Vanished Ocean: How Tethys Reshaped the World

Paperback | April 24, 2012

byDorrik Stow

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This is a book about an ocean that vanished six million years ago - the ocean of Tethys. Named after a Greek sea nymph, there is a sense of mystery about such a vast, ancient ocean, of which all that remains now are a few little pools, like the Caspian Sea. There were other great oceans in thehistory of the Earth - Iapetus, Panthalassa - but Tethys was the last of them, vanishing a mere moment (in geological terms) before Man came on the scene. Once Tethys stretched across the world. How do we know? And how could such a vast ocean vanish? The clues of its existence are scattered fromMorocco to China. This book tells the story of the ocean, from its origins some 250 million years ago, to its disappearance. It also tells of its impact on life on Earth. The dinosaurs were just beginning to get going when Tethys formed, and they were long dead by the time it disappeared. DorrikStow describes the powerful forces that shaped the ocean; the marine life it once held and the rich deposits of oil that life left behind; the impact of its currents on environment and climate. It is rarely realized how very important oceans are to climate and environment, and therefore to life on Earth. The story of Tethys is also a story of extinctions, and floods, and extraordinary episodes such as the virtual drying up of the Mediterranean, before being filled again by a dramaticcascade of water over the straits of Gibralter. And in the telling of that story, we also learn how geologists put together the clues in rocks and fossils to discover Tethys and its history.

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This is a book about an ocean that vanished six million years ago - the ocean of Tethys. Named after a Greek sea nymph, there is a sense of mystery about such a vast, ancient ocean, of which all that remains now are a few little pools, like the Caspian Sea. There were other great oceans in thehistory of the Earth - Iapetus, Panthalassa...

Dorrik Stow is ECOSSE Chair and Professor at Heriot-Watt University. He was previously Professor of Earth and Ocean Sciences at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton. His main research interests are energy and environmental research for ECOSSE (Edinburgh Consortium for Subsurface Science and Engineering), past environmental c...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pagesPublished:April 24, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199214298

ISBN - 13:9780199214297

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Table of Contents

Preface1. Tethys the Sea Goddess2. Pangea the Supercontinent and the Birth of Tethys3. Extinction, Evolution, and the Great Cycles of Life4. Tethyan Fecundity in the Jurassic Seas5. Black Death to Black Gold6. The Greatest Flood of All Time: Rise and Fall of the Seas7. End of an Era: The Debate Continues8. Portrait of the Tethys Seaway9. Closing Ocean, Rising Mountain10. Death Throes of an Ocean11. Epilogue: Perspective on the FutureFurther ReadingGlossary of terms

Editorial Reviews

"A well argued contribution to one of the great scientific debates of the last 30 years." --Jonathan Beard, New Scientist 29/05/2010