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Related to isostasy: eustasy


Equilibrium in the earth's crust such that the forces tending to elevate landmasses balance the forces tending to depress landmasses.

[iso- + Greek stasis, a standstill; see stā- in Indo-European roots + -y.]

i′so·stat′ic (ī′sō-stăt′ĭk) adj.
i′so·stat′i·cal·ly adv.


(aɪˈsɒstəsɪ) or


(Geological Science) the state of balance, or equilibrium, which sections of the earth's lithosphere (whether continental or oceanic) are thought ultimately to achieve when the vertical forces upon them remain unchanged. The lithosphere floats upon the semifluid asthenosphere below. If a section of lithosphere is loaded, as by ice, it will slowly subside to a new equilibrium position; if a section of lithosphere is reduced in mass, as by erosion, it will slowly rise to a new equilibrium position
[C19: iso- + -stasy, from Greek stasis a standing]
isostatic adj


or i•sos•ta•cy

(aɪˈsɒs tə si)

1. the equilibrium of the earth's crust, a condition in which the forces tending to elevate balance those tending to depress.
2. the state in which pressures from every side are equal.
[1889; iso- + -stasy < Greek -stasia; see stasis, -y3]
i•so•stat•ic (ˌaɪ səˈstæt ɪk) adj.


the general equality of pressure in the crust of the earth. — isostatic, adj.
See also: Geology


The state of balance of the Earth’s crust as it floats on the denser mantle. Mountains are balanced by deep roots of crustal rock.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.isostasy - (geology) a general equilibrium of the forces tending to elevate or depress the earth's crust
geology - a science that deals with the history of the earth as recorded in rocks
equilibrium - a stable situation in which forces cancel one another
References in periodicals archive ?
Another idea was to use so-called apparent land uplift maps, which are based on repeated levellings and models of Scandinavian isostasy.
Isostasy relates to the rebound in a land mass after loss of its glacial burden --a phenomenon still occurring since the last ice age--giving the observer an apparent drop in sea level.
The Isostatic Residual Gravity Anomaly Grid has assumed the Airy model of isostasy and removed the gravity contribution from a varying thickness of crust.
Your lucky state of gravitational equilibrium is isostasy.
Global glacial isostasy and the surface of the ice-age Earth: The ICE-5G (VM2) model and GRACE.
2012): The thermal state and strength of the lithosphere in the Spanish Central System and Tajo Basin from crustal heat production and thermal isostasy.
Sjoberg and Bagherbandi (2011) developed and applied a least-squares approach based on solving the Vening Meinesz-Moritz (VMM) inverse problem of isostasy (Sjoberg 2009).
Even the immutable ever-lasting nature of the hills has been eroded away by the modern findings of geomorphology with its isostasy to explain whole mountains and continents rising, shifting, changing over time.
2004, Global glacial isostasy and the surface of the ice-age Earth: The ICE-5G (VM2) Model and GRACE.
Antarctica for which the true height of the earth surface, hidden by ice sheet and reduced by glaciation isostasy is not determinable is excluded from calculation.
Calculating the excess thickness of the crust, a model of the crust below the ranges is constructed using principles of differential isostasy.
A low-density object (such as an iceberg) floating in a higher-density fluid (such as an ocean) will reach a point of buoyant equilibrium, called isostasy.