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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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The density of ice is about a third that of the crust, and therefore the crustal depression beneath an ice sheet is about a third of the ice thickness. Normally, the amount of crustal depression increases from the margin towards the centre of the ice sheet, where the ice sheets in most cases are thicker.

The marginal depression, however, continues up to km beyond the margin of the ice sheets.

Therefore the sea can transgress proglacial areas. 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 glaio cycles.

A relative rise transgression or fall regression in sea-level caused by glaciers and ice sheets can occur by glacio-eustasy, glacio-isostasy, hydro-isostasy or geoidal eustasy. Superimposed on long-term trends in sea-level change caused by tectonic activity, changes in mass distribution and the shape of the Earth, changes in the volume and mass of the hydrosphere, and the effects of variations in the rate of rotation or in the axis of tilting of the Earth, are major sea-level oscillations due to expansion and contraction of the ice sheets.


During expansion of terrestrial ice sheets, water is extracted from the oceans. 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.

glacioisostasy – Wiktionary

In contrast, melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets would cause sea-level rises of 5. In some of the tectonically stable areas of the world, the glacio-eustatic sea-level variations ieostasy been reconstructed.

In Bermuda a stable mid-oceanic carbonate platformuranium-series and amino-acid dating of corals and spe-leothems from fossil coral reefs and beach deposits have been used to reconstruct eustatic sea-level changes during the lastyears. Adapted from Harmon et al, Due to the limitations of local sea-level records, oxygen isotope records from deep ocean sediments have been used to reconstruct sea-level changes.

The oxygen isotope record provides a proxy for ice-sheet volume tlacio glacio-eustatic sea-level change e. Although the curves of oxygen isotope variations through time reflect ice sheet and ocean volume changes, however, absolute changes in water depth are difficult to calculate. Glacio-eustatic sea-level changes are most reliably recorded for the last 13, yr bp, when the Laurentide, Fennoscandian and Isoztasy ice sheets isostady and finally melted.

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In addition, the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets decreased in volume. A record based on high-precision U-Th dating of fossil corals on Barbados Fig. Adapted from Fairbanks, The Late-glacial sea-level rise was interrupted by two major meltwater pulses, at 14, and 11, yr bp Bard et al, Glacio-isostasy is crustal deformation resulting from the build-up and decay of great ice sheets.


The crustal deformation varies with the rigidity of the crust.

The depression at one place must be compensated elsewhere, and hence marginal displacement of the crust involving upward bulging forebulge may be one aspect of this compensation Peltier, 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.

Glacio-isostatic recovery can glacjo considered as a process that accelerates rapidly and then slows gradually.

Glacioeustasy and glacioisostasy – Environmental Change

Glacio-isostatic recovery in response to deglaciation can be subdivided into three phases Andrews, This period is not recorded by direct sea-level data because the area is covered by ice. Relative sea-level variations can be recorded by means of geomorpholo-gical and sedimentological evidence. Some regions that were occupied by ice sheets during the last ice age are still rising at present because of the long glacko time of lithospheric recovery.

In many areas isostatic uplift is considered not to be complete. Highland Glacjo still rises by almost 0. 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 complete response of sea-level in an area can be divided into three segments of the sea-level curve: Post a comment Name