Hummocky cross-stratification is believed to be one of the diagnostic sedimentary structures of storm-dominated shallow-marine environments. The wavelength of this stratification increases with the increase in bed thickness of tempestites and decreases with the increase in paleowater depth. The hummocky cross-stratification wavelength is interpreted to be a function of the orbital diameters of storm-induced oscillatory currents near seafloors and may reflect the intensity of storm waves. Temporal variation in the wavelength was investigated as a proxy for storm intensity through Mesozoic and Cenozoic time. The hummocky cross-stratification wavelength shows a secular change, and a major peak in the middle Cretaceous. This variation largely corresponds to one of the two greenhouse and icehouse supercycles of global environmental changes during the Phanerozoic and provides a geologic perspective of the possible increase in storm intensity with an ongoing greenhouse phase in the future.

You do not currently have access to this article.