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How Melting Glaciers Alter Earth's Surface, Spur Quakes, Volcanoes
Wall Street Journal ^ | June 9, 2006 | Sharon Begley

Posted on 06/09/2006 3:16:04 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Imagine the surface of Earth as a giant trampoline that accumulated a slab of ice over the winter, and you can get a sense of what a growing number of scientists say is in store for the planet as glaciers keep melting.

Once the trampoline's ice turns to water that drips over the edges in the warm days of spring, the concave elastic slowly rebounds to its original flat shape. That's how Earth responds as glaciers retreat, and the consequences promise to be ... interesting.

The reason is that one cubic meter of ice weighs just over a ton, and glaciers can be hundreds of meters thick. When they melt and the water runs off, it is literally a weight off Earth's crust. The crust and mantle therefore bounce back, immediately as well as over thousands of years. That "isostatic rebound," according to studies of prehistoric and recent earthquakes and volcanoes, can make the planet's seismic plates slip catastrophically, and cause magma chambers that feed volcanoes to act like bottles of shaken seltzer.

"It's unavoidable that glacial retreat will induce tectonic activity," says geoscientist Allen Glazner of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

The connection between melting glaciers and earthquakes isn't to be confused with a myth that zipped through cyberspace after the 2004 Asian tsunami. It claimed that global warming (which is not even two degrees above historical averages so far) heated magma, causing seismic plates to shift. No.

Instead, the world-wide melting of glaciers portends a seismically active future because of isostatic rebound and also because the meltwater from liquefying glaciers adds mass atop oceanic plates. That creates a teeter-totter effect, further destabilizing the planet's crust. "Recent findings reinforce the idea that the solid earth and the climate are inextricably linked," says Prof. Glazner.

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: climate; climatechange; earthquakes; eruptions; faults; glaciers; globalwarming; tectonicplates; volcanoes

1 posted on 06/09/2006 3:16:06 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

The connection between melting glaciers and earthquakes isn't to be confused with a myth that zipped through cyberspace after the 2004 Asian tsunami. It claimed that global warming (which is not even two degrees above historical averages so far) heated magma, causing seismic plates to shift. No.

Don't confuse these myths, keep them separate.........


2 posted on 06/09/2006 3:21:56 PM PDT by PeterPrinciple (Seeking the truth here folks.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

The old Coyote Road Runner, trampoline, teeter-totter effect. Got it.


3 posted on 06/09/2006 3:22:38 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (DemocRATS! America's Lynch Mob.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Bush's fault for not signing Kyoto.


4 posted on 06/09/2006 3:22:50 PM PDT by COEXERJ145 (Every person has a photographic memory... but some don't have their flash card installed.)
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To: abner; Abundy; AGreatPer; alisasny; ALlRightAllTheTime; AlwaysFree; AnnaSASsyFR; Angelwood; ...

PING!!!

5 posted on 06/09/2006 3:24:44 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (One flag--American. One language--English. One allegiance--to America!)
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To: DaveLoneRanger; cogitator

What say you?


6 posted on 06/09/2006 3:25:50 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (One flag--American. One language--English. One allegiance--to America!)
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To: PeterPrinciple
We might find some old Viking settlements under those glaciers.
7 posted on 06/09/2006 3:26:01 PM PDT by Sybeck1 (Desoto county MS Freeper)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Oh it must be true!

The guy is a friggin' genius!!!

This explains all the volcanoes right here in North Dakota... no doubt leftovers from the last ice age.

Thanks, I needed another good laugh today...

8 posted on 06/09/2006 3:27:50 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly.)
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To: Sybeck1

Finally, JIMMY HOFFA FOUND!


9 posted on 06/09/2006 3:27:54 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Ahah!

So a mountain (where most glaciers are, last tiem I looked) composed of several millions of tons of rock, is going to "move" seismically when a few tons of water/ics are removed from the mountian.....

But the moutain is moving more than every day by the moon's tides........ Yes, land moves also, we just see water more.

Something doesn't add up here.


10 posted on 06/09/2006 3:31:32 PM PDT by Robert A. Cook, PE (I can only donate monthly, but Hillary's ABBCNNBCBS continue to lie every day!)
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To: Robert A. Cook, PE

and the ocean is lifted/dropped, causing immense change in pressure on the sea floor. All of these deltas are dependant on the precise distance from the moon, the sun, and other planetary bodies.

Add in the variables of the density and structure of the materials in the earth's surface, and the pressures they are being subjected to, and .... prediction is mostly a joke.


11 posted on 06/09/2006 3:47:48 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (I will go down with this ship, and I won't put my hands up in surrender.)
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To: PeterPrinciple

If global warming is melting all the glaciers we should not let them go to waste!
This is too important to be left to politicians. They have neither the time, the training, nor the inclination for strategic thought. We can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious fluids.
Mine the glaciers now and mix a drink of pure grain alcohol and rainwater!


12 posted on 06/09/2006 4:03:01 PM PDT by DUMBGRUNT (islam is a mutant meme)
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To: DaveLoneRanger

Me, I suspect it would take melting the size of the ice sheets covering North America and Europe at the end of the ice age to cause earthquakes.


13 posted on 06/09/2006 4:04:06 PM PDT by Daralundy
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To: Sybeck1
We might find some old Viking settlements under those glaciers.

Probably not. Glaciers grind granite into dust. Got to be pretty tough on huts and wooden boats.

