What causes isostatic uplift?


What causes isostatic uplift?

Isostatic Uplift:

Isostatic uplift is a long-term and continuous process where the Earth's crust gradually rebounds and returns to its original position after the load has been removed. Isostasy is derived from the Greek words equal and stand, which describe the equilibrium of the Earth's crust with the planet's mantle. Theoretically, if the mantle were perfect and complete, the isostatic response to removing a load like the water weight would be full restitution; the load would be replaced instantaneously by the same volume of mantle material, thus maintaining the surface of the Earth at a constant elevation.

Answer and Explanation: 1

Isostatic uplift is mainly caused by the Earth's response to the ice melting; when the ice melts, the pressure from the ice is removed, and the land rebounds upward. Isostatic uplift occurs when the Earth's crust thickens. When the crust thickens, more mass is added, causing the crust to become heavier. Over time, this additional mass causes the crust to become dense and slowly begin to sink.

Climate is another cause of isostatic uplift. Climate changes can result in the accumulation and melting of snow, glaciers, and ice sheets. When ice sheets melt, the mass of ice no longer supported by the crust causes the Earth to 'rise .'The same phenomenon occurs when water accumulated in the ground during snowmelt seeps into the crust. The crust also rises around dormant volcanoes. The Earth is constantly moving and adjusting to changes in mass distribution. Therefore, the Earth is continuously being pushed up, pulled down, and wiggled around. The processes that cause isostatic uplift are bound to happen.

Learn more about this topic:

Causes of Precipitation: Convection, Orographic Uplift & Frontal Uplift


Chapter 8 / Lesson 3

Discover what causes precipitation. Learn about frontal and convective uplift and its role in forming clouds and inducing rain. Explore convergence precipitation.

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