Here, we re-address this important problem by analyzing the spatio-temporal distribution of evaporites from 128 evaporitic basins over the globe. We found that throughout the Phanerozoic, LEPs (Large Evaporite Provinces) occurred in mostly salt-bearing basins, with a strong affinity to active tectonic deformation. We show that the volumes of evaporites and the frequency of evaporate formations synergistically correlate with tectonic activities and large igneous provinces (LIPs). In contrast, both LEPs and LIPs formed consistently earlier than and have a poorer correlation with climate factors (sea surface temperature and CO2 content), implying that solar energy and evaporation played a secondary role in LEP formation.
This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/). Published Online: June 12, 2023; https://doi.org/10.59717/j.xinn-geo.2023.100008.
Figure 1. Models of the formation of LEPs controlled by geothermal energy in different geologic settings, volumes of reconstructed evaporites and LEPs, and areas and numbers of LIPs at different geologic times.
(A) Plot of the formation age vs. The volume for the reconstructed evaporites and LEPs formed during the Phanerozoic (1–Mediterranean, 2–Red Sea, 3–South Atlantic, 4–Gulf of Mexico, 5–Northern Sahara, 6–Eastern European, 7–Iran-Pakistan, 8–East Siberian). (B) Plot of the area vs. the age for the LIPs formed during the Phanerozoic; the pink boxes indicate LIPs without area data. The orange bars represent six periods of occurrence of LEPs during the Phanerozoic. Link to dataset: https://www.scidb.cn/s/AFr6vm, and the DOI is 10.57760/sciencedb.08249