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Thursday 30 November 2023

Fun with puzzle maps, part II

 Having moved from Cambridge to my family home in SW FR, I found the historic map puzzle i described here on a previous visit. 

It's a 1985 AGI classic... but almost 40 yrs later this paper shows plate tectonics are still very much alive and works-in-progress! Having moved off ESRI due to economics - they very kindly left my data on personal and professional portfolios -  I reloaded QGIS and presto! the GlobalGeotectonics map appeared in full glory. The QGIS and github repos make it a snap depending on your preference. 

paper original here (click to enlarge)

QGIS out-of-the-box (click to enlarge)

Let the paper speak for itself:

The structural architecture, tectonic environment, and temporal evolution of rocks at the surface of the Earth is frequently are frequently correlated with the chemical and physical characteristics of the enclosing lithosphere (Gard et al., 2019, Artemieva, 2019, Tang et al., 2020, Tetley et al., 2020). As a result, it is useful to have spatially accurate maps of geologic provinces and terrane boundaries that encompass a pragmatically uniform set of common geological characteristics for comparative global studies. Such maps also form the foundation for accurate plate reconstructions (Merdith et al., 2021). While there are some regional models of tectonic provinces that are digital (Artemieva, 2006, Laske et al., 2013), there are few accurate global models easily accessible to the geoscience community built on a multiplicity of comparative attributes that approach self-consistency.

In this paper, we present two basic models: (1) a global set of geologic provinces and (2) a model for present-day plate boundaries. Both models are presented in a vector format with accompanying metadata that can be used to improve and simplify the process of global tectonic data analysis and/or modeling across a diverse range of geoscientific phenomena. These models have been produced using a wide variety of geologic and geophysical data and have been partially validated, wherever possible, using igneous and metamorphic age dates allied with additional geophysical datasets. Our hope is these models can be used as a data standard for common classification across the variety of geological databases that currently exist. The global models presented below are freely available in open-source and form a basic digital architecture that can be progressively updated as geological data and interpretations continue to improve.

Right on cue is a global model here on landscape evolution, also from an Australian uni. working with French academics. Again letting the paper speak for itself:

Ours is the first dynamic model – a computer simulation – of the past 100 million years at a high resolution down to ten kilometres. In unprecedented detail, it reveals how Earth’s surface has changed over time, and how that has affected the way sediment moves around and settles.

Broken into frames of a million years, our model is based on a framework that incorporates plate tectonic and climatic forces with surface processes such as earthquakes, weathering, changing rivers and more.

And on cue too, is in Nature - what's with Australian unis? - Why the geosciences are becoming increasingly vital to the interpretation of the human evolutionary record, and its abstract:

Advanced geoscience techniques are essential to contextualize fossils, artefacts and other archaeologically important material accurately and effectively. Their appropriate use will increase confidence in new interpretations of the fossil and archaeological record, providing important information about the life and depositional history of these materials and so should form an integral component of all human evolutionary studies. Many of the most remarkable recent finds that have transformed the field of human evolution are small and scarce, ranging in size from teeth to strands of DNA, recovered from complex sedimentary environments. Nevertheless, if properly analysed, they hold immense potential to rewrite what we know about the evolution of our species and our closest hominin ancestors.

Note: see also Update 3 in this Medium post about quantifying geosciences over 150 yrs. in yellow the same publication:

(click to enlarge)

With yesterday's
Medium post on how AI helped elucidate a mass extinction event, it's heartening to see my alma mater - geology and computer mapping - alive and kicking!

original blogpost (click to enlarge)