Recently recognized sea-floor diapiric structures are widespread, ranging from the well-known western Mediterranean structures to similar features in the eastern and western extremities of the Atlantic. A few also have been noted in parts of the Pacific.
It is postulated that the diapiric features in the Atlantic were formed in a narrow but growing Mesozoic proto-Atlantic. The early Atlantic was marked by restricted circulation with resultant deposition of evaporite deposits. In post-Cretaceous time a strong thermohaline circulation pattern was initiated in response to the widening of the Atlantic and the addition of cold polar waters, which changed the sedimentary environment from reducing to oxygenated.