An upper bound on lithosphere thickness from glacio-isostatic adjustment in Fennoscandia

Main Article Content

D. Wolf


The three-layer Maxwell half-space model of the Earth and a disk-load approximation of the Weichselian deglaciation history of Fennoscandia are used to calculate glacio-isostatic adjustment for this region. The calculations include the effects of deglaciation-induced geoid perturbations and eustatic sea-level rise and regard (1) lithosphere thickness, (2) asthenosphere viscosity and (3) ice thickness as the free model parameters. Numerical values of parameters (1)-(3) are estimated by calculating the past land uplift and present land-uplift rate observed in central Sweden (glaciation centre) and the past land uplift and past land tilt observed in southern Finland (glaciation margin). The uniqueness of the estimates and their sensitivity to uncertainties in (4) subasthenosphere viscosity, (5) ice cross-section and (6) deglaciation time are also assessed. The principal result of the investigation is that it suggests an upper bound of 80 km on the thickness of the Fennoscandian lithosphere.

Google Scholar         ARK:



Article Details

How to Cite
Wolf, D. (1987). An upper bound on lithosphere thickness from glacio-isostatic adjustment in Fennoscandia. Journal of Geophysics, 61(1), 141-149. Retrieved from
Bookmark and Share


Abramowitz, M., Stegun, I.A. (Eds.) (1965) Handbook of mathematical functions. Dover, New York

Andersen, B.G. (1981) Late Weichselian ice sheets in Eurasia and Greenland. In: Denton, G.H., Hughes, T.J. (Eds.) The last great ice sheets, pp. 1-65. John Wiley, New York

Andrews, J.T. (1970) A geomorphological study of post-glacial uplift with particular reference to Arctic Canada. London: Institute of British Geographers

Balling, N. (1980) The land uplift in Fennoscandia, gravity field anomalies and isostasy. In: Marner, N.-A. (Ed.) Earth rheology, isostasy, and eustasy, pp. 297-321. John Wiley, Chichester

Bemmelen, R.W. van, Berlage, H.P., jr. (1935) Versuch einer mathematischen Behandlung geotektonischer Bewegungen unter besonderer Beriicksichtigung der Undationstheorie. Gerlands Beitr. Geophys. 43:19-55

Bullen, K.E. (1963) An introduction to the theory of seismology, 3rd edn. Cambridge University Press

Cathles, L.M. (1975) The viscosity of the earth's mantle. Princeton University Press

Daly, R.A. (1934) The changing world of the ice age. Yale University Press

Donner, J. (1980) The determination and dating of synchronous Late Quaternary shorelines in Fennoscandia. In: Marner, N.-A. (Ed.) Earth rheology, isostasy, and eustasy, pp. 285-293. John Wiley, Chichester

Eronen, M. (1983) Late Weichselian and Holocene shore displacement in Finland. In: Smith, D.E., Dawson, A.G. (Eds.) Shorelines and isostasy, pp. 183-207. Academic Press, London

Farrell, W.E. (1972) Deformation of the earth by surface loads. Rev. Geophys. Space Phys. 10:761-797

Farrell, W.E., Clark, J.A. (1976) On postglacial sea level. Geophys. J. R. Astron. Soc. 46:647-667

Geer, E.H. de (1954) Skandinaviens geokronologi. Geol. Faren. Stockholm Farh. 76:299-329

Haskell, N.A. (1935) The motion of a viscous fluid under a surface load. Physics 6:265-269

Hyviirinen, H., Eronen, M. (1979) The Quaternary history of the Baltic, the northern part. Acta Univ. Upsala Symp. Upsala Ann. Quing. Cel. 1:7-27

Kiiiiriiiinen, E. (1966) The second levelling of Finland in 1935-1955. Publ. Finn. Geod. Inst. 61:1-313

Liden, R. (1938) Den senkvartara strandforskjutningens forlopp och kronologi i Angermanland. Geol. Faren. Stockholm Farh. 60:397-404

