Global Tectonic Block Model

This is the WORK IN PROGRESS Global Tectonic Block Model that I am building with some colleagues and other contacts. The block motions are constrained both by geodetic data (GNSS, as well as some InSAR-derived velocity fields using the COMET's LiCSAR data), and by geologic slip rates. Expect both block geometries and results to change episodically over the next couple of years.

The viewer below takes the "instantaneous" velocity field (derived from decadal geodetic to Quaternary geologic data, so sort of averaged over that timescale) and extrapolates it back 5 million years in the past (5 Ma) to 5 million years in the future (-5 Ma). This helps me visualize the results and understand what is working and what isn't, in a way that just looking at fault slip rates output by the model does not. It is not intended to be a real paleo- or future-tectonic reconstruction as these rotation poles are not time-invariant, and the block geometry changes due to deformation. Nonetheless, it is, in my opinion, pretty f-in fun to play with.

The primary motivation for this project is to estimate internally-consistent slip rates for all of the block-bounding faults (not shown explicitly yet), for a revised version of the GEM Global Active Fault Database.

The blocks won't show up until you press 'Draw Blocks' below. There is a decent amount of data, and it takes a long time to load, so please wait a few minutes if nothing seems to be happening. Then, you can zoom and scroll around the globe, and move the blocks forward and backward in time with the slider at the bottom.


Big thanks to the following people for their contributions, in no particular order: Tamarah King, Austin Elliott, Tiegan Hobbs, Murray Journeay, Ă–mer Emre, Zach Lifton, Tim Wright, John Elliott, Chris Rawlins.

I'd like to work on performance but I'm not a javascript wizard. If you are and you want to help, drop me a line. Similarly if you want to contribute positively or hurl vitriol at me, also don't hesitate.