New heat flow observations on the Reykjanes Ridge

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K. Bram


During METEOR cruise 45 in August 1977 14 heat flow measurements were obtained along a profile east of the Reykjanes Ridge and perpendicular to the ridge axis covering a distance range from 30 to 240 km. Closely spaced measurements were grouped together. The mean heat flow of all groups amounts to 109±20 mW m-2. The values do not reveal a distinct increase with decreasing distance from the ridge axis as may be expected from the theoretical heat flow distribution based upon a cooling plate model. Including earlier measurements a high and very uniform heat flow in the distance range from 170 to 340 km was observed with a mean value of about 100 mW m-2. In order to explain this high heat flow a temperature of 930° C is required at the lower boundary of the lithosphere at a depth of 50 km, assuming a purely conductive heat transport. Compared with the results obtained from previous measurements west of the Reykjanes Ridge, the data reveal an asymmetric thermal behaviour of the ridge area. The average heat flow east of the ridge amounts to 93 mW m-2 being nearly twice the heat flow of the region west of the ridge.

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Bram, K. (1980). New heat flow observations on the Reykjanes Ridge. Journal of Geophysics, 47(1), 86-90. Retrieved from


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