Statistical Analyses of Terrestrial Heat Flow and Seismicity of the Pacific Ocean

  1. Leon Knopoff,
  2. Charles L. Drake and
  3. Pembroke J. Hart
  1. R. W. Girdler

Published Online: 18 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM012p0035

The Crust and Upper Mantle of the Pacific Area

The Crust and Upper Mantle of the Pacific Area

How to Cite

Girdler, R. W. (2012) Statistical Analyses of Terrestrial Heat Flow and Seismicity of the Pacific Ocean, in The Crust and Upper Mantle of the Pacific Area (eds L. Knopoff, C. L. Drake and P. J. Hart), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM012p0035

Author Information

  1. Department of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, School of Physics, the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, England

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 18 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 20 APR 2012

Book Series:

  1. Geophysical Monograph Series

Book Series Editors:

  1. Waldo E. Smith

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875900124

Online ISBN: 9781118663738

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Keywords:

  • Geoid;
  • Negative free-air gravity regions;
  • Pacific Ocean;
  • Positive free-air gravity regions;
  • Seismicity;
  • Terrestrial heat flow

Summary

Correlations are drawn between depth of seismicity, satellite gravity data, heat flow, and various tectonic features of the Pacific Ocean. The region of shallow seismicity forms a continuous belt following the East Pacific rise, which crosses and connects two regions of negative free-air gravity. The deep earthquakes occur in two separate regions (off eastern and southeastern Asia and the western part of South America) and are associated with island arcs and deep sea trenches that occur in regions of positive free-air gravity. As the belt of shallow seismicity is a region of crustal extension and the areas of deep seismicity are regions associated with compression, it is suggested that the regions of negative free-air gravity are a consequence of uprising mantle convection and the regions of positive free-air gravity are a consequence of descending mantle convection. In support of this, the heat flow over the regions of negative gravity is found to be higher than the heat flow over regions of positive gravity.