North-Central Section - 50th Annual Meeting - 2016

Paper No. 24-11
Presentation Time: 11:35 AM


SCOTESE, Christopher, PALEOMAP Project, 134 Dodge Avenue, Evanston, IL 60202,

The PALEOMAP PaleoAtlas for GPlates consists of 88 paleogeographic maps spanning the Phanerozoic and late Neoproterozoic. The PaleoAtlas contains one map for nearly every stage in the Phanerozoic, as well as 6 maps for the late Precambrian. A paleogeographic map is defined as a map that shows the ancient configuration of the ocean basins and continents, as well as important topographic and bathymetric features such as mountains, lowlands, shallow sea, continental shelves, and deep oceans. Ideally, a paleogeographic map would be the kind of reference map that any time traveler would like to have before embarking on a journey back through time.

The PALEOMAP PaleoAtlas is composed of six volumes: Cenozoic, Cretaceous, Jurassic & Triassic, Late Paleozoic, Early Paleozoic and Late Precambrian. Each volume has ~15 paleogeographic maps, approximately one map every 5 million years. Each volume can be directly loaded into GPLates as a “Time Dependant Raster” file.

In order to help geologists, paleontologists, and paleomagnetists reconstruct and visualize the data sets that they routinely use, I have written a program called “PaleoDataPlotter” that creates a variety of geometric symbols (circles, squares, triangles, stars, plus signs, crosses, small dots, and arrows) as well as short alphanumeric labels (up to 8 characters), that can be plotted on the paleogeographic maps at user-defined latitude/longitude coordinates.

The PaleoDataPlotter program is ideal for plotting fossil localities, geological outcrops, as well as the locations of drill sites, wells, stratigraphic sections, or any point data set whose geographic location can be specified by modern, latitude and longitude coordinates. The arrow symbol, which can be oriented according to a user-supplied azimuth, is particularly useful for plotting “vector” information such as: ocean current directions, river flow, wind directions, paleomagnetic declinations, stress fields, and instantaneous plate motions. In a future version, the PaleoDataPlotter will also be able to plot text-labels at specific latitude/longitude coordinates.