Definitions and images to illustrate geological terms, links to images and website articles


Cryoseisms, frost quakes, or ice quakes are non-tectonic seismic events caused by the expansion of water that has frozen in rock cracks or soils. The expansion of water on freezing generates stresses in the surrounding rock, and this stress may be released explosively in a cryoseism. By a different mechanism, cryoseims can accompany glacial surges when ice at the base of a glacier, which had been frozen to bedrock moves suddenly when released by a thin layer of lubricating meltwater.

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