Interplay of variable thermal conductivity and expansivity on the thermal structure of oceanic lithosphere

S. Honda, D. A. Yuen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

The sensitivity of pressure- and temperature-dependent thermal conductivity (k: W/m/K) and the thermal expansivity (α:1/K) on the thermal structure of the oceanic plate is investigated parametrically by comparing the ocean floor depth and heat flux calculated by one-dimensional conduction model with those of GDH1, a theoretical thermal model of the oceanic lithosphere. We find that an optimum fit is obtained, when the value of thermal expansivity is ∼ 3 x 10-5, while those associated with the thermal conductivity have many possibilities. The estimates, which give an equally good fit to the GDH1 model, of the plate thickness D (km) and the temperature at the base of the plate Tm (°C) may be given by Tm ∼ 1450 - (ko-4.5)x100-(α-3.0 x 10-5) x 105x100, D ∼ 90 + (ko - 4.5) x 20 - (α - 3.0 x 10-5) x 105 x 20 where ko (W/m/K) is the lattice thermal conductivity at the ocean floor. A similar relation is obtained for constant thermal conductivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351-354
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume28
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 15 2001

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