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Rigid vs Deformable Plate Models

Exploration on deep-water continental margins brings increased awareness of the importance of plate kinematic modelling and deformable plate tectonic reconstructions as exploration tools.

Rigid plate kinematic models do not adequately model the complex multiphase breakup history of the North and Central Atlantic and Arctic Oceans.

As continental crust is extended on rifted margins prior to breakup, there is plate overlap along these margins when plates are reconstructed using rigid plate kinematic models alone.

Shortening of the crust takes place on convergent margins resulting in underfit when the plates are reconstructed.

The accurate reconstruction and restoration of plate margins requires a new approach to plate kinematics and a new generation of plate reconstruction software.

PlateDEF models quantify and accommodate the amount and direction of crustal stretching and shortening for key tectonic events at convergent, extensional and transform margins using a proprietary palinspastic deformable-margin plate reconstruction method.

Recent Publications
Ady, B. E. & Whittaker, R. C., (in press): A classification scheme for plate kinematic models and their applications: a palinspastic deformable margin model as an analytical tool to examine the influence of tectonic inheritance on the evolution of the North Atlantic and Labrador Sea margins (in Tectonic Evolution: 50 Years of the Wilson Cycle Concept, Geological Society of London Special Publication)
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