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 the history 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 from Morocco 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. Dorrik Stow 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 dramatic cascade 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.
Preface; 1. Tethys the Sea Goddess; 2. Pangea the Supercontinent and the Birth of Tethys; 3. Extinction, Evolution, and the Great Cycles of Life; 4. Tethyan Fecundity in the Jurassic Seas; 5. Black Death to Black Gold; 6. The Greatest Flood of All Time: Rise and Fall of the Seas; 7. End of an Era: The Debate Continues; 8. Portrait of the Tethys Seaway; 9. Closing Ocean, Rising Mountain; 10. Death Throes of an Ocean; 11. Epilogue: Perspective on the Future; Further Reading; Glossary of terms
Reviews for Vanished Ocean: How Tethys Reshaped the World
A well argued contribution to one of the great scientific debates of the last 30 years. * Jonathan Beard, New Scientist * 'Vanished Ocean' is an ideal book for those who are already widely read in natural science. * Ted Nield, Literary Review * A wealth of nourishing knowledge revealed through the history of Tethyan Realm. * Ted Nield, Geoscientist * 'Vanished Ocean' is an ideal general reader for students and those who are already widely read in natural science. * Ted Nield, Geoscientist * Review from previous edition Vanished Ocean is an ideal book for those who are already widely read in natural science. It should appeal strongly to legions of former science students who, having since made their way in the world as accountants and personnel managers, hanker for the interest ad excitement of a life they once glimpsed but were unable to grasp. * Ted Nield, Literary Review *