A Slide Show for Global Plate Motions from Jurassic to Present Day (Paleoceanographic Mapping Project Report No. 54-0389)
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A global model for Mesozoic and Cenozoic plate motions has been developed by the Paleoceanographic Mapping Project (POMP) during the last four years. It is based on a digital tectonic database that includes modern plate boundaries, marine magnetic anomaly data, fracture zone lineations, bathymetric data, Seasat and Geosat altimetry data, mapped ocean-continent boundaries and continental tectonic data. We used this global model to produce a set of 22 slides that display global and regional plate reconstructions, which illustrate the global plate tectonic development of the ocean basins from the breakup of Pangea in the Middle Jurassic to present day. Our reconstructions for the eastern Indian Ocean are consistent with the known seafloor spreading history of the Australian-Antarctic Basin and the Wharton Basin since the Late Cretaceous. In particular, they resolve the problem of overlap between the Kerguelen Plateau and Broken Ridge. An internally consistent plate model for the entire South Pacific region has been developed using a combination of satellite altimetry, magnetic anomaly and bathymetry data. Our closure of the South Atlantic that takes into account intracontinental deformation in Africa and South America does not assume any of the substantial gaps or overlaps that are inherent in rigid plate models. Reconstructions for the North Atlantic region are based on a new compilation of magnetic and fracture zone data.