Datapages, Inc.Print this page

Abstract: Red Sea Heat Flow Through Time

John D. Pigott, Girmachew Tefferra, James M. Forgotson Jr., Eshetu Gebretsadik, Ahmed Al Ahdal

Reprocessed multifold seismic lines extending across the Red Sea allow new images of rifting which previously have only been speculated upon. When constrained both by borehole information and sonabuoy refraction, reflection seismic stratigraphy provides a firm foundation for the balancing of extensional features and the determination of crustal stretching factors. These estimates of stretching are useful input parameters for the determination of lithospheric thinning and heat flow through time.

The present day thermal state of the Red Sea can be derived by incorporating corrected borehole formation temperatures with oceanographic heat flow measurements into Fourier's heat flow equation. In order to look at non-steady state effects, heat flows are then extrapolated back through time both from the crustal stretching estimates and empirical relationships between basement depth and thermal crustal cooling. The resulting paleo-heat flow time panels for the Tertiary are instructive in allowing one to observe tectonically produced thermal anomalies through time and space and to constrain kinetic models of hydrocarbon maturation. Ignoring these time transient effects in the heat flow leads to inappropriate maturity approximations and incorrect play concepts for exploration in this r gion.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90956©1995 AAPG International Convention and Exposition Meeting, Nice, France