Cretaceous Changes of Strike-Slip Tectonics on the North Pacific Margins: Implications for the Earth’s Rotation

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Cretaceous Changes of Strike-Slip Tectonics on the North Pacific Margins: Implications for the Earth’s Rotation

Victor P. Nechaev, Frederick L. Sutherland and Eugenia V. Nechaeva

https://doi.org/10.3390/min13040516

Abstract: This study reviews the Meso–Cenozoic tectonic paleo-reconstructions for the East Asian and western North American continental margins, focusing on strike-slip tectonics. It follows previous studies by the present and other authors, which investigated the Cretaceous turn of geological evolution (CTGE). They largely studied significant changes in the Earth’s mineralization, magmatism and climate. The present study focuses on significant changes related to the Earth’s rotation velocity. This question is significant not only for fundamental science, but also for applied geology, because CTGE is marked by abundant ore and energetic resources. The results show domination of sinistral shearing on the NE-oriented Asian margin during the pre-early Cretaceous time that turned to significant development of dextral movements in the mid Cretaceous–Cenozoic time. On the NW-oriented American margin, significant development of sinistral movements in the pre-early Cretaceous time turned to domination of dextral shearing during late Cretaceous and Cenozoic. These tectonic changes indicate the transition of the Earth’s rotation from the accelerating towards decelerating regime after CTGE (135–120 Ma). This change may be caused by the transition of the Earth’ mass to, and then, away from the polar regions, the processes being related to melting and freezing of the ice caps.