PLACA: a white box for plate reconstruction and best-fit pole determination

Type Article
Date 2005-05
Language English
Author(s) Matias Luis1, 2, Olivet Jean-Louis2, Aslanian DanielORCID2, Fidalgo Luis2
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ Lisbon, Ctr Geofis, P-1749016 Lisbon, Portugal.
2 : IFREMER, Dept Geosci Marines, Plouzane, France.
Source Computers & Geosciences (0098-3004) (Elsevier), 2005-05 , Vol. 31 , N. 4 , P. 437-452
DOI 10.1016/j.cageo.2004.09.019
WOS© Times Cited 16
Keyword(s) Precision, Confidence region, Fortran, Plate tectonics, Tectonophysics
Abstract PLACA was developed as a general purpose computer program for the earth scientist that has to manipulate the rigid plate tectonics theory, from the representation of plate reconstructions to the determination of best-fit poles using magnetic anomalies, fracture zones or volcanic alignments. In the "forward" mode PLACA has the features of most available demonstration software plus the ability of simulating mid-oceanic ridges (MOR) as dynamic segments that move with a fraction of the relative motion between two plates. The movement can be illustrated by the generation of flow lines, plate trajectories and/or pseudo-magnetic anomalies on the ocean floor. The evolution of simple triple junctions of the R-R-R type can also be studied. In the "modifying" mode, best-fit poles can be computed either visually or by a systematic search routine. Five methods are available to evaluate the residuals between predicted and observed reconstructed points. Once the best-fit pole is obtained, several statistical tests can be done to evaluate the confidence on the fit.. Surprisingly, the use of high-resolution geophysical data that are now available in the oceanic domain doesn't always imply that the reconstruction poles are better constrained, as shown by an application example. Other examples presented document a discussion on the precision of plate reconstructions and suggest a few words of caution for the general user of PLACA.
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