Abstract

New heat flow data for the United Kingdom, together with additional heat flow and heat production determinations for Caledonian-age granites, have led to a revision of the UK heat flow map and a re-examination of the relationship between heat flow (q0) and heat production (A0) for granites and basement rocks. Previously recognized broad belts of above-average heat flow are now resolved into separate zones which reflect, to a greater extent, the geological structure and tectonic history of the UK. The zones of highest heat flow are spatially associated with voluminous, high heat production granitoid batholiths in SW England, northern England and the Eastern Highlands of Scotland. A single linear correlation between q0 and A0 is no longer tenable and an analysis in terms of broad heat flow provinces, each with a characteristic upper-crustal heat production distribution and deep heat flow contribution, is also considered to be an oversimplification. On the q0–A0 plot, the data form four separate clusters; three corresponding to the granite batholiths in SW England, northern England and the Eastern Highlands of Scotland, and the fourth to the basement rocks of central England and Wales. An explanation of the q0–A0 data is proposed in terms of the crustal structure and thermo-tectonic setting of each area. In the case of the granite batholiths the data reflect the contrasting depth extent and radioelement-depth functions of the intrusions. These parameters in turn are related to the magmatic evolution and emplacement history of each batholith and the nature of the crust into which they were emplaced.

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