The geodynamics of Phanerozoic sea level change
The sequence stratigraphy model, underpinning the chronology of Phanerozoic sea level change established from the rock record, relies on continental shelves and interior basins being vertically stable with respect to the Earth's deep interior. However, advances in modelling the solid Earth over the last 25 years have shown that vertical displacements of the Earth's surface may occur in the absence of significant associated deformation. Solid Earth processes affecting sea level include elastic flexure, postglacial rebound, dynamic topography, changes in the volume of ocean basins and changes in the amount of water stored in the Earth's mantle. Together, these processes span spatial scales between ~100 km and 10,000 km, and temporal scales from geologically instantaneous (< 0.1 Myr) to ~1 Gyr. This large range of spatial and temporal scales imply that 1/ solid Earth dynamics may be relevant to all stratigraphic cycles, 2/ on geologically short time scales, both solid Earth and climate processes affect sea level and 3/ on long time scales, establishing the chronology of global ( eustatic ) Phanerozoic sea levels requires a good control on regional ( eurybatic ) sea level change. This symposium aims to revisit sea level change in the light of solid Earth processes by bringing observations together with the geodynamic and climatological processes that affect sea level.
Nicolas Flament, Bilal Haq and Clint Conrad