Thermal state of the lithosphere

Kevin P. Furlong, David S. Chapman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Thermal aspects of geological processes play a central role in tectonophysics. The thermal state of the lithosphere also has a bearing on studies in other earth science disciplines such as seismology, petrology, geochemistry and volcanology. In this report we attempt to emphasize these interrelationships, within a framework of plate tectonic and other geodynamic processes. This review first addresses thermal processes at plate margins, including processes at spreading ridges and rifts, transform faults, and plate convergence zones. Thermal processes in plate interiors are discussed next; this encompasses largely epeirogenic vertical movements that result in basin formation arid plateau uplift, and in thermal rejuvenation by hot spots. Finally, the thermal state and evolution of both oceanic and continental lithosphere is followed for different periods in earth history. Heat flow observations are described in terms of the constraints they provide for the respective large scale thermal processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1255-1264
Number of pages10
JournalReviews of Geophysics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 1987

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics


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