On the Vertical Distribution of Radiogenic Heat Production in the Continental Crust and the Estimated Moho Heat Flow

  1. Robert F. Mereu,
  2. Stephan Mueller and
  3. David M. Fountain
  1. VladimíR ČErmČK1 and
  2. Louise Bodri2

Published Online: 9 APR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM051p0235

Properties and Processes of Earth's Lower Crust

Properties and Processes of Earth's Lower Crust

How to Cite

ČErmČK, V. and Bodri, L. (1989) On the Vertical Distribution of Radiogenic Heat Production in the Continental Crust and the Estimated Moho Heat Flow, in Properties and Processes of Earth's Lower Crust (eds R. F. Mereu, S. Mueller and D. M. Fountain), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM051p0235

Author Information

  1. 1

    Geophysical Institute, Czechosl.Acad.Sci.141-31 Praha-Sporilov, Czechoslovakia

  2. 2

    Geophysical Research Group of the Hung.Acad.Sci., Geophysical Dept., EöTvöS University1083 Budapest, Hungary

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 9 APR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1989

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875904566

Online ISBN: 9781118666388

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Keywords:

  • Earth—Crust—Congresses;
  • Geophysics—Congresses

Summary

Experimental evidence suggests a certain relationship between seismic velocity and radiogenic heat production. the results of explosion seismology can thus be used to estimate the distribution of crustal heat sources. Assuming the general exponential depth dependence of the radioactivity, A(z) = Aoexp(−z/D), in which however,the logarithmic decrement D need not necessarily be constant in the whole crust, we studied its possible vertical behaviour for a number of vp(z) profiles in various tectonic units in Central and Eastern Europe. the D-parameter seems to decrease with depth, which contradicts the expected increase of the D-value with depth based on the geochemically established succession DU≤DTh<DK corresponding to the composite U, Th and K contributions. There must be a considerable difference in the radioactive structure of the upper and lower crust and in the upper part up to a depth of 10–15 km mainly U might have undergone a certain redistribution due to deep groundwater circulation. Below this depth the radioelements maintain their primordial composition. the data obtained also suggest certain dependence of the A(z) on the geological history and the estimated mantle heat flow shows considerable variability, ranging from 15–25 mW.m−2 under the Precambrian shields to more than 40 mW.m−2 in the young tectonic regions.

This work is a condensed summary of several papers discussing the application of the vp(z) [RIGHTWARDS ARROW] A(z) conversion [Rybach and Čermák, 1987] , and its attempted interpretation [Čermák and Rybach, 1988], 2-D crustal temperature modelling [Čermák and Bodri, 1986, 1987] and Moho heat flow estimates in Central and Eastern Europe [Čermák, 1988]