Cyclic sedimentary deposits link stratigraphic sequences that are now geographically distant but were once part of the same depositional environment. Some of these sequences occur at periods of 2 to 20 million years, and eustatic sea-level variations or regional tectonic events are likely causes of their formation. Using numerical modeling, we demonstrate that small-scale mantle convection can also cause the development of stratigraphic sequences through recurrent local and regional vertical surface movements. Small-scale convection-driven stratigraphic sequences occur at periods of 2 to 20 million years and correlate only at distances up to a few hundred kilometers. These results suggest that previous sequence stratigraphic analyses may contain erroneous conclusions regarding eustatic sea-level variations.