diastrophism


diastrophism
diastrophic /duy'euh strof"ik, -stroh"fik/, adj.diastrophically, adv.
/duy as"treuh fiz'euhm/, n. Geol.
1. Also called tectonism. the action of the forces that cause the earth's crust to be deformed, producing continents, mountains, changes of level, etc.
2. any such resulting deformation.
[1880-85; < Gk diastroph(é) a distortion (see DIA-, STROPHE) + -ISM]

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Large-scale deformation of the Earth's crust by natural processes, which leads to the formation of continents and ocean basins, mountain systems and rift valleys, and other features by mechanisms such as lithospheric plate movement (see plate tectonics), volcanic loading, or folding.

The study of diastrophism, or tectonic processes, is the central unifying principle in modern geology and geophysics.

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also called  tectonism 

      large-scale deformation of Earth's crust by natural processes, which leads to the formation of continents and ocean basins, mountain systems, plateaus (plateau), rift valleys (rift valley), and other features by mechanisms such as lithospheric (Earth) plate movement (that is, plate tectonics), volcanic (volcano) loading, or folding (fold).

      The study of diastrophism encompasses the varying responses of the crust to tectonic stresses. These responses include linear or torsional horizontal movements (such as continental drift) and vertical subsidence and uplift of the lithosphere (strain) in response to natural stresses on Earth's surface such as the weight of mountains, lakes, and glaciers. Subsurface conditions also cause subsidence or uplift, known as epeirogeny, over large areas of Earth's surface without deforming rock strata. Such changes include the thickening of the lithosphere by overthrusting, changes in rock density of the lithosphere caused by metamorphism or thermal expansion and contraction, increases in the volume of the asthenosphere (part of the upper mantle supporting the lithosphere) caused by hydration of olivine, and orogenic (orogeny), or mountain-building, movements.

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Universalium. 2010.