McConnell, R.K., jr. (1968) Viscosity of the mantle from relaxation time spectra of isostatic adjustment. J. Geophys. Res. 73:7089-7105

Nadai, A. (1963) Theory offlow and fracture of solids, Vol. 2. McGraw-Hill, New York

Nansen, F. (1921) The strandflat and isostasy. Avh. Norske Vid.-Akad. Math.-Naturvid. Kl. 11:1-313

Niskanen, E. (1939) On the upheaval ofland in Fennoscandia. Ann. Acad. Sci. Fenn. Ser. A 53:1-30

Niskanen, E. (1943) On the deformation of the earth's crust under the weight of a glacial ice-load and related phenomena. Ann. Acad. Sci. Fenn. Ser. A3 7:1-59

Niskanen, E. (1949) On the elastic resistance of the earth's crust. Ann. Acad. Sci. Fenn. Ser. A3 21:1-23

Nye, J.F. (1952) A method of calculating the thickness of the ice-sheets. Nature 169:529-530

Orowan, E. (1949) Contribution to discussion at joint meeting of the British Glaciological Society, the Rheologists' Club and the Institute of Metals. J. Glaciol. 1:231-236

Parsons, B.E. (1972) Changes in the earth's shape. Ph.D. thesis. Department of Geodesy and Geophysics, Cambridge University

Paterson, W.S.B. (1981) The physics of glaciers, 2nd edn. Pergamon Press, Oxford

Peltier, W.R. (1984) The thickness of the continental lithosphere. J. Geophys. Res. 89:11303-11316

Peltier, W.R., Andrews, J.T. (1976) Glacial-isostatic adjustment - 1. The forward problem. Geophys. J. R. Astron. Soc. 46:605-646

Quinlan, G., Beaumont, C. (1982) The deglaciation of Atlantic Canada as reconstructed from the postglacial relative sea-level record. Can. J. Earth Sci. 19:2232-2246

Sabadini, R., Yuen, D.A., Portney, M. (1986) The effects of upper-mantle lateral heterogeneities on postglacial rebound. Geophys. Res. Lett. 13:337-340

Sauramo, M. (1958) Die Geschichte der Ostsee. Ann. Acad. Sci. Fenn. Ser. A3 51:1-522

Sneddon, I.A. (1951) Fourier transforms. McGraw-Hill, New York

Terazawa, K. (1916) On periodic disturbance of level arising from the load of neighbouring oceanic tides. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. London Ser. A 217:35-50

Walcott, R.I. (1970) Isostatic response to loading of the crust in Canada. Can. J. Earth Sci. 7:716-727

Walcott, R.I. (1972) Past sea levels, eustasy and deformation of the earth. Quat. Res. 2:1-14

Walcott, R.I. (1980) Rheological models and observational data of glacioisostatic rebound. In: Momer, N.A. (Ed.) Earth rheology, isostasy, and eustasy, pp. 3-10. John Wiley, Chichester

Wolf, D. (1984) The relaxation of spherical and flat Maxwell earth models and effects due to the presence of the lithosphere. J. Geophys. 56:24-33

Wolf, D. (1985a) The normal modes of a layered, incompressible Maxwell half-space. J. Geophys. 57:106-117

Wolf, D. (1985b) An improved estimate of lithospheric thickness based on a reinterpretation of tilt data from Pleistocene Lake Algonquin. Can. J. Earth Sci. 22:768-773

Wolf, D. (1986a) Glacio-isostatic adjustment in Fennoscandia revisited. J. Geophys. 59:42-48

Wolf, D. (1986b) A method of calculating lithosphere thickness from observations of deglacial land uplift and tilt. J. Geophys. 60:28-32

Wolf, D. (1986c) On deglaciation-induced perturbations of the geoid. Can. J. Earth Sci. 23:269-272

Wu, P., Peltier, W.R. (1983) Glacial isostatic adjustment and the free air gravity anomaly as a constraint on deep mantle viscosity. Geophys. J. R. Astron. Soc. 74:377-449