Abstract

Deformation that takes place following the fractionation of heat-producing elements can cause the relationship of surface heat flow and heat production to deviate from a simple linear trend. Lateral transport by low-angle normal faulting or thrust faulting may place the near-surface rocks above rocks with different thermal properties. Even for a simple model, the relationships can be complex, but some constraints can be placed on the vertical distribution of heat generation and layer thickness. Measurements at many sites in a province could produce an overall linear trend of surface flux and heat production. Departures from linearity may be found at sites that were disturbed (transported) following the latest cycle of radioelement fractionation. The amount of departure from linearity is a function of the thickness of the transported layer and the thermal properties of underlying layers.

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