Abstract

The geothermal heat flux determined in a borehole on Bermuda is 1.36 μcal/cm2 s (57 mW/m2). The value is corrected for the topographic effect of the Bermuda sea-mount and the difference between sea floor and land surface temperatures. Radioactive heat production in the borehole core determined by gamma-ray spectrometry has an average value of 1.45 × 10−13 cal/cm3 s (6.11 × 10−7 W/m3). Of the altered tholeiite flows and intrusive lamprophyric sheets which make up the section to 800 m, the sheets have 10 times the heat production of the flows. If the heat production attributable to the Bermuda seamount is subtracted from the measured heat flux a value of 1.26 μcal/cm2 s (53 mW/m2) is obtained which is in good agreement with the mean of surrounding sea floor measurements and with the mean for Cretaceous ocean floor. The low heat flow and the small amount of subsidence substantiates the radioactive dating data which indicates the present seamount structure was produced about 33 m.y. ago by intrusion and uplift of a much older structure.

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