Estimation of the thermal conductivity anisotropy of rock with application to the determination of terrestrial heat flow
Abstract
A moderately large data set of mostly sedimentary and metamorphic rocks compiled from the literature shows an inverse correlation between thermal conductivity anisotropy and thermal conductivity perpendicular to bedding. The empirical relationship can be represented by a simple twocomponent endmember mixing model. One endmember is anisotropic (λ_{x}/λ_{z} ∼ 2.5) and has a relatively low thermal conductivity perpendicular to bedding (λ_{z} ∼ 1 W/mK); the other endmember is isotropic and has a relatively high thermal conductivity perpendicular to bedding (γ ∼ 4 W/mK). The proposed model may be used to derive a correction for anisotropic effects observed during thermal conductivity measurements on mixtures of randomly oriented aggregates. Although the accuracy and reliability of a universal correction procedure remain to be determined, the proposed correction scheme should enhance our ability to estimate accurately heat flow in sedimentary basins where generally only borehole cuttings are available for thermal conductivity measurements.
 Publication:

Journal of Geophysical Research
 Pub Date:
 November 1994
 DOI:
 10.1029/94JB02164
 Bibcode:
 1994JGR....9922087D
 Keywords:

 Anisotropy;
 Heat Transmission;
 Mathematical Models;
 Sedimentary Rocks;
 Thermal Conductivity;
 Aggregates;
 Bedrock;
 Isotropism;
 Metamorphic Rocks;
 Structural Basins;
 Geophysics;
 Tectonophysics: Heat generation and transport (except hydrothermal);
 Tectonophysics: Instruments and techniques;
 Tectonophysics: Continental tectonics;
 Tectonophysics: Dynamics of the lithosphere and mantle