The role of glacio-isostasy in the formation of post-glacial river terraces in relation to the MIS 2 ice limit: evidence from northern England. Author links open. Isostasy is the state of gravitational equilibrium between Earth’s crust and mantle such that the crust “floats” at an elevation that depends on its thickness and. Solving the sea-level equation for a spherically symmetric Earth we study the relative sea-level curves in the. Mediterranean Sea in terms of Clarks zones and .

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Global sea level is also affected by vertical crustal movements, changes in Earth’s rotation rate, large-scale changes in continental margins and changes in the spreading rate of the ocean floor. On a geological scale, isostasy can be observed where Earth’s strong crust or lithosphere exerts stress on the weaker mantle or asthenosphere, which, over geological timeflows laterally such that the load is accommodated by height adjustments.

Therefore the sea can transgress proglacial areas.

Glacio-isostatic recovery in response to deglaciation can be subdivided into three phases Andrews, By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Isostasy does not upset equilibrium but instead restores it a negative feedback.

The distance between the margin of the ice sheet to the fore-bulge depends on the flexural parameter of the crust, or the amplitude of bending of the lithosphere, which is mainly related to lithospheric density, thickness and elasticity. Some regions that were occupied by ice sheets during the last ice age are still rising at present because of the long response time of lithospheric recovery.

The crustal deformation varies with the rigidity of the crust. Highland Britain still rises by almost 0. The growth and melting of glaciers and ice sheets have a significant effect on global sea-level, causing large regional and global sea-level changes during glacial-interglacial cycles.


A record based on high-precision U-Th dating of fossil corals on Barbados Fig. Retrieved 7 October An analogy may be made with an iceberg —it always floats with a certain proportion of its mass below the surface of the water. The Late-glacial sea-level rise was interrupted by two major meltwater pulses, at glacoi, and 11, yr bp Bard et al, During the last glacial maximum, the terrestrial volume of the ice sheets produced a glacio-eustatic controlled by the growth and contraction of ice sheets sea-level lowering of about m.

The marginal depression, however, continues up to km beyond the margin of the ice sheets. We log anonymous usage statistics.


In contrast, melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets would cause isostzsy rises of 5. Geophysicists are interested in constraining their models of lithospheric deformation using empirical data on crustal movements, while geomorphologists want to reconstruct dispersal centres of former ice sheets. The idea of continental collisions building mountains “up” is therefore rather a simplification.

This period is not recorded by direct sea-level data because the area is covered by ice. User Username Password Remember me.

Glacioeustasy and glacioisostasy – Environmental Change

This hypothesis was suggested to explain how large topographic loads such as seamounts e. As the ice retreats, the load on the lithosphere and asthenosphere is reduced and they rebound back towards their equilibrium levels. When Earth’s climate cools, a greater proportion of water is stored on land masses in the form of glaciers, snow, etc. Glacio-isostatic recovery can be considered as a process that accelerates rapidly and then slows gradually.

The general term ‘isostasy’ was coined in the year by the American geologist Clarence Dutton. During expansion of terrestrial ice sheets, water is extracted from the oceans.

Thus, we may generally consider:. Watts, Isostasy and flexure of the lithosphere,Cambridge Univ.

glacioisostasy – Wiktionary

If this happens, much of the thickened crust may move downwards rather than up as with the iceberg analogy. Adapted from Harmon et al, Views Read Edit View history. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it Read more. When a certain area of Earth’s crust reaches the state of isostasy, it is said to be in isostatic equilibrium.


Keywords sea-level variations;glacial isostasy;Mediterranean Sea. It can cause changes in Earth’s gravitational field and rotation ratepolar wanderand earthquakes. Glacio-isostasy is crustal deformation resulting from the build-up and decay of great ice sheets.

However, isostasy provides an important ‘view’ of the processes that are happening in areas that are experiencing vertical movement. Abstract Solving the sea-level equation for a spherically symmetric Earth we study the relative sea-level curves in the Mediterranean Sea in terms of Clarks zones and we explore their sensitivity to the time-history of Glaico ice aggregates. Magnitude and energy of earthquakes Comparison between low-cost and In the case of negative topography i.

In particular, we show glacil the history of mid to Late Holocene sea-level variations along the coasts of SE Tunisia may mainly reflect the melting of Antarctica, by a consequence of a mutual cancellation of the effects from the Northern Hemisphere ice-sheets at this specific site.

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Eustasy is another cause of relative sea level change quite different from isostatic causes. The refilling of ocean basins by glacial meltwater at the end of ice ages is an example of eustatic sea level rise.

Email the author Login required. Airy and Pratt isostasy are statements of buoyancy, whereas flexural isostasy is a statement of buoyancy when deflecting a sheet of finite elastic strength.

State of gravitational equilibrium between Earth’s crust and mantle.

Similarly, Earth’s lithosphere “floats” in the asthenosphere.