Visualizing ridges with topologies

Hi everyone,

I am trying to visualize the Mesozoic-Cenozoic plate boundaries from the Muller et al 2019 publication back in time. I am focussing on ridges. When I rotate the plates I get structures in the resolved topology that are linear and seem to be “artificial”. Sometimes, they are part of additional (micro-)plates that already have been subducted, sometimes they are part of the larger plates.

Is there a way to visualize only the plate boundaries, i.e. only the ridges, without these structures, like it is shown in the pyGPlates reconstruction? Or am I using the wrong data set?

Here is a screenshot that maybe better explains my issue (rotated to 25 Ma, Top: pyGplates reconstruction, bottom: my case):

I am using GPlates 2.2.

Best regards,


Hi Peter,

It looks like the only GPML file you’ve loaded is:

Have a look at the README that came with the dataset, it shows how to load the dataset using one of the project files (which amounts to File > Open Project and then selecting one of the gproj files in the ProjectFiles/ sub-directory such as Muller_etal_2019_v2.0.gproj).

Also I see your time slider is a non-integer value (25.64). For topologies you’ll want to keep that integral (eg 25 or 26) because topologies do not in general work at non-integral times. Non-topologies are fine at any fractional time though (like coastlines, static polygons, etc), just not topologies.

Once you do the above you should no longer see those broken lines (they are a manifestation of the missing files). One thing to note is your top figure (plotted outside of GPlates) shows teeth on the subduction lines whereas your bottom figure (rendered inside GPlates) does not. The new symbology (that we’re currently working on for GPlates) will support subduction teeth (in GPlates), so that will be available in an upcoming release.


Dear John,

thanks for clarifying this.
Indeed, setting the time slider to integer values was the main problem.
I am now using the default project file and add my data into this project. Looks perfect!
I’m curious to see the new symbology options in the next GPlates version.
Best regards,