pure and applied geophysics

, Volume 117, Issue 1, pp 75–82

The relationship between seismic velocity and radioactive heat production in crustal rocks: An exponential law

  • Ladislaus Rybach
General Geothermics

DOI: 10.1007/BF00879735

Cite this article as:
Rybach, L. PAGEOPH (1978) 117: 75. doi:10.1007/BF00879735


In crystalline rocks seismic velocityVp and densityp increase, whereas radioactive heat productionA decreases from acidic to basic compositions. From the velocity-density systematics for crustal rocks at different pressures an empiricalA(Vp) relationship has been derived for the range 5.0–8.0 km/sec which follows the exponential law:A(Vp)=a exp (-bVp), where the numerical factorsa andb depend onin situ pressure. A graph is given by means of which the heat production distributionA(z) can be obtained for any givenVp(z) structure.

Key words

Igneous and metamorphic rocks Crustal low velocity layers Cation packing index Bulk density 

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ladislaus Rybach
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of GeophysicsETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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