AskDefine | Define diastrophism

Dictionary Definition

diastrophism n : the process of deformation that produces continents and ocean basins in the earth's crust

Extensive Definition

Diastrophism is a general term that refers to deformation of the Earth's crust.
The term covers movement of solid crust material (as opposed to molten material which is volcanism). The movements cause rock to be bent or broken as a result of pressures exterted by plate tectonics or the rise of magma from below.
The most obvious evidence of disastrophic movement can be seen in sedimentary rock where bent, broken or non-horizontal strata provide visual proof of movement. Diastrophic movement can be classified as two types, folding and faulting.
See Structural geology for more information.


  • Physical Geography: A Landscape Appreciation
diastrophism in Japanese: 地殻変動
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