Recent Crustal Movements

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Recent Crustal Movements


movements in the earth’s crust, including uplifting, subsidence, and displacement, that have occurred within the past few hundred years. The movements are identified by geodetic findings (repeated leveling, triangulation, trilateration), hydrographic observations (made with level indicators), geological-geomorphological observations, the comparison of old and new maps or aerial photographs from different years, and the use of historical and archaeological material. Astronomic methods of geodetic surveying and geophysical (seismological, using a tiltmeter) techniques are presently being developed. Some investigators apply the classification “recent” to all crustal movements that have occurred in recorded time. Distinctions are made between recent movements depending on the frequency of occurrence (from seismic waves to secular movements); there are also distinctions between vertical and horizontal movements. Crustal movements occur as a result of endogenic factors, lunar and solar tides in the “solid” earth, periodic and aperiodic processes in the atmosphere and hydrosphere, and human activities.

The velocities of the vertical components of modern crustal movements in the platform regions are usually found to be 0.1–4 mm/yr, but they may be as high as 5–20 mm/yr in the centers of Pleistocene ice sheets (Fennoscandia, Spitsbergen, the northern part of North America) and on the periphery of the present area of glaciation (Greenland). In areas of active mountain building (Cordilleras, Caucasus, Carpathians, Tien-Shan), recent crystal movements are sharply differentiated, depending on the geological structures; velocities here reach 5–15 mm/yr for the vertical components and 10–30 mm/yr for the horizontal components. In seismic and volcanic areas, the velocities increase by several orders of magnitude during periods of activity.

Recent crustal movements must be studied when planning and carrying out large-scale industrial and civil construction (cities, ports, hydroelectric power plants, reservoirs) and when working deposits of coal, petroleum, gas, and groundwater. Findings can be used to work out methods of predicting earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and other phenomena.

Recent crustal movements are being studied in many countries (USSR, Japan, Canada, United States, Finland). A map of recent vertical crustal movements in Eastern Europe has been published. The International Commission on Recent Crustal Movements furthers cooperation in the study of these movements on a global scale.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
and mitigation; and Recent crustal movements. More than 80 papers
Randjarv, J.: 1968, The character and velocities of recent crustal movements in the Baltic regions.
Recent crustal movements are also geodetically monitored in this area at selected geodynamic polygons (Cacon and Dyjor, 1995, 2002; Cacon, 1998; Schenk et al., 1998, 2002a; and references therein).
Vyskocil, P.: 1996, Recent crustal movements, their properties and results of studies in the territory of Czech Republic.
and Dyjor, S.: 2002, Recent crustal movements in Late Tertiary tectonic zones of the Sudetes and northern Sudetic Foreland.
and Oberc, J.: 1981, Recent crustal movements in SW Poland causing possible damage in mines and industrial objects, (in Polish), III Symp.
and Kujal, R.: 2009, Investigations of the recent crustal movements of the Eastern part of the Bohemian Massif using GPS technology.
Recent crustal movements in main fault zones of the Sudetes and Fore-Sudetic Block have been measured using GPS techniques since 1996, within the GEOSUD geodynamic network (Cacon and Dyjor, 2002).
and Oberc, J.: 1981, Recent crustal movements in Southwestern Poland causing possible damage in mines and in industrial objects, Recent and Neotectonic Crustal Movements in Poland (in Polish), Vol.
Recent crustal movements that exist within the Bohemian Massif depend on compression fields, originating from the Alpine orogene.
Recent crustal movements are geodetically monitored in the region at selected geodynamic test areas (Cacon and Dyjor, 1995, 2002; Cacon, 1998; Schenk et al., 1998, 2002a; Kontny, 2003; and references therein).

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