Present Day Static Plate Polygon File 2009
The Present Day Static Plate Polygon File 2009 is
a global, self-consistent plate tectonic model that is underpinned
by extensive, up-to-date datasets including;
Magnetic anomaly identifications
Oceanic and continental plate boundaries
crustal boundaries and other geological datasets.
Dietmar Müller's group at
the University of Sydney has led development of the EarthByte model.
Our global plate tectonic model comprises a global set of finite
rotations, and a plate boundary file. Publications associated with
the Present Day Plate Polygon File include Müller et al. (2008), Müller et
al. (1997). The rotation file (download below) also includes
currently unpublished poles of finite rotation for some tectonic
In order to see the 2008
EarthByte plate tectonic model in action, down-load the
rotation model and the
plate polygon datasets,
then watch the geological evolution of the Earth! Using our global
plate model, we are able to compute the absolute paleo-position of
virtually any vector dataset.
A set of downloadable global
grids are based on this model, including oceanic crustal age,
seafloor spreading rates, seafloor spreading asymmetries, and
oceanic basement depth anomalies, which are related to crustal
thickness variations, and mantle flow. There is also a model for
long-term eustatic sea level variations that is based on the
EarthByte global plate tectonic model. To download any of these
grids please click
Oceans reconstructed on the
basis of extensive marine magnetic anomaly identification and
fracture zone datasets. Our model includes data from all the major
ocean basins as well as detailed reconstructions of back-arc basins.
For the main ocean basins, seafloor isochrons constructed for the
following chrons: 5o (10.9 Ma), 6o (20.1 Ma), 13y (33.1 Ma), 18o
(40.1 Ma), 21o (47.9 Ma), 25y (55.9 Ma), 31y (67.7 Ma), 34y (83.5
Ma), M0 (120.4 Ma), M4 (126.7 Ma), M10 (131.9 Ma), M16 (139.6 Ma),
M21 (147.7 Ma), and M25 (154.3 Ma). Back-arc basins are often
reconstructed using denser isochrons.
improve on the 2008 EarthByte model, we are currently working on
1) Temporal extent.
Extension of the model back to 200 Ma (2008 model extends to 140 Ma)
2) Reference Frame. Our 2008
model uses a moving hotspot reference frame back to 100 Ma and then
a fixed hotspot reference frame for 100-140 Ma. We are in the
process of moving to a model that uses a moving hotspot reference
frame for 0-100 Ma and then a true polar wander corrected
paleomagnetic reference frame for 100-200 Ma. This means that, for
older ages in the full model, the reconstructed absolute positions
of the plates, in terms of both latitude and longitude, are much
3) Synthetic Ocean Polygons.
Our 2008 model contains oceanic plate polygons for presently
existing ocean crust. The next version of our model will contain
polygons reconstructing oceanic material that has been subducted
since 200 Ma.
4) Fracture Zones.
Interpretation of a new fracture zone dataset using semi-automatic
tracking on the latest free-air satellite gravity and vertical
For more information,
contact Joanne Whittaker.
The EarthByte 2008 model
uses a combined timescale for the Cenozoic - Cande and Kent (1995),
and Mesozoic - Gradstein et al. (1994). We are currently upgrading
to a combined timescale for the Cenozoic - Cande and Kent (1995),
and Mesozoic - Gee and Kent (2007).
Cande, S.C. and
Kent, D.V., 1995. Revised calibration of the geomagnetic polarity
timescale for the Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic. Journal of
Geophysical Research, 100(B4): 6093-6095.
Gee, J. and Kent,
D., 2007. Source of oceanic magnetic anomalies and the geomagnetic
polarity time scale, Chapter 12. In: M. Kono (Editor), Treatise on
Geophysics, pp. 455-507.
et al., 1994. A Mesozoic time scale. Journal of Geophysical
Research, 99(B12): 24051-24074.
Roest, W.R., Royer, J.-Y., Gahagan, L.M. and Sclater, J.G., 1997.
Digital isochrons of the world's ocean floor. Journal of Geophysical
Research, 102: 3211-3214.
Sdrolias, M., Gaina, C. and Roest, W.R., 2008. Age, spreading rates
and spreading asymmetry of the world's ocean crust. Geochem. Geophys.
Geosyst., 9(Q04006): doi:10.1029/2007GC001743.
Plate Polygon Files
Plate Polygon Files as .shp, .dat, .gpml and .xy
We welcome any feedback.
Global Coastline and Plate Polygon files by the EarthByte Group is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.