Academic journal article Science and Children

Temps Affect Elevation

Academic journal article Science and Children

Temps Affect Elevation

Article excerpt

A recent study shows how various regions of North America are kept afloat by heat within Earth's rocky crust--and how much of the continent would sink beneath sea level if not for heat that makes rock buoyant.

Among coastal cities, New York City would sit 435 m (1,427 feet) under the Atlantic, Boston would be 555 m (1,823 feet) deep, Miami would reside 735 m (2,410 feet) undersea, New Orleans would be 736 m (2,416 feet) underwater, and Los Angeles would rest 1,145 m (3,756 feet) beneath the Pacific.

Other cities, however, would rise without the temperature effect. For instance, Seattle would soar to an elevation of 1,813 m (5,949 feet). The study's researchers explain that the rock beneath Seattle is cooler than average for North America; removing the temperature difference would cause the rock to expand and become more buoyant.

"We have shown for the first time that temperature differences within the Earth's crust and upper mantle explain about half of the elevation of any given place in North America," with most of the rest due to differences in what the rocks are made of, says study coauthor David Chapman, a professor of geology and geophysics, and dean of the University of Utah Graduate School. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.