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By M. J. Keen and J. A. Jacobs (Auth.)

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Isostasy: the assumptions o f Airy (left) and Pratt. Note that p c (p is density) is constant above the lower boundary of the Airy figure, but p l f p 2 , p n are different from each other above the lower boundary o f the Pratt figure (after G. D. G a r l a n d ^ ) . ( 9 )2 regardless of location. This can be visualized in two ways (Fig. 2 . 5 ) . Light crustal material of uniform density may project downwards into a dense substratum wherever the surface is elevated. This is Airy's hypothesis. Alternatively different columns may reach the same level below sea-level but have different densities —Pratt's hypothesis.

The value of the acceleration g towards the centre of the earth is not constant over the surface of the earth, and the direction of the acceleration towards the centre of the earth does not coincide with the direction which is normal to the earth's surface. The values of g over the earth's surface may depend upon the variation in density throughout the earth, and any distributions proposed must lead to the observed values of g. It will be seen that it is easier to measure changes in the values of g than to measure the absolute value of g itself.

E. Cok). depth from a few metres to several hundreds of metres; off Nova Scotia, where the shelf is 200 km wide the break is at a depth of about 160 m, ( 4 8 3 3 2) whilst off west Greenland in Baffin Bay it is at a depth of 800 m ' (Fig. 2). The morphology of the shelf depends too upon the underlying rocks, the nature of the erosional or depositional processes and the structural features such as faults. It may be most complicated, as is that off Nova Scotia, shown in Fig. 3. T h e continental shelves of regions of high northern latitudes are often complicated by trough-like features some hundreds of metres deep which may run either perpendicular or ( 1 4 2) parallel to the edge of the shelf.

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