Global Lineaments: Application of Digital Terrain Modelling

Part of the Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography book series (LNGC)

In the past few decades, there have been proposals suggesting that hidden global linear (helical) structures exist, which are tectonically and topographically expressed. In this study, this hypothesis was checked using digital terrain modelling. The study was based on a 30 arc-minute gridded global digital elevation model. Eighteen topographic variables were for the first time calculated and mapped for the entire surface of the Earth. Digital terrain analysis provided support for the existence of global lineaments: on maps of specific catchment area, it was possible to detect five mutually symmetrical pairs of helical structures encircling the Earth from pole to pole. The structures are topographically expressed by patterns of the global ridge network. They are apparently associated with traces of the torsional deformation of the planet: two double helices are in reasonable agreement with theoretically predicted traces of shear fractures, while another two double helices are in reasonable agreement with ideal traces of cleavage cracks. Geological phenomena observed along the structures are discussed (i.e. fracturing, faults, crystal, and ore deposits). It is probable that double helices are relict structures similar to a planetary network of helical lineaments on Venus


tectonics geological structure catchment area helix planet 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Arabelos, D., (2000), Intercomparisons of the global DTMs ETOPO5, TerrainBase and JGP95E, Physics and Chemistry of the Earth (A), 25: 89–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Besprozvanny, P.A., Borodzich, E.V. and Bush, V.A., (1994), Numerical analysis of ordering relations in the global network of lineaments, Physics of the Solid Earth, 30: 150–159.Google Scholar
  3. Cazenave, A., Souriau, A. and Dominh, K., (1989), Global coupling of Earth surface topography with hotspots, geoid and mantle heterogeneities, Nature, 340: 54–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chebanenko, I.I., (1963), Principal Regularities of Fault Tectonics of the Earth’s Crust and Its Problems, Kiev: Ukrainian Academic Press (in Russian).Google Scholar
  5. Chebanenko, I.I. and Fedorin, Ya.V., (1983), On a new type of rotation-tectonic lines in the Earth’s lithosphere, Doklady Akademii Nauk SSSR, 270: 406–409 (in Russian).Google Scholar
  6. Cherednichenko, A.I., Burmistenko, V.M., Tokovenko, V.S. and Chebanenko, I.I., (1966), Attempt of laboratory simulation of planetary faults (lineaments) of the Earth, Dopovidi Academii Nauk Ukrainy, 10: 1333–1336 (in Ukrainian, with English abstract).Google Scholar
  7. Chorowicz, J., Dhont, D. and Gündoğdu, N., (1999), Neotectonics in the eastern North Anatolian fault region (Turkey) advocates crustal extension: mapping from SAR ERS imagery and digital elevation model, Journal of Structural Geology, 21: 511–532.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Coe, M.T., (1998), A linked global model of terrestrial hydrologic processes: simulation of modern rivers, lakes, and wetlands, Journal of Geophysical Research, D103: 8885–8899.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dolitsky, A.V. and Kiyko, I.A., (1963), On causes of deformation of the Earth’s crust, In Nalivkin, D.V. and Tupitsin, N.V. (eds.): Problems of Planetary Geology, Moscow: Gosgeoltekhizdat: 291–312 (in Russian).Google Scholar
  10. Evseev, A.A., (1989), Regularity in the distribution of discoveries of large crystals, New Data on Minerals, 36: 53–67 (in Russian).Google Scholar
  11. Evseev, A.A., (1993), Siberia’s crystals and symmetry in the distribution of occurrences of minerals, World of Stones, 1: 11–20.Google Scholar
  12. Favorskaya, M., (1977), Metallogeny of deep lineaments and new global tectonics, Mineralium Deposita, 12: 163–169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fikhtengolts, G.M., (1966), A Course in Differential and Integral Calculus, Vol. 1, 6th ed., Moscow: Nauka (in Russian).Google Scholar
