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Ice Cap Meltdown -> Land Upheaval -> Earthquakes?

  1. Dec 16, 2008 #1
    I've read that if and when the Antarctic icecap melts off, the land will rise up due to having a very massive amount of ice melt off. This sounds like it could effect the tectonic plates and the bedrock. Is this land upheaval apt to cause Earth quakes and maybe even volcanism?
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 17, 2008 #2


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    It's called isostatic uplift/rebound, and it's still happening (albeit slowly) in areas that were covered by ice a few thousand years ago. The UK for instance.
    Looks like it can promote earthquakes:

    I'd bet that in an area where volcanism already exists, it may increase its likelihood, but it's not really likely to generate any melt and cause volcanism where there was none before.
  4. Dec 17, 2008 #3
    If you check out this volcanic tracer record from the GISP-II ice core you will find unusual high volcanic activity during the last glacial transition, for instance about 10-11,000 years ago, around 12,700 years ago, 13,600 years ago, 15,000-17,000 years ago, etc,etc versus virtually none in prolongued periods. But I'm not sure about the causation, what is cause and what is effect?
  5. Dec 17, 2008 #4


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    Interesting. None of the volcanic areas I can think of were under ice sheets at any point (except kamchatka perhaps?). It's hard to imagine the increased volcanism being a direct effect.
  6. Dec 17, 2008 #5
    Not in Kamchatka, there was no ice sheet over there. The maximum extent of the Eurasian Weichselian ice sheet during the last glacial maximum (as posted earlier, source Hubberten et al 2004):


    Known areas with higher volcanic activity were the Volcan Eifel in Germany and the Massif Central in France

    I do note that the mentioned active phases in the Volcan Eifel seem to be co dated with the up spikes of the 100,000 years seesaw cycle:

    http://www.awi.de/typo3temp/pics/91b26f7eef.jpg [Broken]


    All perhaps roughly in the upspikes of the interglacials? But these dates are very coarse, but worth to narrow it down and see if there is a real correlation.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
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