Isostasy and density & gravity

The rate of isostatic rebound depends on
the elastic properties of the lithosphere
(including its thickness) as well as the
mantle viscosity.

Isostatic rebound can be observed if a
large enough load has been added or
removed fast enough.

Density Density is defined as mass per unit volume. Density is the amount of matter within a certain volume. . It is a measure of how tightly packed and how heavy the molecules are in an object.

To determine the density 1.Divide Density = Mass Volume M=DxV V=M/D D=M/V Units for density g/cm3 or g/ml .Find the mass of the object 2.Find the volume of the object 3.

Mineral Densities .

Ф . which results in a dependence of density on pressure (i. of the rock: Ф = Vp / V = 1 . and their porosity is generally lower. Igneous rocks are typically denser than sedimentary rocks because their minerals are more mafic. Porous sediments are readily compressible. Factors Influencing the Density of Rocks 1. V. 3-The fluid in the pore space. The porosity of igneous rocks is generally so small it can be ignored. . Vp. to the bulk volume.e. where Vm is the volume of solid matrix substance . is defined as the ratio of the volume of pore space. 2-The porosity Porosity.Vm /V. depth of burial).Elemental composition and by the internal bonding within the structure.


 s  u . s  u • Ocean basin depth. is underlain by an anti-root of thickness: d(    ) r3  u w   . u r3 • Mountains therefore have deep roots. and that of the d substratum. u. Airy hypothesis (application of Archimedes’ principal) • Two densities. A mountain height h1 is underlain by a root of thickness: r1 h1 u s r1    . h2. s. that of the rigid h1 upper layer.

1 .6 Density contrast =0.3 Density contrast =0. Density and gravity The most important geologic parameter is the density contrast: Density contrast = Density of the target – Ambient density Density contrast =0.

Eötvös correction: effects of the motion of the observation point (such as a moving ship) 7. for example near mountain tops. Other corrections: effects of other assumed crust or mantle density anomalies (“geology” or “geodynamic”) . 4. Gravity and isostasy In order to interpret observed gravity measurements. 3. a series of corrections are often applied. Typically applied by a Fourier method. Terrain correction: accounts for the proximity of mass anomalies to the absovation points. Tidal correction: effect of time-dependent shapes in Earth’s shape 6. Isostatic correction: effect of masses that support loads 5.

Mountain gm Geoid Ocean go go = gmeasured (1 + 0.00031 h) g in gal. height in meters . If the gravimeter is below sea level. the correction must be subtracted.Free Air (=Elevation) Corrections Most free-air gravity anomalies are in the range of a few hundred milligal. while most shipboard corrections are close to one milligal.

Bouguer (=Mass) Corrections Mountain gh Geoid Ocean go The Bouguer correction accounts for the additional gravitational attraction between the material that lies between the gravimeter and the geoid. .

Terrestrial data that are corrected for both elevation and mass (i. or inferred. To apply a Bouguer Bouguer (=Mass) Corrections correction to gravity measurements.e. provided the local relief is not great. density in g cm-3 .00004 h•density) g in gal. free air and Bouguer corrections) Mountain gm should approach the same value of g (gravitational attraction) as that of the geoid.. Geoid Ocean go go = gmeasured (1 . the composition and density of the slab must be known.0. height in meters.

density in g cm3 . Geoid z Ocean go gcorr = gmeas [1 + 2Gz(dseafloor-dseawater)] g in mgal.Bouguer (=Mass) Corrections at Sea The Bouguer correction at sea substitutes for seawater a layer with the same density as the seafloor. height in meters. and makes the data useful for studies of the subsurface. This removes the effects of variations in bottom topography from the gravity data. Mountain gh This correction is often made in nearshore gravity surveys that extend onto land.

. no compensation. Compensated? A strong positive free-air anomaly with a weak Bouguer anomaly indicates a structure is supported by the strength of the lithosphere i. A weak free-air anomaly with a strong negative Bouguer anomaly indicates that the structure is compensated.e.