Internal heating and thermal constraints on the mantle

A. M. Leitch, David A Yuen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


We have carried out numerical simulations to study the average temperature and thermal structure of an internally heated mantle. It is found that in an incompressible mantle the hottest parts are localized in regions of slow flow in the middle and upper mantle, whereas in a compressible mantle they occur over laterally extensive regions near the core‐mantle boundary (CMB). For chondritic concentrations of heat‐producing elements (hpe's), the average thermal conductivity in the mantle must be high to avoid heating the core, and the temperature of the CMB (TCMB) is low to avoid large‐scale melting. The mantle may have been extensively molten in the Archaean.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1407-1410
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1989


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