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Earth System Dynamics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2019-61
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2019-61
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 25 Oct 2019

Submitted as: research article | 25 Oct 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Earth System Dynamics (ESD).

Back to the Future II: Tidal evolution of four supercontinent scenarios

Hannah S. Davies1,2, J. A. Mattias Green3, and Joao C. Duarte1,2,4 Hannah S. Davies et al.
  • 1Instituto Dom Luiz (IDL), Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa, Campo Grande, 1749-016, Lisboa, Portugal
  • 2Departamento de Geologia, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa, Campo Grande, 1749-016, Lisboa, Portugal
  • 3School of Ocean Sciences, Bangor University, Askew St, Menai Bridge LL59 5AB, UK
  • 4School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC 3800, Victoria, Australia

Abstract. The Earth is currently 180 Ma into a supercontinent cycle that began with the breakup of Pangea, and will end in around 200–250 Ma (Mega-annum) in the future, as the next supercontinent forms. As the continents move around the planet, they change the geometry of ocean basins, and thereby modify their resonant properties. In doing so oceans move through tidal resonance, causing the global tides to be profoundly affected. Here, we use a dedicated and established global tidal model to simulate the evolution of tides during four future supercontinent scenarios. We show that the number of tidal resonances on Earth vary between 1 and 5 in a supercontinent cycle, and that they last for no longer than 20 Ma. They occur in opening basins after about 140–180 Ma, an age equivalent to the Present-Day Atlantic Ocean, which is near resonance for the dominating semi-diurnal tide. They also occur when an ocean basin is closing, highlighting that in its lifetime, a large ocean basin – its history described by the Wilson cycle – may go through two resonances: one when opening and one when closing. The results further support the existence of a super-tidal cycle associated with the supercontinent cycle, and gives a deep-time proxy for global tidal energetics.

Hannah S. Davies et al.
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Hannah S. Davies et al.
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S1. Pangea Ultima M2 tidal amplitude in 20 myr increments Hannah S. Davies, J.A. Mattias Green, Joao C. Duarte https://doi.org/10.5446/43738

S2. Novopangea M2 tidal amplitudes in 20 myr increments H. S. Davies, J. A. M. Green, and J. C. Duarte https://doi.org/10.5446/43739

S3. Aurica M2 tidal amplitudes in 20 myr increments H. S. Davies, J. A. M. Green, and J. C. Duarte https://doi.org/10.5446/43740

S4. Amasia M2 tidal amplitudes in 20 myr increments H. S. Davies, J. A. M. Green, and J. C. Duarte https://doi.org/10.5446/43741

Hannah S. Davies et al.
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Short summary
We have confirmed that there is a Supertidal cycle associated with the Supercontinent cycle. As continents drift due to plate tectonics, oceans also change size, controlling the strength of the tides and causing periods of Supertides. In this work, we used a coupled tectonic-tidal model of Earth's future to test four different scenarios that undergo different styles of ocean closure and periods of Supertides. This has implications for the Earth system and for other planets with liquid oceans.
We have confirmed that there is a Supertidal cycle associated with the Supercontinent cycle. As...
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