The challenge of reconstructing the Phanerozoic sea level and the Pacific Basin tectonics

Dmitry Ruban 1 , Clinton Conrad 2  and A. van Loon 3
  • 1 Division of Mineralogy and Petrography, Geology and Geography Faculty, Southern Federal University, Zorge Street 40, Rostov-na-Donu, 344090, Russia
  • 2 Department of Geology and Geophysics, SOEST, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 1680 East-West Road, Honolulu, HI, 96822, USA
  • 3 Institute of Geology, Adam Mickiewicz University, Maków Polnych 16, 61-606 Poznań, Poland

The challenge of reconstructing the Phanerozoic sea level and the Pacific Basin tectonics

The relationships between the interior dynamics of our planet and global sea level can be unravelled when plate-tectonic reconstructions are available for the entire Earth. A review of global tectonics reveals significant deficiencies in our understanding of the geodynamic evolution of the Pacific (Panthalassa or Proto-Pacific) during the Cambrian-Jurassic time-span. This particular, but major, shortcoming presents a true challenge for modern geoscientists, who are encouraged to produce a detailed plate-tectonic reconstruction of the Pacific for the pre-Cretaceous in order to advance our understanding of Phanerozoic sea-level change. A set of approaches, including geological/geophysical modelling, investigation of accretionary prisms, palaeobiogeographical studies, and careful examination of eustatic sea-level changes, are proposed that will help geoscientists tackle the challenge of understanding how Pacific geodynamics affected global sea level during the Phanerozoic.

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