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Isostasy and its Meaning

Gutenberg, B. (1949) Isostasy and its Meaning. Tellus, 1 (3). pp. 1-5. ISSN 0280-6495. doi:10.3402/tellusa.v1i3.8511.

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The theory of isostasy supposes that, in regions which have not been disturbed recently, each vertical column of the earth's crust with a certain minimum radius and extending to a depth of about 100 km has approximately the same mass. To find the deviation from this approximation in a given region, the density must be assumed as a function of depth. Such assumptions used at present for calculations are discussed critically. The resulting errors are greater than it is normally beleaved; errors in the calculated isostatic gravity anomalies exceeding ten milligals must be expected in certain regions. Systematic errors result from the usual assumption in routine calculations that the mean density in the earth's crustal layers under the bottom of the Pacific and in the continental areas is the same, and that in both the difference between the density of the layers above about 30 km and the layers below this depth is 0.6. The processes producing and maintaining isostatic equilibrium are discussed.

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Additional Information:This journal is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC-BY 4.0) License. (Manuscript received June 25, 1949) Contribution No. 504, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Geological Sciences, Pasadena, California.
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Caltech Division of Geological Sciences504
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150810-095107157
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Official Citation:Gutenberg, B. (1949), Isostasy and its Meaning. Tellus, 1: 1–5. doi:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:59346
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:10 Aug 2015 17:01
Last Modified:29 Apr 2022 18:18

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