Kinematic and geodynamic evolution of the Isthmus of Panama region: Implications for Central American Seaway closure

Abstract: A major topic of debate in Earth and climate science surrounds the timing of closure of the Central American Seaway. While it is clear that the gateway was closed by ~2.8 Ma, recent studies based on geological and marine molecular evidence have suggested an earlier closing time of early to mid-Miocene. Here, we examine … Read more…

PyGPlates now supports Python 3

PyGPlates now supports Python 3.  You can download pyGPlates: What’s new in pyGPlates revision 28:- Windows and macOS support for Python 2.7, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7 and 3.8. macOS libraries signed and notarized by Apple (should no longer get security prompts). Ubuntu support for 16.04 LTS (Xenial), 18.04 LTS (Bionic), 19.10 (Eoan) and 20.04 LTS (Focal). Create topological features (dynamic … Read more…

New interactive rift obliquity globe on the GPlates Portal

The ARC Basin Genesis Hub has made a new interactive rift obliquity globe available on the GPlates Portal at, based on a recently published paper entitled “Oblique rifting: the rule, not the exception” in Solid Earth. This virtual globe visualizes extension velocities and obliquities within Earth’s major post-Pangea rift systems. Each circle depicts the … Read more…

GPlates 2.1 released (and pyGPlates revision 18)

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GPlates 2.1 was released today! Many bugs have been fixed, including the computation of crustal thinning factors. NetCDF-4 is now supported for raster import/export, i.e. GPlates 2.1 can now read and write GMT-5 grids. Many thanks to the GPlates development team and especially to Sabin Zahirovic without whose tireless efforts GPlates 2.1 would not have … Read more…

Oceanic crustal carbon cycle drives 26 million-year atmospheric carbon dioxide periodicities

Citation: Müller, R.D. and Dutkiewicz, A., 2018, Oceanic crustal carbon cycle drives 26 million-year atmospheric carbon dioxide periodicities, Science Advances, 4:eaaq0500, 1-7. Atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) data for the last 420 million years (My) show long-term fluctuations related to supercontinent cycles as well as shorter cycles at 26–32 My whose origin is unknown. Periodicities of 26–30 … Read more…

Kinematic constraints on the Rodinia to Gondwana transition

Author List: Andrew Merdith, Simon Williams, Dietmar Müller & Alan Collins. Citation: Merdith, Andrew & Williams, Simon & Müller, Dietmar & Collins, Alan. (2017). Kinematic constraints on the Rodinia-Gondwana transition. Precambrian Research. 299. . 10.1016/j.precamres.2017.07.013. Abstract: Earth’s plate tectonic history during the breakup of the supercontinent Pangea is well constrained from the seafloor spreading record, but evolving plate configurations during … Read more…

GPlates 2.0 software and data sets

GPlates 1.5 PromoGPlates is a free desktop software for the interactive visualisation of plate-tectonics. The compilation and documentation of GPlates 2.0 data was primarily funded by AuScope National Collaborative Research Infrastructure (NCRIS).

GPlates is developed by an international team of scientists and professional software developers at the EarthByte Project (part of AuScope) at the University of Sydney, the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences (GPS) at CalTech, the Geodynamics team at the Geological Survey of Norway (NGU) and the Centre for Earth Evolution and Dynamics (CEED) at the University of Oslo.  … Read more…


Setting up environment for DCO Demo Analysis

Mac Environment 1.1) Install Anaconda Navigate to the continuum website and download the python 2.7 Mac version of Anaconda, if not already installed. In terminal, where the downloaded anaconda source code is stored, type: bash Select yes to all of the prompts. Edit your .bash_profile to include the anaconda bin path in the PATH … Read more…

Workflow explained: The interaction of subduction zone volcanism with carbonate platforms and continents

Objectives Our two objectives of analysis were to (a) quantify the km-long length areas of interaction of subduction zone volcanism with carbonate platforms and (b) characterise the subduction volcanism as either continental or intra-oceanic depending on the proximity of the subduction zones to continent-ocean boundaries. In regards to the first objective, we are interested in cases where subduction-related … Read more…

Workflow explained: Measuring global subduction zone lengths with pyGPlates

For our first analysis, we developed a simple work flow to quantify subduction zone lengths from 0 to 400 Ma, using the Matthews et al. (2016) plate kinematic model. The bash workflow consists of python scripts, GMT tools and AWK scripts organised into bash sub-routine functions. The most integral parts of the workflow are the python scripts … Read more…

pygplates beta revision 12 released

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GPlates Vector LogoThe first beta release of pygplates (the GPlates Python library) is now available for download.

pygplates enables access to GPlates functionality via the Python programming language. This may be of particular use to researchers requiring more flexibility than is provided by the GPlates user interface.

The following pygplates functionality is available:-

  • Load and save feature data (GPML, Shapefile, etc)
  • Create/modify/query feature data
  • Traverse/modify/query plate rotation hierarchy
  • Partition into plates and assign plate properties
  • Reconstruct geometries, flowlines, motion paths
  • Resolve topological plates and query their boundary sections (ridges/subductions)
  • Calculate velocities
  • Distance between geometries (region-of-interest queries)
  • Geometry queries (length, point-in-polygon, area, centroid, tessellate, interpolate, join, partition)

Read more…