Abstract

Heat flow was measured at nine sites in crystalline and sedimentary rocks of southeastern Alaska. Seven of the sites, located between 115 and 155 km landward of the Queen Charlotte – Fairweather transform fault, have an average heat flow of 59 ± 6 mW m−2. This value is significantly higher than the mean of 42 mW m−2 in the coastal provinces between Cape Mendocino and the Queen Charlotte Islands, to the south, and is lower than the mean of 72 ± 2 mW m−2 for 81 values within 100 km of the San Andreas transform fault, even farther south. This intermediate value suggests the absence of significant heat sinks associated with Cenozoic subduction and of heat sources related to either late Cenozoic tectono-magmatic events or significant shear-strain heating. At Warm Springs Bay, 75 km from the plate boundary, an anomalously high heat flow of 150 mW m−2 can most plausibly be ascribed to the thermal spring activity from which its name is derived. At Quartz Hill, 240 km landward of the plate boundary, a value of 115 mW m−2 might indicate a transition to a province of high heat flow resulting from late Tertiary and Quaternary extension and volcanism.

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