  14. Florinsky, I.V., (1996), Quantitative topographic method of fault morphology recognition, Geomorphology, 16: 103–119.Google Scholar
  15. Florinsky, I.V., (1998a), Combined analysis of digital terrain models and remotely sensed data in landscape investigations, Progress in Physical Geography, 22: 33–60.Google Scholar
  16. Florinsky, I.V., (1998b), Derivation of topographic variables from a digital elevation model given by a spheroidal trapezoidal grid, International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 12: 829–852.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Florinsky, I.V., (2002), Errors of signal processing in digital terrain modelling, International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 16: 475–501.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Florinsky, I.V., (2005), Artificial lineaments in digital terrain modelling: can operators of topographic variables cause them? Mathematical Geology, 37: 357–372.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Florinsky, I.V., Grokhlina, T.I. and Mikhailova, N.L., (1995), LANDLORD 2.0: the software for analysis and mapping of geometrical characteristics of relief, Geodezia i Cartografia, 5: 46–51 (in Russian).Google Scholar
  20. GLOBE Task Team, (1999), The global land one-kilometer base elevation (GLOBE) digital elevation model, version 1.0, Boulder: NOAA, National Geophysical Data Center, Available online at: (accessed 22 October 2005).Google Scholar
  21. Hastings, D.A. and Dunbar, P.K., (1998), Development and assessment of the global land one-km base elevation digital elevation model (GLOBE), ISPRS Archives, 32: 218–221.Google Scholar
  22. Hobbs, W.H., (1904), Lineaments of Atlantic Border region, Geological Society of America Bulletin, 15: 483–506.Google Scholar
  23. Katterfeld, G.N. and Charushin, G.V., (1973), General grid systems of planets, Modern Geology, 4: 253–287.Google Scholar
  24. Kazanskii, B.A., (2005), Calculation of the Earth’s topography-related potential energy from digital data, Izvestiya, Physics of the Solid Earth, 41: 1023–1026.Google Scholar
  25. Klìma, K., Pick, M. and Pros, Z., (1981), On the problem of equal area block on a sphere, Studia Geophysica et Geodaetica, 25: 24–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Knetsch, G., (1965), Über ein Structur-Experiment an einer Kugel und Beziehungen zwischen Gross-Lineamenten und Pol-Lagen in der Erdeschichte, Geologische Rundschau, 54: 523–548.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Makarov, V.I., (1981), Lineaments: problems and trends of studies by remote sensing techniques, Izvestiya Vuzov, Geologia i Razvedka, 4: 109–115 (in Russian).Google Scholar
  28. Martz, L.W. and de Jong, E., (1988), CATCH: a Fortran program for measuring catchment area from digital elevation models, Computers and Geosciences, 14: 627–640.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. McClean, C.J. and Evans, I.S., (2000), Apparent fractal dimensions from continental scale digital elevation models using variogram methods, Transactions in GIS, 4: 361–378.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Miroshnichenko, V.P., Berezkina, L.I. and Leontieva, E.V., (1984), Planetary Fracturing of Sedimentary Cover of the Lithosphere from Remotely Sensed Data, Leningrad: Nedra (in Russian).Google Scholar
  31. Moody, J.D., (1966), Crustal shear patterns and orogenesis, Tectonophysics, 3: 479–522.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Mooney, W., Laske, G. and Master, T., (1998), CRUST 5.1: A global crustal model at 5x5, Journal of Geophysical Research, B103: 727–747.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Moore, I.D., Grayson, R.B. and Ladson, A.R., (1991), Digital terrain modelling: a review of hydrological, geomorphological and biological applications, Hydrological Processes, 5: 3–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Moore, R.F. and Simpson, C.J., (1983), Image analysis – a new aid in morphotectonic studies. In 17th International Symposium on Remote Sensing of Environment, 9–13 May 1983, Ann Arbor, USA, Vol. 3, Ann Arbor: Environmental Research Institute of Michigan: 991–1002.Google Scholar
