Since the completion of the Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer mission (GOCE), global gravity models of uniform quality and coverage are available. We investigate their potential of being useful tools for estimating the thermal structure of the continental lithosphere, through simulation and real-data test in Central-Eastern Europe across the Trans-European Suture Zone. Heat flow, measured near the Earth surface, is the result of the superposition of a complex set of contributions, one of them being the heat production occurring in the crust. The crust is enriched in radioactive elements respect to the underlying mantle and crustal thickness is an essential parameter in isolating the thermal contribution of the crust. Obtaining reliable estimates of crustal thickness through inversion of GOCE-derived gravity models has already proven feasible, especially when weak constraints from other observables are introduced. We test a way to integrate this in a geothermal framework, building a 3-D, steady state, solid Earth conductive heat transport model, from the lithosphere–asthenosphere boundary to the surface. This thermal model is coupled with a crust-mantle boundary depth resulting from inverse modelling, after correcting the gravity model for the effects of topography, far-field isostatic roots and sediments. We employ a mixed space- and spectral-domain based forward modelling strategy to ensure full spectral coherency between the limited spectral content of the gravity model and the reductions. Deviations from a direct crustal thickness to crustal heat production relationship are accommodated using a subsequent substitution scheme, constrained by surface heat flow measurements, where available. The result is a 3-D model of the lithosphere characterised in temperature, radiogenic heat and thermal conductivity. It provides added information respect to the lithospheric structure and sparse heat flow measurements alone, revealing a satisfactory coherence with the geological features in the area and their controlling effect on the conductive heat transport.

A geothermal application for GOCE satellite gravity data: modelling the crustal heat production and lithospheric temperature field in Central Europe

Pastorutti, A
;
Braitenberg, C
2019-01-01

Abstract

Since the completion of the Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer mission (GOCE), global gravity models of uniform quality and coverage are available. We investigate their potential of being useful tools for estimating the thermal structure of the continental lithosphere, through simulation and real-data test in Central-Eastern Europe across the Trans-European Suture Zone. Heat flow, measured near the Earth surface, is the result of the superposition of a complex set of contributions, one of them being the heat production occurring in the crust. The crust is enriched in radioactive elements respect to the underlying mantle and crustal thickness is an essential parameter in isolating the thermal contribution of the crust. Obtaining reliable estimates of crustal thickness through inversion of GOCE-derived gravity models has already proven feasible, especially when weak constraints from other observables are introduced. We test a way to integrate this in a geothermal framework, building a 3-D, steady state, solid Earth conductive heat transport model, from the lithosphere–asthenosphere boundary to the surface. This thermal model is coupled with a crust-mantle boundary depth resulting from inverse modelling, after correcting the gravity model for the effects of topography, far-field isostatic roots and sediments. We employ a mixed space- and spectral-domain based forward modelling strategy to ensure full spectral coherency between the limited spectral content of the gravity model and the reductions. Deviations from a direct crustal thickness to crustal heat production relationship are accommodated using a subsequent substitution scheme, constrained by surface heat flow measurements, where available. The result is a 3-D model of the lithosphere characterised in temperature, radiogenic heat and thermal conductivity. It provides added information respect to the lithospheric structure and sparse heat flow measurements alone, revealing a satisfactory coherence with the geological features in the area and their controlling effect on the conductive heat transport.
26-lug-2019
Pubblicato
https://academic.oup.com/gji/article/219/2/1008/5539532
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/2948489
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