Thermal Anomaly in Northern Mexico: An Extension of the Rio Grande Rift?

  1. Robert E. Riecker
  1. Douglas L. Smith and
  2. Ronald L. Jones

Published Online: 21 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/SP014p0269

Rio Grande Rift: Tectonics and Magmatism

Rio Grande Rift: Tectonics and Magmatism

How to Cite

Smith, D. L. and Jones, R. L. (1979) Thermal Anomaly in Northern Mexico: An Extension of the Rio Grande Rift?, in Rio Grande Rift: Tectonics and Magmatism (ed R. E. Riecker), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/SP014p0269

Author Information

  1. Department of Geology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 21 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1979

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875902142

Online ISBN: 9781118664988

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Keywords:

  • Crustal and upper mantle;
  • Radioactivity;
  • Surface heat flow estimations;
  • Temperature-depth models;
  • Thermal anomaly

Summary

High values of heat flow (2.3 – 2.9 hfu) (1 hfu=1μcal/cm2= 41.8mW/m2) and reduced heat flow (1.2 – 2.1 hfu) in portions of eastern Chihuahua, eastern Durango, and central Zacatecas suggest the possibility of a southeast trending, but discontinuous, incipient rift across the Central Plateau of northern Mexico. Calculated isotherms for this zone appear to be elevated in the Central Plateau and exhibit patterns that loosely follow the western edge of the Sierra Madre Oriental. The 1000°C isotherm extends to between 20 and 30 km depth in eastern Chihuahua and central Durango-Zacatecas. East-west cross-sections display a sharp transition from projected high temperatures beneath the Central Plateau to more moderate values under the Sierra Madre Oriental. These thermal aspects combined with the geographic continuity of this zone with the Rio Grande rift proper suggest a relation between the two features.