  35. Morozov, V.P., (1979), A Course in Spheroidal Geodesy. 2nd enl. and rev. ed., Moscow: Nedra (in Russian).Google Scholar
  36. O’Driscoll, E.S.T., (1980), The double helix in global tectonics, Tectonophysics, 63: 397–417.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. O’Driscoll, E.S.T., (1986), Observations of the lineament–ore relation, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series A: Mathematical and Physical Sciences, 317: 195–218.Google Scholar
  38. O’Leary, D.W., Friedman, J.D. and Pohn, H.A., (1976), Lineament, linear, lineation: some proposed new standards for old terms, Geological Society of America Bulletin, 87: 1463–1469.Google Scholar
  39. Pavlenkova, N.I., (1995), Structural regularities in the lithosphere of continents and plate tectonics, Tectonophysics, 243: 223–229.Google Scholar
  40. Poletaev, A.I., (1986), Seismotectonics of the Main Kopetdag Fault Zone, Moscow: Nauka (in Russian).Google Scholar
  41. Pratt, D., (2000), Plate tectonics: a paradigm under threat, Journal of Scientific Exploration, 14: 307–352.Google Scholar
  42. Rance, H., (1967), Major lineaments and torsional deformation of the Earth, Journal of Geophysical Research, 72: 2213–2217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Rance, H., (1968), Plastic flow and fracture in a torsionally stressed planetary sphere, Journal of Mathematics and Mechanics, textbf 17: 953–974.Google Scholar
  44. Rance, H., (1969), Lineaments and torsional deformation of the Earth: Indian Ocean, Journal of Geophysical Research, 74: 3271–3272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Renssen, H. and Knoop, J.M., (2000), A global river routing network for use in hydrological modelling, Journal of Hydrology, 230: 230–243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Rundquist, D.V., Ryakhovsky, V.M., Gatinsky, Yu.G. and Chesalova, E.I., (2002), GIS-project ‘The geodynamic globe, scale 1:10,000,000’ for global monitoring of various geological processes, Proceedings of the All-Russian Scientific Conference ‘Geology, Geochemistry, and Geophysics on the Boundary of the 20th and 21st Centuries’, 8–10 Oct. 2002, Moscow, Russia, Vol. 1 ,Moscow: Svyaz-Print: 87–88 (in Russian).Google Scholar
  47. Schowengerdt, R.A. and Glass, C.E., (1983), Digitally processed topographic data for regional tectonic evaluations, Geological Society of America Bulletin, 94: 549–556.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Shary, P.A., Sharaya, L.S. and Mitusov, A.V., (2002), Fundamental quantitative methods of land surface analysis, Geoderma, 107: 1–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Slyuta, E.N., Kudrin, L.V. and Sinilo, V.P., (1989), Preliminary data on the nature of a planetary system of lineaments observed in radar images of Venus (data from Venera-15 and -16), Cosmic Research, 27: 786–797.Google Scholar
  50. Smoot, N.C., (2001), Earth geodynamic hypotheses updated, Journal of Scientific Exploration, 15: 465–494.Google Scholar
  51. Tooth, S., (2006), Virtual globes: A catalyst for the re-enchantment of geomorphology? Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 31: 1192–1194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA, National Geophysical Data Center, (2001), 2–minute gridded global relief data (ETOPO2), Available online at: (accessed 21 October 2005).Google Scholar
  53. Vening Meinesz, F.A., (1947), Shear patterns of the Earth’s crust, Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, 28: 1–61.Google Scholar
  54. Volkov, Y.V., (1995), Loxodromy and minerageny (the influence of astronomic resonances in the Earth-Moon system on the origin of ore deposits in the Earth’s crust), Bulletin of Moscow Society of Naturalists, Geological Series, (70)6: 90–94 (in Russian, with English abstract).Google Scholar
  55. Vörösmarty, C.J., Fekete, B.M., Meybeck, M. and Lammers, R.B., (2000), Geomorphometric attributes of the global system of rivers at 30-minute spatial resolution, Journal of Hydrology, 237: 17–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations


There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations