Hemispheric Asymmetry of the Marine Stratigraphic Record: Conceptual Proof of a Unipolar Ice Cap
Martin A. Perlmutter, Roy E. Plotnick, 2003. "Hemispheric Asymmetry of the Marine Stratigraphic Record: Conceptual Proof of a Unipolar Ice Cap", Climate Controls on Stratigraphy, C. Blaine Cecil, N. Terence Edgar
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The existence of a southern polar ice cap through geologic time can be established by identifying asymmetries in the marine stratigraphic records of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres produced by the interaction of precession-scale sediment-yield cycles and glacially controlled sea-level cycles. Asymmetries should be manifested in the clustering of bed thicknesses and other stratigraphic properties. Hemispheric asymmetry should not exist in an ice-free world. To demonstrate the concept, this paper establishes the foundations for the hypothesis and presents the results of a statistical analysis of the synthetic stratigraphy of a tropical monsoonal area.
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The role of climate as a primary control on stratigraphy is the cornerstone of this volume. The emphasis on climate is in distinct contrast to most previous studies, in which stratigraphic variability has been related to changes in sea level and in tectonic activity. Furthermore, the findings, derived from several years of detailed study of modern and ancient key geologic sections around the world, indicate that traditional depositional models generally do not fully explain the origin of fossil fuels. Although the results of the studies presented in this volume are intended to contribute to the disciplines of sedimentary geology and stratigraphy, the contributors recognize that their results may also contribute to a better understanding of global climate change. The theoretical background of climate control on sediment supply and stratigraphy is presented in the volume. With this background in place, detailed documentation and analysis of climate control on the lithologic variation of a single Middle Pennsylvanian.