Conductive heat flow measured in unsedimented regions of the seafloor



Traditional probes designed to measure heat flow in oceanic crust only yield accurate measurements where thick sediment thermally isolates igneous basement rocks from seawater. Since most regions of younger crust lack this sediment cover, measuring crustal heat flow in these areas presents a challenge. A thermal blanket system that simulates this sediment cover and allows measurements to be taken in bare rock areas was recently developed and tested, and the results look promising.