Articles | Volume 18, issue 5
Research article
23 Sep 2011
Research article |  | 23 Sep 2011

Predicting heat flow in the 2001 Bhuj earthquake (Mw=7.7) region of Kachchh (Western India), using an inverse recurrence method

N. Vedanti, O. P. Pandey, R. P. Srivastava, P. Mandal, S. Kumar, and V. P. Dimri

Abstract. Terrestrial heat flow is considered an important parameter in studying the regional geotectonic and geodynamic evolutionary history of any region. However, its distribution is still very uneven. There is hardly any information available for many geodynamically important areas. In the present study, we provide a methodology to predict the surface heat flow in areas, where detailed seismic information such as depth to the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) and crustal structure is known. The tool was first tested in several geotectonic blocks around the world and then used to predict the surface heat flow for the 2001 Bhuj earthquake region of Kachchh, India, which has been seismically active since historical times and where aftershock activity is still continuing nine years after the 2001 main event. Surface heat flow for this region is estimated to be about 61.3 mW m−2. Beneath this region, heat flow input from the mantle as well as the temperatures at the Moho are quite high at around 44 mW m−2 and 630 °C, respectively, possibly due to thermal restructuring of the underlying crust and mantle lithosphere. In absence of conventional data, the proposed tool may be used to estimate a first order heat flow in continental regions for geotectonic studies, as it is also unaffected by the subsurface climatic perturbations that percolate even up to 2000 m depth.