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What is the cause of diastrophism?

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Quick Answer

According to a report in the “Geological Society of America Bulletin,” diastrophism may be caused by contraction of the earth, convection currents, the formation of large magma pockets, sialic material leaking out of the mantle, conversion of sial to mantle and serpentinization or deserpentinization of the upper mantle. Diastrophism can create mountains, archways, depressions and other geological features.

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The University of North Texas explains that there are three different types of deformation that are caused by diastrophism. Folds are formed when the rock is bent by the pressure but does not break. Faults are formed when a rock fractures and is displaced. Joints are similar to faults except that they do not include displacement. Faults are classified into four different types, including strike-slip faults, thrust faults, compressional faults and tensional faults.

Rock deformation is largely dependent upon four different factors, according to the University of North Texas. The confining pressure of a rock, temperature, strength of the rock and amount of time that has passed are all factors that affect deformation.

Lemoyne-Owen College explains that diastrophism can occur suddenly or over a protracted period of time. Forces from rock movement may cause horizontal or vertical pressure on a rock, causing it to shift.

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