5. On Heat Transfer Through the Ocean Floor

  1. William H. K. Lee
  1. Elena A. Lubimova1,
  2. Richard P. Von Herzen2 and
  3. Gleb B. Udintsev3

Published Online: 18 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM008p0078

Terrestrial Heat Flow

Terrestrial Heat Flow

How to Cite

Lubimova, E. A., Von Herzen, R. P. and Udintsev, G. B. (1965) On Heat Transfer Through the Ocean Floor, in Terrestrial Heat Flow (ed W. H. K. Lee), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D.C.. doi: 10.1029/GM008p0078

Author Information

  1. 1

    Institute of Physics Of the Earth, Academy Of Sciences, Moscow, Ussr

  2. 2

    Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California

  3. 3

    Institute of Oceanology, Academy Of Sciences, Moscow, Ussr

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 18 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1965

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875900087

Online ISBN: 9781118668825



  • Conduction and mass movement;
  • Heat transfer;
  • Hydrographic methods;
  • Ocean floor;
  • Theoretical model of interstitial water movement


Heat flow from the Earth's interior may differ from measured values because of several disturbances in the environment on and near the ocean floor. The effects of water movements in and above the sediments are discussed in the light of recent temperature measurements of near bottom water. Super-adiabatic gradients have been observed near the ocean floor, suggesting convective overturns, although other factors may inhibit these. The velocity of interstitial water required to affect the surface heat flow is found to be several orders of magnitude less than previously suggested values, although still probably much greater than what is likely to occur. To obtain representative heat flow measurements, other controls are desirable to determine the effects of environment. Alternatively, a large number of observations should be made at a locality to reduce the effect of random variables.