Advertisement

Izvestiya, Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics

, Volume 54, Issue 11, pp 1534–1545 | Cite as

Continental Drift and World Ocean Level Variations

  • V. P. TrubitsynEmail author
Article

Abstract—

The ocean level fluctuations relative to continents are caused by both physical processes related to water volume variations and tectonic processes related to changes in the bottom topography. Currently, the main tectonic causes are considered to include the occurrence of midocean ridges and variations in an expansion velocity of the ocean floor with the corresponding rise or fall of the bottom. The specific role of continental drift is not taken into account, or it is given a passive role. This work demonstrates the important role of continents in long-term changes in the ocean level. The numerical model shows the influence of continents on tectonic activity of the mantle and continents “floating” over the mantle with uneven relief, which cause relative variations in the ocean level. While the continent is above the ascending mantle stream, it is raised, and the ocean level relative to the continent falls. After the supercontinent split, the continents diverge, and the ridge previously covered by continents occurs in the ocean. Being close to subduction zones, the continents subside thus increasing the relative ocean level. The model also shows that the continents do not move strictly horizontally along the mantle, but, like floating ships, change their slope depending on the mantle relief.

Keywords:

mantle convection continents drift and ocean level 

Notes

REFERENCES

  1. 1.
    Bouffarda, M., Labrossea, St., Chobletb, G., Fournierc, A., Aubertc, J., and Tackley, P., A particle-in-cell method for studying double-diffusive convection in the liquid layers of planetary interiors, J. Comput. Phys., 2017, vol. 346, pp. 552–571.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Flint, R.F., Glacial and Quaternary Geology, New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1971.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Gable, C.W., O’Connell, R.J., and Travis, B.J., Convection in three dimensions with surface plates: Generation of toroidal flow, J. Geophys. Res., 1991, vol. 96, pp. 8391–8405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Gurnis, M., Large-scale mantle convection and aggregation and dispersal of supercontinents, Nature, 1988, vol. 332, pp. 696–699. https://doi.org/10.1038/332695a0CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Harlow, F.H., PIC and its progeny, Comput. Phys. Commun., 1988, vol. 48, no. 1, pp. 1–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Li, S., Santosh, M., Cen, K., Teng, X., and He, X., Neoarchean convergent margin tectonics associated with microblock amalgamation in the North China craton: Evidence from the Yishui complex, Gondwana Res., 2016, vol. 38, pp. 113–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Miller, K.G., Kominz, M.A., Browning, J.V., et al., Phanerozoic record of global sea-level change, Science, 2005, vol. 310, no. 5752, pp. 1293–1298. doi 10.1126/science.1116412CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Schubert, G., Turcotte, D.L., and Olson, P., Mantle Convection in the Earth and Planets, Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2004.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Sweet, W., Kopp, R., Weaver, Ch., Obeysekera, J., Horton, R., Thieler, E., and Zervas, Ch., Global and regional sea level rise scenarios for the United States, NOAA Tech. Rep. NOS CO-OPS 083, 2017. https://ntrs.nasa.gov/ search.jsp?R=20180001857. Accessed June 12, 2018.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Trubitsyn, V.P., Principles of the tectonics of floating continents, Izv., Phys. Solid Earth, 2000, vol. 36, no. 9, pp. 708–741.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Trubitsyn, V.P., The tectonics of floating continents, Herald Russ. Acad. Sci., 2005, vol. 75, no. 1, pp. 7–18.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Trubitsyn, V.P., Seismic tomography and continental drift, Izv., Phys. Solid Earth, 2008, vol. 44, no. 11, pp. 857–872.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Trubitsyn, V.P., Mooney, W.D., and Abbott, D.A., Cool cratons and thermal blanketts: How continents affect mantle convection, Int. Geol. Rev., 2003, vol. 6, pp. 479–496.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Trubitsyn, V.P., Kaban, M.K., Mooney, W., Reigber, Ch., and Schwintzer, P., Simulation of active tectonic processes for a convecting mantle with moving continents, Geophys. J. Int., 2006, vol. 164, pp. 611–623.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Trubitsyn, V.P., Kaban, M.K., and Rotacher, M., Mechanical and thermal effects of floating continents on the global mantle convection, Phys. Earth Planet Int., 2008, vol. 71, pp. 313–322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Veil, R.M., Mitchem, R.M., and Tompson, S., Global cycles of the relative variations of the sea level, in Seismic Stratigraphy: Application to Hydrocarbon Exploration, Payton, Ch., Ed., Tulsa: Am. Assoc. Petrol. Geologists, 1977, p. 25.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Yang, Q.Y., Santosh, M., and Kim, S.W., Continental outbuilding along the margin of an Archean cratonic nucleus in the North China craton, Precambrian Res., 2017, vol. 168, pp. 125–149. doi https://doi.org/ 10.1016/j.precamres.2017.11.010Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Yoshida, M., Dynamic role of the rheological contrast between cratonic and oceanic lithospheres in the longevity of cratonic lithosphere: A three dimensional numerical study, Tectonophysics, 2012, vols. 532–535, pp. 156–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Yoshida, M. and Santosh, M., Supercontinents, mantle dynamics and plate tectonics: A perspective based on conceptual vs numerical models, Earth Sci. Rev., 2011, vol. 105, pp. 1–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Schmidt Institute of Physics of the Earth, Russian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  2. 2.Institute of Earthquake Prediction Theory and Mathematical Geophysics, Russian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia

Personalised recommendations