden, Jörg Ebbing, Flemming G. Christiansen, Thomas Ingeman-Nielsen, Lillemor Claesson Liljedahl, Joseph A. MacGregor, Árni Hjartarson, Stefan Bernstein, Nanna B. Karlsson, Sven Fuchs, Juha Hartikainen, Johan Liakka, Robert S. Fausto, Dorthe Dahl-Jensen, Anders BjørkJens Ove Naslund, Finn Mørk, Yasmina Martos, Niels Balling, Thomas Funck, Kristian K. Kjeldsen, Dorthe Petersen, Ulrik Gregersen, Gregers Dam, Tove Nielsen, Shfaqat A. Khan, Anja Løkkegaard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


We compile and analyze all available geothermal heat flow measurements collected in and around Greenland into a new database of 419 sites and generate an accompanying spatial map. This database includes 290 sites previously reported by the International Heat Flow Commission (IHFC), for which we now standardize measurement and metadata quality. This database also includes 129 new sites, which have not been previously reported by the IHFC. These new sites consist of 88 offshore measurements and 41 onshore measurements, of which 24 are subglacial. We employ machine learning to synthesize these in situ measurements into a gridded geothermal heat flow model that is consistent across both continental and marine areas in and around Greenland. This model has a native horizontal resolution of 55ĝ€¯km. In comparison to five existing Greenland geothermal heat flow models, our model has the lowest mean geothermal heat flow for Greenland onshore areas. Our modeled heat flow in central North Greenland is highly sensitive to whether the NGRIP (North GReenland Ice core Project) elevated heat flow anomaly is included in the training dataset. Our model's most distinctive spatial feature is pronounced low geothermal heat flow (<ĝ€¯40ĝ€¯mWĝ€¯m-2) across the North Atlantic Craton of southern Greenland. Crucially, our model does not show an area of elevated heat flow that might be interpreted as remnant from the Icelandic plume track. Finally, we discuss the substantial influence of paleoclimatic and other corrections on geothermal heat flow measurements in Greenland. The in situ measurement database and gridded heat flow model, as well as other supporting materials, are freely available from the GEUS Dataverse (10.22008/FK2/F9P03L; Colgan and Wansing, 2021).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2209-2238
Number of pages30
JournalEarth System Science Data
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 12 May 2022

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 5: Nature and Climate


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