Heat flow, heat generation, and the thermal state of the lithosphere

Kevin Patrick Furlong, David S. Chapman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The thermal structure of the lithosphere controls many properties and processes of Earth's crust. The total ∼47-TW heat loss of Earth is key to understanding and modeling this thermal structure, as is partitioning the various sources of that heat into heat entering the base of the lithosphere, heat generated within the lithosphere by radioactive decay (primarily within the continental crust), and secular cooling of the mantle lithosphere (primarily in oceanic lithosphere). A set of framework geotherms for the continental lithosphere explains deep crustal melting in high heat flow regions, metamorphic pressure-Temperature (P-T) space in the crust, partial melting at the base of the lithosphere to produce an S-wave low-velocity zone in Phanerozoic and younger terranes, and the P-T fields inferred from mantle xenoliths. Important perturbations to a standard thermal state are produced by orogenic overprints, transient thermal regimes, and exhumation. ©

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-410
Number of pages26
JournalAnnual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences
Volume41
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2013

Fingerprint

heat generation
lithosphere
heat transmission
heat flow
thermal structure
heat
mantle
radioactive decay
crusts
low velocity zone
Earth mantle
continental lithosphere
thermal regime
oceanic lithosphere
melting
space temperature
Phanerozoic
exhumation
continental crust
partial melting

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

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Heat flow, heat generation, and the thermal state of the lithosphere. / Furlong, Kevin Patrick; Chapman, David S.

In: Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Vol. 41, 01.05.2013, p. 385-410.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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