A global analysis of heat flow from Precambrian terrains: implications for the thermal structure of Archean and Proterozoic lithosphere

A. A. Nyblade, H. N. Pollack

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Abstract

Previous studies of heat flow from Precambrian terrains have yielded two different relationships: a global temporal relationship between heat flow and tectonic age, and a regional spatial relationship between heat flow and the proximity of Archean cratons. This study analyzes heat flow from tectonically stable Precambrian terrains worldwide to address questions associated with these two heat flow patterns: 1) Is the spatial relationship a global pattern? 2) Do the two flow relationships have a common underpinning? In answer to the first question, data analysis reveals a widespread spatial pattern between heat flow and the proximity of Archean cratons, which is characterized by low heat flow in Archean cratons and Proterozoic terrains adjacent to cratonic margins and higher heat flow in Proterozoic terrains that are more than a few hundred kilometers from a craton. To address the second question, three previous interpretative models of Precambrian heat flow are examined. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12,207-12,218
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Volume98
Issue numberB7
DOIs
StatePublished - 1993

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology

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