Publication Abstracts

Gornitz 2005

Gornitz, V., 2005: Eustasy. In Encyclopedia of Coastal Science. M.L. Schwartz, Ed., Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series, Springer, pp. 439-442.

Eustasy refers to a globally uniform change in sea level. Seuss originally attributed eustasy to crustal subsidence and sediment deposition. Removal or addition of water to oceans during glacial/interglacial cycles was another proposed cause. Fairbridge summarized these theories as follows: (1) tectono-eustasy (tectonic deformation of the ocean basins), (2) sedimento-eustasy (loading of crust by sediments), and (3) glacio-eustasy (removel/addition of water to the oceans by expansion or contraction of polar ice sheets). Another process is hydrostatic loading of the seafloor by glacial meltwater. Worldwide compilations of Holocene sea-level curves, however, revealed major regional differences, thus challenging the concept of eustasy.

Seismic reflection profiles on continental shelves showed similar patterns of "sequence boundaries", or regional unconformities, in passive margin sedimentary deposits from many parts of the world. Sequence boundaries have been widely interpreted as marking major episodes of synchronous eustatic sea-level falls, which are summarized in global sea-level curves. Although widely used, these curves have been criticized on grounds that sequence boundaries are uncritically accepted as eustatic, that magnitues of sea-level fluctuations are largely speculative, and that boundaries have not been accurately dated. However, curves from various sources show that certain common features, suggesting that at least some of these proposed sea-level events could be worldwide in scope.

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BibTeX Citation

  author={Gornitz, V.},
  editor={Schwartz, M. L.},
  booktitle={Encyclopedia of Coastal Science},
  address={Dordrecht, the Netherlands},
  series={Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series},

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RIS Citation

ID  - go04300u
AU  - Gornitz, V.
ED  - Schwartz, M. L.
PY  - 2005
TI  - Eustasy
BT  - Encyclopedia of Coastal Science
T3  - Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series
SP  - 439
EP  - 442
PB  - Springer
CY  - Dordrecht, the Netherlands
ER  -

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