Publication Abstracts

Rampino and Caldeira 1993

Rampino, M.R., and K. Caldeira, 1993: Major episodes of geologic change: Correlations, time structure and possible causes. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 114, 215-227, doi:10.1016/0012-821X(93)90026-6.

Published data sets of major geologic events of the past ∼250 Myr (extinction events, sea-level lows, continental flood-basalt eruptions, mountain-building events, abrupt changes in sea-floor spreading, ocean-anoxic and blackshale events and the largest evaporite deposits) have been synthesized (with estimated errors). These events show evidence for a statistically significant periodic component with an underlying periodicity, formally equal to 26.6 Myr, and a recent maximum, close to the present time. The cycle may not be strictly periodic, but a periodicity of ∼30 Myr is robust to probable errors in dating of the geologic events. The intervals of geologic change seem to involve jumps in sea-floor spreading associated with episodic continental rifting, volcanism, enhanced orogeny, global sea-level changes and fluctuations in climate. The period may represent a purely internal earth-pulsation, but evidence of planetesimal impacts at several extinction boundaries, and a possible underlying cycle of 28-36 Myr in crater ages, suggests that highly energetic impacts may be affecting global tectonics. A cyclic increase in the flux of planetesimals might result from the passage of the Solar System through the central plane of the Milky Way Galaxy — an event with a periodicity and mean phasing similar to that detected in the geologic changes.

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BibTeX Citation

  author={Rampino, M. R. and Caldeira, K.},
  title={Major episodes of geologic change: Correlations, time structure and possible causes},
  journal={Earth and Planetary Science Letters},

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RIS Citation

ID  - ra02400t
AU  - Rampino, M. R.
AU  - Caldeira, K.
PY  - 1993
TI  - Major episodes of geologic change: Correlations, time structure and possible causes
JA  - Earth Planet. Sci. Lett.
JO  - Earth and Planetary Science Letters
VL  - 114
SP  - 215
EP  - 227
DO  - 10.1016/0012-821X(93)90026-6
ER  -

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