Heat-flow measurements were made at five onland shot points of the 1978 Saudi Arabian seismic deep-refraction line, which sample major tectonic elements of the Arabian Shield along a profile from Ar Riyad to the Farasan Islands. Because of the pattern drilling at each shot point, several holes (60 m deep) could be logged for temperature at each site and thus allow a better estimate of the geothermal gradient. Each site was mapped and sampled in detail, and modal and. chemical analyses of representative specimens were made in the laboratory. Thermal conductivities were computed from the modal analyses and single-mineral conductivity data.
The resulting heat-flow values, combined with published values for the Red Sea and coastal plain, indicate a three-level pattern, with a heat flow of about 4.5 heat-flow unit (HFU) over the Red Sea axial trough, about 3.0 HFU over the shelf and coastal plain, and an essentially constant 1.0 HFU over the Arabian Shield at points well away from the suture zone with the oceanic crust. At three sites where the rocks are granitic, gamma-ray spectrometry techniques were employed to estimate thorium, potassium, and uranium concentrations. The resulting plot of heat generation versus heat flow suggests that in the Arabian Shield the relationship between heat flow and heat production is not linear. More heat-flow data are essential to establish or reject this conclusion.
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USGS Numbered Series
Heat-flow measurements at shot points along the 1978 Saudi Arabia seismic deep-refraction line; Part I, Results of the measurements