pure and applied geophysics

, Volume 117, Issue 1–2, pp 65–74 | Cite as

Variation of continental mantle heat flow with age. Possibility of discriminating between thermal models of the lithosphere

  • V. M. Hamza
General Geothermics


Continental mantle heat flow values are obtained by subtracting the radiogenic heat produced in the lower crust and lithosphere beneath the crust from ‘reduced heat flow values’ reported for various heat flow provinces. The significance of continental mantle heat flow values thus obtained is that they can be considered essentially as representing the residual heat of cooling of the continental lithosphere. A plot of these mantle heat flow values against 1/√t where ‘t’ is the geologic age of the last thermal event suggests a linear trend. It is also found that the recently proposed relationQ=500 (1/√t) for the variation of oceanic heat flowQ (in mW/M2) with aget (in million years) provides a reasonably good fit to the mantle heat flow data. The constant thickness plate model however, is found to be unsatisfactory in explaining the variation of continental mantle heat flow with age.

Key words

Continental mantle heat flow Radiogenic heat Lithosphere cooling Heat flow provinces Thermal model of lithosphere Heat flow-age variation 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. M. Hamza
    • 1
  1. 1.Instituto Astronômico e GeofisicoU.S.P.São PauloBrasil

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