Earth's heat flow
Pollack, Henry N. Department of Geological Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Last reviewed:November 2019
- Global data set
- Heat flow and age relationships
- Radiogenic heat in Earth's crust
- Global heat loss
- Heat flow in the past
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The amount of heat escaping per unit time from the interior across each unit area of the Earth's solid surface. The movement of heat within the Earth and its eventual loss through the surface are central elements in the modern theory of plate tectonics. The plate movements over the surface of the Earth are seen as one manifestation of a heat engine at work in the interior, and the heat flow at the surface as the exhaust from the engine. See also: Earth's interior; Plate tectonics
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