Thermal regime of the northwest Indian rifted margin - Comparison with predictions

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We use a simple approach to estimate the present-day thermal regime along the northwestern part of the Western Indian Passive Margin, offshore Pakistan. A compilation of bottom borehole temperatures and geothermal gradients derived from new observations of bottom-simulating reflections (BSRs) allows us to constrain the relationship between the thermal regime and the known tectonic and sedimentary framework along this margin. Effects of basin and crustal structure on the estimation of thermal gradients and heat flow are discussed. A hydrate system is located within the sedimentary deep marine setting and compared to other provinces on other continental margins. We calculate the potential radiogenic contribution to the surface heat flow along a profile across the margin. Measurements across the continental shelf show intermediate thermal gradients of 38-44°C/km. The onshore Indus Basin shows a lower range of values spanning 18-31°C/km. The Indus Fan slope and continental rise show an increasing gradient from 37 to 55°C/km, with higher values associated with the thick depocenter. The gradient drops to 33°C/km along the Somnath Ridge, which is a syn-rift volcanic construct located in a landward position relative to the latest spreading center around the Cretaceous-Paleogene transition. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

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Marine and Petroleum Geology

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