Numerical Simulations of Terrestrial Heat Flow in the Beiras Region, Mainland Portugal

  • Maria Rosa Alves Duque Universidade de Évora
Keywords: Heat flow, Beiras Region, Portugal, Radioactive heat sources, Lithosphere thickness, Curie temperature depth, Mantle heat flow


Numerical simulations of heat flow density have been made for ten localities in the Beiras region of central Portugal where observational data are absent. The procedure adopted is based on results of deep crustal geophysical surveys and consider that the heat flow measured at the surface of the Earth results from the addition of heat generated in the crust by radioactive sources to that coming from the mantle. Radioactive heat sources in the region are heterogeneous and heat flow values at the surface depends on the thickness of upper crustal layers. Geotherms were obtained considering heat flow by conduction in the vertical direction. The models employed make use of data derived from geophysical surveys of Moho depths and detailed results related with seismic velocity distribution in the crust. In addition, results of radiometric surveys were employed in deriving heat production values for upper layers of the crust. A value around 35 mW m-2 was assumed for heat flow from the mantle. The resulting heat flow density values are similar to those found for areas with similar tectonic characteristics in NW Africa and in Southern Portugal.