Research Article

Space-Geodetic Constraints on Glacial Isostatic Adjustment in Fennoscandia

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Science  23 Mar 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5512, pp. 2381-2385
DOI: 10.1126/science.1057022

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Analysis of Global Positioning System (GPS) data demonstrates that ongoing three-dimensional crustal deformation in Fennoscandia is dominated by glacial isostatic adjustment. Our comparison of these GPS observations with numerical predictions yields an Earth model that satisfies independent geologic constraints and bounds both the average viscosity in the upper mantle (5 × 1020 to 1 × 1021 pascal seconds) and the elastic thickness of the lithosphere (90 to 170 kilometers). We combined GPS-derived radial motions with Fennoscandian tide gauge records to estimate a regional sea surface rise of 2.1 ± 0.3 mm/year. Furthermore, ongoing horizontal tectonic motions greater than ∼1 mm/year are ruled out on the basis of the GPS-derived three-dimensional crustal velocity field.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: g.a.milne{at}

  • Present address: Institute of Geodesy and Cartography, Helsinki University of Technology, FI-02015, TKK, Finland.

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