Mathematical Geology

, Volume 19, Issue 6, pp 561–569 | Cite as

Computing relative plate velocities: A primer

  • Michael Bevis
Teacher's Aide


Standard models of present-day plate motions are framed in terms of rates and poles of rotation, in accordance with the well-known theorem due to Euler. This article shows how computation of relative plate velocities from such models can be viewed as a simple problem in spherical trigonometry. A FORTRAN subroutine is provided to perform the necessary computations.

Key words

relative plate velocity Euler's theorem computation 


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Copyright information

© International Association for Mathematical Geology 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Bevis
    • 1
  1. 1.Marine, Earth and Atmospheric SciencesNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA

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