I am curious if it could be technologically feasible to accelerate Antarctica's rebounding after a partial deglaciation of say 85% of its landmass. I meant rebounding its land made naked after technologically altering its coasts' climate. What would be the necessities to help with this process?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ When you say rebounding do you mean increasing in elevation after freed from the weight of overlying ice? $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    Commented May 24, 2022 at 21:38
  • $\begingroup$ The Great lakes geology is still rebounding from the last ice age, and many of the great lakes are still shrinking as a result. But if you're talking about a kind of terraforming (introducing organisms, trapping sediments, etc.) it's a very different question. $\endgroup$
    – DWKraus
    Commented May 24, 2022 at 23:23
  • $\begingroup$ @Willk Exactly. $\endgroup$ Commented May 25, 2022 at 8:36
  • $\begingroup$ Short answer no, the scale of a continent makes anything humans can do insignificant. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Commented May 25, 2022 at 20:35

1 Answer 1


Make crust more buoyant.

I am recycling the germ of this answer from here. Recycling is good for the earth. How to Renew Old Mountain Ranges

The mountains become lighter, and float higher.

In our world, the Appalachians formed from plate tectonics in the remote Ordovician. But much later, in the Cretaceous, they rose again. Plate tectonics were not responsible for this late rise. Instead, the mountains rose because they became lighter.

Appalachians Get a Face-Lift From Earth's Mantle

The Cullasaja River basin, part of the southern Appalachians in western North Carolina, holds scores of mountains and valleys, but parts of its terrain are more rugged than others... Usually...rugged peaks point to younger terrain with recent or active tectonic mountain-building processes. But geologists know the Appalachians have been tectonically quiet for more than 200 million years. What could have rejuvenated the southern Appalachians? Plate tectonics and the usual mountain-building suspects probably weren't responsible, since the Appalachians were tectonically quiet by that time. But by turning to previous surveys of the region, Gallen found another possible culprit.
Regional uplift driven by the Earth's mantle — the hot, flowing layer below the outer crust — could be the culprit, according to a team of researchers led by geologist Sean Gallen of North Carolina State University.

One way to explain those features is that the dense "root" of the mountain range delaminated, or peeled off, from the rest of the crust around 8 million years ago. "Sometimes the mountain root becomes more dense than the mantle below, and it's not gravitationally stable," Gallen said. "It will basically drip off the base of the crust, and the remaining crust, which is lighter, will bob up on top of the mantle."

The heavy bottom of the mantle falls away into the earth under gravity

  • "delaminates" and separates from the lighter upper parts of the mountains.
    These lighter parts then bob higher.

The same thing could work for Antarctica. The lower heavier parts of the crust fall away into the mantle. The light uppermost materials remaining float higher.

Shaving off part of the underside of the crust would be quite a technological feat. I gather the technicians on your world go in for that kind of thing so maybe this would not be outside their skillset.


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