For 260 Ma, the Tethys Ocean covered much of the face of the earth, from the Caribbean domain to the west to the Indonesian domain to the east. The Tethys paleoenvironmental atlas (Dercourt et al., 1993) shows 14 stages of evolution, from the most recent Tortonian (10 Ma) to the oldest, Murgabian, time (260 Ma). From the Late Cretaceous to the present, the Tethys has been closing, with sediments in the Caribbean, Alpine-Himalayan, and Indonesian belts. Prior to that, Tethys had spread and cut Pangea as early as the Permian. Remnants of this ocean are found only in the Central Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea. During each period of time considered here (Tortonian, Late Burdigalian, Late Rupelian, Lutetian, Late Maastrichtian, Late Cenomanian, Early Aptian, Late Tithonian, Early Kimmeridgian, Callovian, Middle Toarcian, Late Norian, Late Anisian, Late Murgabian), Tethys was located in the Northern Hemisphere, forming an E-W oceanic corridor nearly parallel to the equator. The hypothesis that the morphology of Tethys was similar to that of the present Atlantic is accepted in many reconstructions (e.g., Scotese and McKerrow, 1990; Scotese, 1991). Such a picture is an oversimplification, as particularly illustrated in the Cretaceous maps of the atlas. The following Tethyan domains can be defined from west to east: Caribbean, Atlantic Tethys (also named Central Tethys or Central Atlantic), Mediterranean, Eastern Tethys, and Indonesian-Australian. Among them, three particular domains are evident: (1) Indonesian-Australian, (2) Caribbean, and (3) Mediterranean.
Weitere Kapitel dieses Buchs durch Wischen aufrufen
- The Tethys
- Springer US
- Chapter 6A