We used bathymetry, sediment thickness and terrestrial heat-flow data to investigate the nature of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea lithosphere. We processed bathymetric data by removing the subsidence caused by sediment deposition to obtain the water-loaded seafloor depth. Terrestrial heat flow measurements were corrected for sedimentation and climatic changes to infer the purely conductive steady-state geothermal flow. Water-load seafloor depths and thermal data were then compared to reference models of continental lithosphere stretching and ocean plate cooling. The results argue that the Levantine Basin is floored by a continental stretched crust that thinned by a factor of 1.6-2.7, whereas the Herodotus Basin crust is of oceanic type. The water-loaded seafloor depths in all the Eastern Mediterranean are consistent with geological ages of > 250 Ma. The mantle heat flow in the Herodotus Basin (33 mW m-2) is consistent with that of the oceanic Ionian lithosphere, whereas in the Levantine Basin (26 mW m-2) is comparable to that of the Sinai continental microplate.

Geothermal flow and water-load seafloor depth of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea

Verdoya, Massimo;Chiozzi, Paolo;Ivaldi, Roberta;
2019

Abstract

We used bathymetry, sediment thickness and terrestrial heat-flow data to investigate the nature of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea lithosphere. We processed bathymetric data by removing the subsidence caused by sediment deposition to obtain the water-loaded seafloor depth. Terrestrial heat flow measurements were corrected for sedimentation and climatic changes to infer the purely conductive steady-state geothermal flow. Water-load seafloor depths and thermal data were then compared to reference models of continental lithosphere stretching and ocean plate cooling. The results argue that the Levantine Basin is floored by a continental stretched crust that thinned by a factor of 1.6-2.7, whereas the Herodotus Basin crust is of oceanic type. The water-loaded seafloor depths in all the Eastern Mediterranean are consistent with geological ages of > 250 Ma. The mantle heat flow in the Herodotus Basin (33 mW m-2) is consistent with that of the oceanic Ionian lithosphere, whereas in the Levantine Basin (26 mW m-2) is comparable to that of the Sinai continental microplate.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/969185
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