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Mathematical Geology

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

Computing relative plate velocities: A primer

  • Michael Bevis
Teacher's Aide

Abstract

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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References

  1. Chase, Clement G., 1978, Plate kinematics: The Americas, East Africa, and the Rest of the World: Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., v. 37, p. 355–368.Google Scholar
  2. Le Pichon, Xavier; Francheteau, Jean; and Bonnin, Jean, 1973, Plate Tectonics: Elsevier, Amsterdam, 300 p.Google Scholar
  3. Minster, J. B. and Jordan, Thomas H., 1978, Present-Day Plate Motions: J. Geophys. Res., v. 83, p. 5331–5354.Google Scholar
  4. Turcotte, D. L. and Schubert, G., 1982, Geodynamics: John Wiley & Sons, New York, 450 p.Google Scholar

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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