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No. 16: Summer 1981

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Paradox Of The Drowned Carbonate Platforms

The biological processes that build carbonate reefs and platforms are so efficient that platform growth potential is easily several times the rate of average geological subsidence or sea-level rise. Therein lies the paradox: the geological record is full of drowned carbonate platforms, inferring that the sea has frequently engulfed them in episodes that must be termed catastrophic. Since the usual long-term geologic processes are clearly inadequate, Schlager proposes several more violent schemes; including massive submarine volcanism (Middle Cretaceous) and extraterrestrial deterioration of the oceanic biological environment (Lake Devonian).

(Schlager, Wolfgang; "The Paradox of Drowned Reefs and Carbonate Platforms," Geological Society of America, Bulletin, 92:197, 1981.)

Reference. See Category ETE2 in our Catalog: Carolina Bays, Mima Mounds, for more on drowned sections of crust. More on this book can be found here.

From Science Frontiers #16, Summer 1981. � 1981-2000 William R. Corliss