Washington, Oct 3 : Scientists have said that a newly discovered 'sediment curve', dating back to the Paleozoic Era 542 to 251 million years ago, will act as a tool for tracking sea-floors for sediment movements.
The sediment curve covers the entire Paleozoic Era.
"The new Paleozoic sea-level sediment curve provides a way of deriving predictive models of sediment migration on continental margins and in interior seaways," said Bilal Haq, lead author of the Science paper and a marine geologist at the National Science Foundation (NSF).
"The sediment curve is of interest to industry, and also to scientists in academia, as the rise and fall of sea-level form the basis for intepretations of Earth history based on stratigraphy," he added.
Through stratigraphy, the study of rock layering (stratification), scientists can derive a sequence of time and events in a particular region.
Recent advances in the field of stratigraphy, including better time-scales for when sediments were deposited, and availability of data on a worldwide basis, are allowing scientists to reconstruct sea level during the Paleozoic.
The rises and falls of sea level during this period form the basis of stratigraphic interpretations of geology not only in the sea, but on land.
According to Haq, these sea level increases and decreases are used extensively in predictive models of sediment movements.
"We hope that the publication of a sediment curve for this entire era will enhance interest in Paleozoic geology, and help the exploration industry in its efforts to look at older and deeper sediments," he said.