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Rosenfeld and Pindell (2002, 2003) hypothesized that late Paleocene-early Eocene docking of the northward migrating Caribbean Plate blocked the 200 km strait between the Florida/Bahamas Block and Yucatan, thereby isolating the Gulf of Mexico from the world ocean (Fig. 1). Within several thousand years, net evaporation in the Gulf lowered its level by about 2,000 meters and formed a land bridge across the eastern Gulf that encompassed Yucatan, Florida, Cuba, and the Bahamas (Fig. 2). Formation of the land bridge was enhanced by isostatic uplift of the basin’s margins as sea level dropped. After about...

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