from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.
- noun The process of deformation by which the major features of the earth's crust, including continents, mountains, ocean beds, folds, and faults, are formed.
from The Century Dictionary.
- noun In geology, a general term suggested by J. W. Powell for all the varieties of deformation of the earth's crust.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
- noun geology The
deformationof the Earth's crust to form the continents, mountainsand other large features
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- noun the process of deformation that produces continents and ocean basins in the earth's crust
from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
[From Greek diastrophē, distortion, from diastrephein, to distort : dia-, apart; see dia– + strephein, to twist; see streb(h)- in Indo-European roots.]
Possibly diastrophism broke the original continent into small islands which would not support so large an animal population; or the drying-out may have progressed still further.