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Ten metre global sea-level change associated with South Atlantic Aptian salt depositionCatastrophic filling of the kind of subsea-level depression commonly formed during ocean opening and ocean closing is the only mechanism, other than glacial eustacy, capable of rapidly lowering sea level. Aptian evaporites overlying oceanic crust on both sides of the South Atlantic between the Walvis Ridge and the Niger Delta were deposited in such a basin by repeated spilling of ocean water. The final flooding of the South Atlantic north of the Walvis Ridge extracted about 14 x 10 to the 8th cu km of sea water from the world ocean and effected about 10 m of sea-level lowering. It is speculated that the middle Aptian unconformity, which is one of the more prominent world-wide unconformities, is associated with this sea-level drop of about 10 m. A corollary of this interpretation is that if the catastrophic sea-level lowerings during the Mesozoic era had amplitudes substantially greater than 10 m, then a glacial mechanism to explain them would seem inescapable although the stratigraphic record has not yet yielded any evidence of such glaciation.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Burke, Kevin
(Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston; Houston, University TX, United States)
Sengor, A. M. Celal
(Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston, TX; Istanbul Technical University Turkey)
Date Acquired
August 14, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1988
Publication Information
Publication: Marine Geology
Volume: 83
ISSN: 0025-3227
Subject Category
Accession Number
Funding Number(s)
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