Simulation of mantle convection and evolving tectonic plate network

Simulation of deep earth convection with blue colours in the interior outlining sinking subducted slabs and red colours outlining rising plumes in the Earth’s interior, while the system of tectonic plates at the surface is evolving dynamically, with red colours at the surface outlining evolving plate boundaries, corresponding to relatively low viscosity while the stable interior of the plates has a higher viscosity, shown in green.

 

Note how the surface in this simulation includes both very large plates and a complex network of small, evolving ephemeral plates.

Video created by Claire Mallard, Univ. Lyon, France.

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