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The relationship between seismic velocity and radioactive heat production in crustal rocks: An exponential law

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In crystalline rocks seismic velocityV p and densityp increase, whereas radioactive heat productionA decreases from acidic to basic compositions. From the velocity-density systematics for crustal rocks at different pressures an empiricalA(V p) relationship has been derived for the range 5.0–8.0 km/sec which follows the exponential law:A(V p )=a exp (-bV p ), where the numerical factorsa andb depend onin situ pressure. A graph is given by means of which the heat production distributionA(z) can be obtained for any givenV p (z) structure.

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Contribution No. 207, Institute of Geophysics, ETH Zurich.

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Rybach, L. The relationship between seismic velocity and radioactive heat production in crustal rocks: An exponential law. PAGEOPH 117, 75–82 (1978). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00879735

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Key words

  • Igneous and metamorphic rocks
  • Crustal low velocity layers
  • Cation packing index
  • Bulk density