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Book Chapter

The Deep-Sea Record: Major Steps in Cenozoic Ocean Evolution

By
W. H. Berger
W. H. Berger
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
La Jolla, California 92093 U.S.A.
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Edith Vincent
Edith Vincent
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
La Jolla, California 92093 U.S.A.
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H. R. Thierstein
H. R. Thierstein
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
La Jolla, California 92093 U.S.A.
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Published:
January 01, 1981

Abstract

The deep-sea record shows that certain changes in the climate-producing “exogenic” system, provoked through tectonic forces and amplified by internal feedback mechanisms, result in step-like transitions from one climatic state to another. Such steps are important as natural experiments, for the purpose of studying response characteristics of the system, and for establishing high-resolution stratigraphy on a global scale.

An important step-producing mechanism is the buildup of disequilibrium potential within transient reservoirs of hydrosphere, biosphere, or reactive lithosphere, which can collapse under certain conditions. Examples of transient reservoirs are ice caps, the water of isolated basins and their deposits, and readily accessible organic carbon accumulations (“dead” carbon sphere and biosphere).

Event analysis attempts to identify the step-producing mechanism. It considers the following questions: is the event part of a trend? Is it a reversible phenomenon, and does it initiate a more stable climatic regime, or a less stable one? The identification of the nature of positive feedback associated with an event is crucial for such analyses.

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SEPM Special Publication

The Deep Sea Drilling Project: A Decade of Progress

John E. Warme
John E. Warme
Colorado School of Mines, Golden Colorado.
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Robert G. Douglas
Robert G. Douglas
University of Southern California, Los Angeles California
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Edward L. Winterer
Edward L. Winterer
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla California
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SEPM Society for Sedimentary Geology
Volume
32
ISBN electronic:
9781565761629
Publication date:
January 01, 1981

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