Research NewsGeophysics

Did a Plate Tectonic Surge Flood Earth?

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Science  06 Dec 1996:
Vol. 274, Issue 5293, pp. 1611
DOI: 10.1126/science.274.5293.1611


About 100 million years ago, the seas ruled the Earth, rising perhaps 200 meters higher than today. One theory has suggested that a rising plume of hot material from deep within the Earth triggered these surging seas, as well as other unexplained Cretaceous events, such as a warm climate and bursts of volcanism. But some geophysicists now challenge that idea, saying that the drowned continents of the Cretaceous were due to ordinary plate motions rather than deep convulsions of the Earth.