Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ice Sheets Caused Massive Sea Level Change During Late Cretaceous

Date:
March 1, 2004
Source:
National Science Foundation
Summary:
Scientists using cores drilled from the New Jersey coastal plain have found that ice sheets likely caused massive sea level change during the Late Cretaceous Period -an interval previously thought to be ice-free.

Arlington, Va. -- Scientists using cores drilled from the New Jersey coastal plain have found that ice sheets likely caused massive sea level change during the Late Cretaceous Period -an interval previously thought to be ice-free. The scientists, who will publish their results in the March-April issue of the Geological Society of America (GSA) Bulletin, assert that either ice sheets grew and decayed in that greenhouse world or our understanding of sea level mechanisms is fundamentally flawed.

Led by Kenneth Miller of Rutgers University, the scientists examined cores from Ocean Drilling Program Leg 174AX, an onshore extension of an offshore expedition. They found indications that sea level changes were large (more than 25 meters) and rapid (occurring on scales ranging from thousands to less than a million years) during the Late Cretaceous greenhouse world (99- 65 million years ago).

"The onshore-offshore drilling forms a important, coordinated link to study the history of sedimentation along this area of the U.S. continental margin," said Leonard Johnson, director of the National Science Foundation (NSF)'s continental dynamics program, which co-funded the research with NSF's ocean drilling program.

Analyses indicate minimal tectonic effects on the New Jersey Coastal Plain at this time, the scientists say. The other explanation for such large, rapid changes is the waxing and waning of large continental ice sheets, they maintain. What is perplexing, however, is that such large and rapid sea-level changes occurred during an interval thought to be ice free.

"Our studies of cores in New Jersey provide one of the best- dated estimates of how fast and how much sea level changed during the greenhouse world of the Late Cretaceous," said Miller. "The Earth was certainly much warmer at that time, probably due to high carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. At the same time, our estimates require that ice sheets grew and decayed on Antarctica during this period of peak warmth, which has been a previously heretical view."

The scientists propose that the ice sheets were restricted in area to Antarctica and were ephemeral. The ice sheets would not have reached the Antarctic coast, explaining the relative warmth in Antarctica, but still could significantly alter global sea level.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Science Foundation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Science Foundation. "Ice Sheets Caused Massive Sea Level Change During Late Cretaceous." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 March 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/02/040229231619.htm>.
National Science Foundation. (2004, March 1). Ice Sheets Caused Massive Sea Level Change During Late Cretaceous. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/02/040229231619.htm
National Science Foundation. "Ice Sheets Caused Massive Sea Level Change During Late Cretaceous." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/02/040229231619.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Hundreds of Thousands Hit NYC Streets to Protest Climate Change

Hundreds of Thousands Hit NYC Streets to Protest Climate Change

AFP (Sep. 22, 2014) Celebrities, political leaders and the masses rallied in New York and across the globe demanding urgent action on climate change, with organizers saying 600,000 people hit the streets. Duration: 01:19 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
French FM Urges 'powerful' Response to Global Warming

French FM Urges 'powerful' Response to Global Warming

AFP (Sep. 22, 2014) French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Monday warned about the potential "catastrophe" if global warming was not dealt with in a "powerful" way. Duration: 01:08 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ongoing Drought, Fighting Put Somalia at Risk of Famine

Ongoing Drought, Fighting Put Somalia at Risk of Famine

AFP (Sep. 22, 2014) After a year of poor rains and heavy fighting Somalia is again at risk of famine, just three years after food shortages killed 260,000 people. Duration: 01:10 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rockefeller Oil Heirs Switching To Clean Energy

Rockefeller Oil Heirs Switching To Clean Energy

Newsy (Sep. 22, 2014) The Rockefellers — heirs to an oil fortune that made the family name a symbol of American wealth — are switching from fossil fuels to clean energy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins