pure and applied geophysics

, Volume 117, Issue 1–2, pp 75–82 | Cite as

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

  • Ladislaus Rybach
General Geothermics


In crystalline rocks seismic velocityV p 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(V p )=a exp (-bV p ), 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 givenV p (z) structure.

Key words

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


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1978

Authors and Affiliations

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

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