A heat flow based cooling model for tectonic plates

TitleA heat flow based cooling model for tectonic plates
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsHasterok D
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Date Published2013/01
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0012-821X
Accession NumberWOS:000314907000005
Keywordsage; constraints; expansivity; global; global depth; gravity; heat flow; heat loss; oceanic heat loss; oceanic lithosphere; seafloor age; seafloor spreading; temperature; thermal-conductivity; topography; upper-mantle

Plate tectonic theory predicts subsidence and decreasing heat flow as young, hot buoyant lithosphere ages and cools. Oceanic cooling models are re-calibrated to a new 'hydrothermal-free' heat flow dataset to provide a better fit to heat flow on old (> 80 Ma) seafloor while simultaneously allowing for a more reasonable mantle potential temperature (1350 degrees C). The plate model (constant basal temperature) and chablis (constant basal temperature and constant basal heat flow) are tested as viable solutions to the observed data. Both models fit to reasonable values of misfit, but only the plate cooling model is acceptable after considering additional statistical constraints. The best-fitting plate model results in a thinner lithospheric thickness (90 km) than previous estimates. These results improve estimates of global heat loss rate through oceanic crust (29.4 TW, similar to 44 TW globally) and improves the estimated temporal evolution of the thermal structure of oceanic lithosphere suggesting a shallower lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary. This model can serve as a reference for estimating the global redistribution of heat by ventilated hydrothermal circulation through young seafloor.

Short TitleEarth Planet. Sci. Lett.
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