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Book Chapter

A Brief Review of Heat-Flow Studies in the Guaymas Basin, Gulf of California

By
K. Becker
K. Becker
Division of Marine Geology and Geophysics Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami Miami, Florida, U.S.A.
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A. T. Fisher
A. T. Fisher
Now at: Ocean Drilling Program, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, U.S.A.
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Published:
January 01, 1991

Abstract

The Guaymas Basin in the central Gulf of California is a young spreading center about 1.6-2.1 km deep, which is covered with a thick sequence of sediments. It provides an excellent location to investigate geothermal processes at a sedimented rift using conventional oceanographic heat-flow equipment. Rapid sediment accumulation at this site precludes the formation of “normal” oceanic crust by extrusion; instead, basaltic sills intrude semiconsolidated and unconsolidated sediments, expelling pore water and driving vigorous hydrothermal circulation. Deep-seated heat sources also drive longer-lived convection within and beneath the sediment cover.

The continuous sediment cover has allowed detailed and extensive mapping of the distribution of surface heat flow throughout the Guaymas Basin; more than 400 heat-flow measurements have been collected since 1959 in crust ranging in age from 0 to about 3 Ma. Away from the sites of crustal accretion, the background heat flow throughout the Guaymas Basin is about 180 ± 10 mW/m2. Within the two spreading centers of the basin, known as the northern and southern troughs, heat-flow values range from 0 to nearly 9 W/m2, and variations of two orders of magnitude occur over distances as short as a few hundred meters. Heat-flow patterns generally follow the northeast-southwest structural trend of the central troughs but are locally controlled by recent intrusive activity and associated hydrothermal circulation.

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Contents

AAPG Memoir

The Gulf and Peninsular Province of the Californias

J. Paul Dauphin
J. Paul Dauphin
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Bernd R. T. Simoneit
Bernd R. T. Simoneit
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American Association of Petroleum Geologists
Volume
47
ISBN electronic:
9781629811130
Publication date:
January 01, 1991

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