Assign More Plate IDs to Terranes in Australia

There are already Plate IDs assigned to Proterozoic cratons. (eg Congo to 701, South India to 501, Laurentia to 101)

What about each terrane in Australia having different Plate IDs? (Reserve 801 to one of the terranes - probably Gawler Craton or West Australian Craton)

Currently assigned Plate IDs:

  • 801 - West and South Australian Craton
  • 8011 - North Australian Craton
  • 8013 - Rocky Cape, Tasmania
  • 850 - Tasmania
  • 615 - Papua New Guinea

Possible Plate IDs:
80100, 80101, 80102, 80103, 80110, 80111, 80112, 80113, 85000, 85001, 85002, 85003, 8800, 8801, 8802, 8803, etc

Can you assign Plate IDs to all the other Archean terranes? (If you want)

– faster328

These Plate IDs I suggest be assigned to these cratons:

  • 703 - Kalahari Craton
  • 705 - Kalahari Craton within Lwandle Plate
  • 707 - Madagascar within Lwandle Plate

(If you want)

@faster328 - not sure whether I understand what you’re after. You can set plateIDs to whatever integer you prefer but you need to make sure that this talks to the rotation model. There is no agreed/official standard to define plateIDs and these assignments vary between different groups/models. So pick whatever suits your workflow most. If you want to use a published model, you need to make sure that any change is propagated/synced between the geometry/geospatial data and the rotation file. pyGPlates will allow you to do this at scale, a text editor will suffice if it is only a few changes.

However, there is a certain historical system behind the plateIDs that were/have been assigned, dating back to initial PLATES days (see the original UTIG Plates region codes here - 100’s for North America, 200’s for South America, 300’s for Eurasia, 700’s for Africa etc.). While these are in parts outdated and initially constrained to 3 digits in the pre-GPlates days, the recent deep time reconstructions should have PlateIDs set for cratons that somehow honours that initial hierarchical/regional scheme but expanding it to 4/5 digits (e.g. this publication for a model back to 1Ga).


@chhei, how about standardising Plate IDs - mapping 4-or-5 digit Plate IDs to craton names?

  • Craton A - Plate ID A
  • Craton B - Plate ID B
  • Craton C - Plate ID C
  • Craton D - Plate ID D
  • Craton E - Plate ID E
  • etc


@faster328, nothing stops you from proposing a new community standard and modifying the plate models in a way that you think makes more sense. I’m sure if that proposal is good and makes sense and helps other people that it will be adopted.

The problem with standardising plate IDs is usually when people in the community (say, outside a single research group) start modifying plate polygon outlines/kinematic models or have different interpretations of how a craton is defined - then usually conflicting definitions arise.

“Standard” always means that some body creates such a standard, oversees, modifies, and somewhat enforces it. This could simply be a community of practitioners (like it is now, agreeably with some shortcomings) or an official body (a tougher one). Not everyone who’s doing plate modelling is using GPlates - there are commercial models which will not easily be switched over - how to go about this?

Don’t get me wrong, I think some sort of standard (even the old PLATES region codes) is very useful - the question is whether there’s a pragmatic way to align the (bulk of the) community to do this as there will very likely not a global plate id definition standard committee very soon. If you believe that a defining a craton-based PlateID system is a stepping stone to a community standard, by all means please go ahead. Happy to assist/contribute.