Heat flow of the Mozambique channel: New data and predicted surface heat flow map

The Mozambique Channel, a complex domain composed of passive margins and oceanic crust affected by younger strike-slip and volcanic activity, is still poorly studied for surface heat flow. We present 33 new marine-type heat flow estimations acquired offshore in 2014–2015 during the MOZ cruises, completed with 4 new heat flow values derived from reappraised old well sites (PAMELA project). Offshore heat flow is generally low to normal and does not display strong variations. As poor data coverage persists in large parts of the area, we performed a heat flow prediction mapping using the similarity method. Based on an extrapolation of old and new data guided by 14 geological and geophysical proxies, we obtain on a 0.1° × 0.1° grid a predicted heat flow and its uncertainty from the statistics of all values at global grid points with similar proxies. We succeeded to obtain good predictability on 70% of pixels and an RMS error <2.3 mW/m2. The proxies selected for the prediction include a map of genetic domains, sediment thickness, topography and bathymetry, crustal ages, Curie point depth, Free air anomaly, distances to volcanoes, tectonic structures and continent-ocean boundaries. The new Mozambique heat flow map shows a predominantly low offshore heat flow of around 50 mW/m2, associated with the Jurassic and early Cretaceous age of the oceanic crust. Several heat flow anomalies standoff to this background heat flow with two main orientations: low heat flow anomalies with a N–S orientation and high anomalies with a mostly NE-SW orientation, which are linked mainly to tectonic structures.

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Bessière Eloïse, Poort Jeffrey, Cornu Tristan, Leroy Sylvie (2024). Heat flow of the Mozambique channel: New data and predicted surface heat flow map. Marine And Petroleum Geology. 162. 106723 (13p.). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2024.106723, https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00872/98438/

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