A wiki powered blog
The 2017 version of the Exploration Tectonics course will be taught in Bochum from 07-09.August 2017, during the 2nd or 3rd week of the summer semester break. More info and updates on the course page over the next few weeks.
When making reconstructions in GPlates one often wants to colour features by their geological age. Using the colour scheme of the Geological Time Scale is a way accepted by the community to associate absolute (and stratigraphic) ages with colour. When reconstructing data in GPlates using the default
FeatureAge option for styling, however, features “grow older” as the colouring is applied relative to age of the feature, depending on reconstruction age. As most geoscientists are cognitively tuned to more static maps, changing colours with age can be quite confusing. Here's a recipe to maintain constant or “absolute” age colouring in GPlates when reconstructing data.
Having to work with PaleoGIS at work, I've been iterating on a workflow with the colleagues from the EarthByte group to produce a minimal, yet production-ready workflow to generate PaleoGIS models from scratch (or GPlates-default files -
*.shp. Find the workflow on the Notes on PaleoGIS section of the wiki
The first installment of the new Exploration Tectonics Course did mark my transition to the summer holidays this year. Some 8 students of the endogenous geology M.Sc. branch at the Ruhr Uni went through plate to play scale aspects of tectonics/tectonophysics and geodynamics relevant for hydrocarbon exploration, with the addition of learning to process data with iPython/Jupyter notebooks, GPlates, and QGIS. Thanks to everyone who participated!
A new paper is out in Nature Communications – a study by Fabien Leprieur and co-authors (including me) on how plate tectonics influences the biodiversity dynamics of tropical reefs. Previously published paleo-shoreline estimates (see data on Github and Heine et al paper) have were used as base to model paleo-bathymetry and time-dependent spatial diversification patterns of tropical marine reefs – here’s the abstract:
The Cretaceous breakup of Gondwana strongly modified the global distribution of shallow tropical seas reshaping the geographic configuration of marine basins. However, the links between tropical reef availability, plate tectonic processes and marine biodiversity distribution patterns are still unknown. Here, we show that a spatial diversification model constrained by absolute plate motions for the past 140 million years predicts the emergence and movement of diversity hotspots on tropical reefs. The spatial dynamics of tropical reefs explains marine fauna diversification in the Tethyan Ocean during the Cretaceous and early Cenozoic, and identifies an eastward movement of ancestral marine lineages towards the Indo-Australian Archipelago in the Miocene. A mechanistic model based only on habitat-driven diversification and dispersal yields realistic predictions of current biodiversity patterns for both corals and fishes. As in terrestrial systems, we demonstrate that plate tectonics played a major role in driving tropical marine shallow reef biodiversity dynamics.