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Simple Thermal Isostasy

Simple Thermal Isostasy

GS 388 Handout on

GS 388 Handout on Thermal Isostasy 8D-D o =h'1- ρ =wρ mα(Ta - To) Z o21- ρ wρ mThis is the equation which gives ocean depth, D, as a function of age; remember that Zo has thesquare root of time in it. Estimates of the parameters which are reasonable from what we knowabout the physical properties of mantle material, and which together fit the observed relationshipbetween ocean depth versus age, are as follows: To = 0 °C, Ta=1300 °C, β=25 km2 /MY,ρm=3.3 gm/cm 3 , Do=2.5 km, and α = 0.00003 cgs. The situation looks like the figure below.spreading ridgeρ wDoDz oρ mCurves of lithospheric thickness and ocean depth for these values are shown below as functions oftime intepreted as age of the lithosphere.-2.0-2.5-3.0OCEAN DEPTHVERSUS TIME-3.5-4.0-4.5-5.0ocean depth, km-5.5time, MY-6.00 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

GS 388 Handout on Thermal Isostasy 91201101009080706050403020lithosphericthickness,kmLITHOSPHERE THICKNESSVERSUS AGE10age, MY00 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

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