Plate Tectonic Modelling

Getech’s Global Plate Model represents the tectonic evolution of Earth from 300 Ma to the Present Day. The model is comprised of two databases: a database of tectonic plates with unique geological histories, and a database of Euler rotation parameters that describe the motion of plates through time.

Plate boundaries are defined using potential field data and structural interpretations; such boundaries coincide with large faults that have a clear geophysical signal and separate regions with differing geological histories.

Our tectonic plate database is intrinsically linked with our Crustal Architecture database, for which geological and geophysical interpretations have been used to constrain the nature of the crust and the tectonic evolution of each tectonic plate. This tectonic evolution is represented in our plate model through the assignment of relative motions between plate pairs in a hierarchal structure that is based upon the hybrid reference frame of Torsvik et al. (2008).

These relative motions are defined in our database of Euler rotation parameters, and have been established through years of detailed analysis and evaluation of tectonostratigraphic relationships, seafloor age distribution, oceanic fracture zones and palaeomagnetism.

Paleocene reconstruction (65 Ma)

Paleocene reconstruction (65 Ma).

At Getech our integrated workflows enable our dedicated team of three plate modellers to undertake ongoing reappraisal and re-evaluation of our plate model through feedback from several disciplines within Globe, including 2D geophysical modelling and interpretation, and palaeogeographic and structural mapping.

Plate modelling results from non-proprietary regional studies are also integrated into our global solution; this process has ensured that Getech’s Global Plate Model is a unique, self-consistent solution that works within both a regional and global framework.

References Cited

Torsvik, T.H., Müller, R.D., Van der Voo, R., Steinberger, B. and Gaina, C. (2008). “Global Plate Motion Frames: Toward a unified model”. Reviews of Geophysics, 46, RG3004, doi:10.1029/2007RG000227

Find out more about Plate Tectonic Modelling at Getech by contacting us at