Scientists have figured out why Patagonia is rising as the glaciers melt

(ORDO NEWS) — American scientists conducted a detailed seismic study of the bowels of the Earth under Patagonia.

They came to the conclusion that the rapid melting of glaciers in this region led to increased tectonic activity under the continent, which caused the earth’s surface to rise.

Hundreds of kilometers of glaciers covering the Andean peaks in Chile and Argentina are now melting at one of the fastest rates on the planet. The land that was hidden by the ice is rapidly shifting and rising as they disappear.

Scientists from Washington University in St. Louis (USA) have identified a link between the loss of ice mass, the rapid uplift of rocks and the breaking of tectonic plates under Patagonia.

Patagonia is a mountainous region in southern South America. Since the population density there is low, and the risk of earthquakes is quite low, scientists have carried out little seismic research in this region.

Now researchers have noticed that changes in the size of glaciers and the structure of the mantle lead to the rapid uplift of rocks.

New seismic data has shown how a fault in a descending tectonic plate about 97 kilometers below Patagonia is allowing a hot and liquid mantle to flow beneath South America.

When the glaciers above the fault melt, the mass of ice ceases to press on the rocks, so the mantle below them loses its viscosity, and the lithosphere becomes thinner.

Many changes in the relief of Patagonia are associated with these factors, including the rapid uplift of some previously ice-covered areas.

Scientists have found the hottest and most liquid mantle in the fault area, over which the ice has disappeared recently.

It also turned out that the viscosity of the mantle in the south of Patagonia is higher than in the north, so the rate of uplift of rocks increases from south to north.

In this regard, scientists believe that over time, the dynamics of the mantle associated with the fault will intensify even more.

The study of plate tectonics is necessary to better understand the reaction of rocks to glaciation and its disappearance.

More accurate models will allow better reconstruction of recent changes in ice sheets around the world as a result of global warming.

In addition, a huge amount of water released from melted glaciers flows into the ocean, land movement affects this process, so it must be taken into account when predicting the level of the World Ocean.


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