14 posted on 06/09/2006 4:09:11 PM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: DUMBGRUNT

LOL!


15 posted on 06/09/2006 4:19:27 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (One flag--American. One language--English. One allegiance--to America!)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Hundreds of meters of ice vs. 12 miles of earth crust.

No contest. (And only applicable to the south pole anyway.)

16 posted on 06/09/2006 4:30:30 PM PDT by mlstier ("The Right to Privacy does not trump the Right to Life" -- Bill O'Reilly)
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To: thackney; Sybeck1

Actually, they are digging at an old viking farm that was covered as the ice advanced. I don't think it was directly covered by ice, though, but rather by the silt and sand pushed by the ice.

http://www.ualberta.ca/~publicas/folio/38/16/03.html


17 posted on 06/09/2006 4:30:30 PM PDT by marron
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To: PeterPrinciple
It claimed that global warming (which is not even two degrees above historical averages so far) heated magma, causing seismic plates to shift

Lets see, global warming is causing volcanos to erupt.
Global warming is only 2 degrees above average.
When Pinatubo erupted, they figured it dropped temperatures about 1 degree for a few years.

My amateur conclusion from this information. Global warming melts glaciers, melted glaciers cause global cooling, global cooling causes glaciers.

18 posted on 06/09/2006 4:46:28 PM PDT by mountn man (Growing old is mandatory. Growing up is optional.)
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To: COEXERJ145
Bush's fault for not signing Kyoto.

Kyoto was during the Clinton years. My understanding is he signed it, but never had it before the Senate. In other words his signature was worth nada, the same as Bush not signing it.

19 posted on 06/09/2006 4:49:59 PM PDT by mountn man (Growing old is mandatory. Growing up is optional.)
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To: mountn man

You know that and I know that but the lefties are to stupid to realize it.


20 posted on 06/09/2006 4:51:30 PM PDT by COEXERJ145 (Every person has a photographic memory... but some don't have their flash card installed.)
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To: mountn man
My understanding is he signed it, but never had it before the Senate.

Clinton didn't even sign it, he had AlGore do it for him. As I recall, he presented either the treaty itself or asked the Senate for a resolution about the treaty. Whichever, it was overwhelmingly defeated, by something like 90 votes.

21 posted on 06/09/2006 5:29:02 PM PDT by jimtorr
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Oh geez, what tripe. The next thing they'll want me to believe is that war is peace and that we've ALWAYS been at war the Oceania.


22 posted on 06/09/2006 5:33:17 PM PDT by Fledermaus (If we are now supposed to be "compassionate conservatives", why aren't their any "smart liberals"?)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
The vast majority of glaciers are on Antarctica and Greenland. Should we expect increased earthquakes and volcanism in those places?
23 posted on 06/09/2006 9:31:31 PM PDT by Mike Darancette (Make them go home!!)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Have the areas where the continental ice sheets covered North America and Eurasia suffered much volcanism and earthquakes since the ice retreated?
24 posted on 06/09/2006 9:35:14 PM PDT by Mike Darancette (Make them go home!!)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

And this is supposed to explain the seismic activity in the Charleston, SC area??????? I don't think so...


25 posted on 06/10/2006 12:10:36 AM PDT by dixie sass
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To: dixie sass

Charleston just rocks, I guess...


26 posted on 06/10/2006 2:40:33 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (One flag--American. One language--English. One allegiance--to America!)
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To: Fledermaus

We are at war with Eastasia. We have always been at war with Eastasia.


27 posted on 06/10/2006 2:41:13 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (One flag--American. One language--English. One allegiance--to America!)
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To: mountn man
The senate rejected debate on that piece of crap by a vote of 95 to 0 in 1997 or 1998, IIRC.
28 posted on 06/10/2006 2:46:19 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (One flag--American. One language--English. One allegiance--to America!)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

So in other words, the Senate slapped it down real hard previously, but its still Bush's Fault.


29 posted on 06/10/2006 3:51:35 PM PDT by mountn man (Growing old is mandatory. Growing up is optional.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
"It's unavoidable that glacial retreat will induce tectonic activity," says geoscientist Allen Glazner of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Huh? I'm sorry, I just can't swallow that, particularly when he uses the term "unavoidable". The science is nowhere that precise. How about everyone in North America jump at the same time and disrupt the earth's rotation?

Further, I consider the source to be suspect because UNC is very liberal.

30 posted on 06/10/2006 4:08:53 PM PDT by ChildOfThe60s (If you can remember the 60s...you weren't really there.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Lol, yes it does. In more ways than one!


31 posted on 06/10/2006 7:21:34 PM PDT by dixie sass
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Help the sky is falling,


32 posted on 06/12/2006 7:41:21 PM PDT by Coleus (Roe v. Wade and Endangered Species Act both passed in 1973, Murder Babies/save trees, birds, algae)
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To: mlstier

"No contest. (And only applicable to the south pole anyway.)"

That's my thought too. HOWEVER, parts of the earth that were covered in ice about 10,000 years ago (over a mile thick here in Seattle - but thank God for global warming) are still on the rebound. It's not much though. And it doesn't mean more earthquakes, etc.


33 posted on 06/12/2006 7:50:42 PM PDT by geopyg ("I would rather have a clean gov't than one where -quote- 1st Amend. rights are respected." J.McCain)
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