Thermoelastic modeling of lithospheric uplift: A finite-difference numerical solution


This paper describes HEATFLEX.FOR. a FORTRAN computer program designed to model the thermoclastic uplift of lithospheric regions. The program was written using a finite-difference approximation to the heat-transfer and elastic-flexure equations in a two-layer cylindrical plate. The amount of uplift is determined by the mechanical and thermal properties of the lithosphere, the heat flux at the base and lower sides of the lithosphere, and the duration of the applied heating. The program outputs the temperature and thermal anomaly fields within the model, the heat flow and thermoelastic uplift of the surface, the Bouguer gravity anomaly amplitude, and the elastic and thermal lithospheric thicknesses. These values can then be compared to known values to determine if a thermoelastic model is suitable for the tectonic environment being modeled. The program is demonstrated by modeling a portion of the uplift of the Colorado Plateau in the western United States.

Document Type




Finite differences, FORTRAN, Heat flux, Lithosphere, Thermoelastic uplift

Publication Date


Journal Title

Computers and Geosciences