noun \ī-ˈsäs-tə-sē\

Definition of ISOSTASY

:  general equilibrium in the earth's crust maintained by a yielding flow of rock material beneath the surface under gravitative stress
:  the quality or state of being subjected to equal pressure from every side
iso·stat·ic \ˌī-sə-ˈsta-tik\ adjective
iso·stat·i·cal·ly \-ˈsta-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Origin of ISOSTASY

International Scientific Vocabulary is- + Greek -stasia condition of standing, from histanai to cause to stand — more at stand
First Known Use: 1889

Other Physics Terms

amplitude, centrifugal, centripetal, convection, gradient, hysteresis, kinetic, lase, quantum

Rhymes with ISOSTASY


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Theory describing the mass balance in the Earth's crust, which treats all large portions of the crust as though they were floating on a denser underlying layer, about 70 mi (110 km) below the surface. In this theory, a mass above sea level is supported below sea level, so high mountains must be regions where the crust is very thick, with deep roots extending into the mantle. This is analogous to an iceberg floating on water, in which the greater part of the iceberg is under water.


Next Word in the Dictionary: isostatic compensation
Previous Word in the Dictionary: isostasist
All Words Near: isostasy

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up isostasy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).