THE INFLUENCE OF THE PACIFIC OCEAN BASIN ON RECONSTRUCTIONS OF OCEAN BASIN VOLUME AND GLOBAL SEA LEVEL FLUCTUATIONS
We assess the uncertainty in deriving ocean basin volume based on a global plate kinematic model since 230 Ma, and compare the influence of the Pacific Ocean basin to the Atlantic and Indian Ocean basins. Since the Pacific basin is based on predominantly synthetically restored ocean crust during the Mesozoic, we assess uncertainties arising from changes in plate boundary configuration on the mean age, depth, and volume of ocean basins. We also investigate the influence of poorly constrained features (e.g. LIPs, back-arc basins) on the volume of the Pacific basin, by assessing their characteristics at present-day and during well-constrained times during the Cenozoic. Further, we derive a global sea level curve based only on the reconstructions of ocean basin volume (i.e. excluding effects such as dynamic topography and glaciation), and present the influence of each ocean basin and uncertainties through time. We find that by incorporating reasonable predictions for these components during times where ocean basins are predominantly synthetic reconstructions, the mean depth of ocean basins shallow by over 150 m. Such investigations are important for exploring Earth’s evolutionary cycles including transitions from Greenhouse to Icehouse worlds, and continental amalgamation and dispersal.