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      Ocean Basin Evolution and Global-Scale Plate Reorganization Events Since Pangea Breakup

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          Global continental and ocean basin reconstructions since 200Ma

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            Long-term sea-level fluctuations driven by ocean basin dynamics.

            Earth's long-term sea-level history is characterized by widespread continental flooding in the Cretaceous period (approximately 145 to 65 million years ago), followed by gradual regression of inland seas. However, published estimates of the Late Cretaceous sea-level high differ by half an order of magnitude, from approximately 40 to approximately 250 meters above the present level. The low estimate is based on the stratigraphy of the New Jersey margin. By assimilating marine geophysical data into reconstructions of ancient ocean basins, we model a Late Cretaceous sea level that is 170 (85 to 270) meters higher than it is today. We use a mantle convection model to suggest that New Jersey subsided by 105 to 180 meters in the past 70 million years because of North America's westward passage over the subducted Farallon plate. This mechanism reconciles New Jersey margin-based sea-level estimates with ocean basin reconstructions.
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              Phanerozoic polar wander, palaeogeography and dynamics

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences
                Annu. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci.
                Annual Reviews
                0084-6597
                1545-4495
                June 29 2016
                June 29 2016
                : 44
                : 1
                : 107-138
                Article
                10.1146/annurev-earth-060115-012211
                © 2016

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