Predicting The Ancient Occurrence Of Evaporites Using Paleoclimate Modelling
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Evaporites are climatic indicators that depend on two main variables: mean annual temperature and mean annual precipitation. This study constructs a model that predicts the localities of ancient evaporites based on paleo- temperature and paleo- precipitation data. A climate envelope, a bivariate plot of temperature and precipitation, is constructed by intersecting the modern temperature and precipitation with climate data obtained from Fast Ocean Atmosphere Model (FOAM). Modern evaporites have a limited extent hence in this research, the yermosols- solonchak soil type was used as a proxy. The predictions were made for 16 time intervals. These were plotted on paleogeographic reconstructions obtained from the PALEOMAP Project. The predicted locations of evaporites were compared to the distribution of ancient evaporites. The statistical results observed show that there was a good agreement between the predicted and the observed distribution of evaporites. This may suggest that the climate envelope technique makes good predictions for the Cenozoic Era, Mesozoic Era and for some of the intervals of the Paleozoic Era. It was observed that the distribution of evaporites for these time intervals coincided with the climates that existed at these times.