Resizing plates

I am a newby. When I look at the feature properties for a plate boundary , on the coordinates tab I see two sets of coordinates; present and reconstructed. Can I edit the reconstructed to morph the shape? Can I export / edict / reimport these properties and then play the time line to watch the plate stretch / shrink?


Hi Cliff,

It’s a read-only display of the reconstructed geometry, so it cannot be edited.

There’s really only two ways to morph geometry through time. This is all perhaps a bit tricky for a new user, but I’ll mention anyway…

One way is to use deforming topological networks where a geometry inside a deforming network will deform as the network itself deforms. But getting the desired deformation is not that easy. And it’s mostly just used for point geometries (not polylines and polygons, because they currently just get converted to a bunch points when deformed).

Another way is to have a time-sequence of geometries where each geometry only lasts for a small interval (eg, 1 Myr) and represents a snapshot at a particular time (eg, snapshot at time ‘t’ has an age range of [t+0.5, t-0.5]. Then when you play with the time slider only one of those geometries is alive at any particular time. Essentially you have a bunch of features (instead of a single time-varying feature). And to edit each feature’s vertices you can use the MoveVertex tool in GPlates (or edit externally and import into GPlates). All these geometries can still be reconstructed through time (by assigning a single plate ID for all of them), in which case they’d all have the same present-day location (but just different shapes), and this would give the illusion of a single feature that both reconstructs and morphs through time.