Neotectonic Caves


Neotectonic Caves are formed by a special mechanism typical for Scandinavia.

This area was covered with several hundred meters of ice during the ice ages. The plates are swimming in the molten rocks of the upper mantle, which are not liquid in the common sense, but molten and able to flow very very slow. The heavy weight pushed the whole plate down, like a boat, swimming in water, which is entered by a passenger. Thousands of years, while the ice shield existed, the whole package moved slowly downwards.

This mechanism is called isostacy, the theory of the balance between the gravity, which tends to depress, and the buoyancy, which tends to raise the crust.

8,000 years ago the end of the last ice age came. In a short time of several hundred years the ice melted and thus lowered the weight of the plate. It started to move up driven by its buoyancy, in order to reach the isostatic state. This movement is still going on moving the whole scandinavian plate several centimeters every year. Today it is possible to measure the amount using satellites.

This is an enormous force, producing stress inside the rocks. The results are earthquakes, faults, and sometimes neotectonic caves.

This scenario gives us another reason why those caves are called neotectonic caves. Neo means new, and the caves were formed during the last 8,000 years, which is very new for cave.

Examples


See also


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