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A sea-level test for inertial interchange true polar wander events

Mound, Jon E. and Mitrovica, Jerry X. and Evans, David A. D. and Kirschvink, Joseph L. (1999) A sea-level test for inertial interchange true polar wander events. Geophysical Journal International, 136 (3). F5-F10. ISSN 0956-540X. doi:10.1046/j.1365-246x.1999.00791.x.

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The possibility of inertial interchange true polar wander (IITPW) events, in which the rotation pole moves 90° with respect to the solid Earth in a matter of ∼10 Myr, has been discussed in the geophysical literature for more than three decades. Recent evidence for an IITPW event in Early Cambrian time has renewed interest in the issue; however, the veracity of supporting palaeomagnetic evidence remains a matter of significant debate. We propose that sea-level variations driven by polar wander provide an important independent test for the occurrence of IITPW events. Our numerical simulations of the response of a viscoelastic planet to an IITPW-induced forcing predict sea-level changes of up to 200 m, depending on the details of the earth model, the location of the site relative to the rotation path and the elapsed time for the reorientation of the pole. A preliminary comparison of our predictions to Early–Middle Cambrian sea-level records for Australia, Laurentia and Baltica shows qualitative agreement. This comparison suggests that a definitive test for the Cambrian IITPW hypothesis is possible given a sufficiently accurate, and globally distributed, database of sea-level histories.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
Kirschvink, Joseph L.0000-0001-9486-6689
Additional Information:© 1999 RAS. Accepted 1998 November 25. Received in original form 1998 October 7. Article first published online: 23 Feb. 2002.
Subject Keywords:Cambrian; earth model; polar wander; sea level
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130212-101458766
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Official Citation:Mound, J. E., Mitrovica, J. X., Evans, D. A. D. and Kirschvink, J. L. (1999), A sea-level test for inertial interchange true polar wander events. Geophysical Journal International, 136: F5–F10. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-246x.1999.00791.x
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:36872
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:25 Feb 2013 23:17
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:25

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