Thermal history modeling techniques and interpretation strategies: applications using HeFTy

Murray, K. E., Stevens Goddard, A. L., Abbey, A. L. and Wildman, M. (2022) Thermal history modeling techniques and interpretation strategies: applications using HeFTy. Geosphere, 18(5), pp. 1622-1642. (doi: 10.1130/GES02500.1)

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Advances in low-temperature thermochronology, and the wide range of geologic problems that it is used to investigate, have prompted the routine use of thermal history (time-temperature, tT) models to quantitatively explore and evaluate rock cooling ages. As a result, studies that investigate topics ranging from Proterozoic tectonics to Pleistocene erosion now commonly require a substantial numerical modeling effort that combines the empirical understanding of chronometer thermochemical behavior (kinetics) with independent knowledge or hypotheses about a study area’s geologic history (geologic constraints). Although relatively user-friendly programs, such as HeFTy and QTQt, are available to facilitate thermal history modeling, there is a critical need to provide the geoscience community with more accessible entry points for using these tools. This contribution addresses this need by offering an explicit discussion of modeling strategies in the program HeFTy. Using both synthetic data and real examples, we illustrate the opportunities and limitations of thermal history modeling. We highlight the importance of testing the sensitivity of model results to model design choices and describe a strategy for classifying model results that we call the Path Family Approach. More broadly, we demonstrate how HeFTy can be used to build an intuitive understanding of the thermochronologic data types and model design strategies that are capable of discriminating among geologic hypotheses.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Wildman, Dr Mark
Authors: Murray, K. E., Stevens Goddard, A. L., Abbey, A. L., and Wildman, M.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Journal Name:Geosphere
Publisher:Geological Society of America
ISSN (Online):1553-040X
Published Online:18 August 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 The Authors
First Published:First published in Geosphere 18(5): 1622-1642
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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