An abrupt change in sedimentation pattern is recognized across the entire archipelago at a sequence boundary dated as 12.9–13 Ma. At this turning point, the platform sedimentation switched to a current-controlled mode when the monsoon-wind-driven circulation started in the Indian Ocean. The similar age of the onset of drift deposition from monsoon-wind-driven circulation across the entire archipelago indicates an abrupt onset of monsoon winds in the Indian Ocean. Ten unconformities dissect the drift sequences, attesting changes in current strength or direction that are likely caused by the combined product of changes in the monsoon-wind intensity and sea level fluctuations in the last 13 Ma. A major shift in the drift packages is dated with 3.8 Ma that coincides with the end of stepwise platform drowning and a reduction of the oxygen minimum zone in the Inner Sea.
The strata of the Maldives platform provides a detailed record of the extrinsic controlling factors on carbonate platform growth through time. This potential of carbonate platforms for dating the Neogene climate and current changes has been exploited in other platforms drilled by the Ocean Drilling Program. For example, Great Bahama Bank, the Queensland Plateau, and the platforms on the Marion Plateau show similar histories with sediment architectures driven by sea level in their early history (early to middle Miocene) replaced by current-driven drowning or partial drowning during their later history (Late Miocene). In all three platform systems, the influence of currents on sedimentations is reported between 11 and 13 Ma.