Phanerozoic palaeogeography and geodynamics with Atlantic details
In this report we synthesize palaeogeographic reconstructions over the last 500 million years. These reconstructions are global and should be regarded as first-order approximations. Reconstructions are essentially derived from 5 sources: (1) palaeomagnetic data, (2) magnetic anomaly data, (3) hot spot tracks, (4) biogeographic-tectonic data and (5) continental 'coast-line' fitting. Palaeomagnetic data provide quantitative information on palaeolatitude and palaeo-rotation of a continent, while palaeolongitude is unconstrained. The Palaeozoic reconstructions are essentially grounded in palaeomagnetic data combined with biogeographic-tectonic data. The Late Palaeozoic to Early-Mid Mesozoic reconstructions are based on a combi- nation of palaeomagnetic, magnetic anomaly data and 'coast-line fits. Finally, Cretaceous and younger reconstructions (130-10.5 Ma) are 'absolute' reconstruc- tions in a hot-spot/magnetic anomaly reference scheme. The latter reconstruc- tions rely on the assumption that hot-spots are stationary or move at rates that are insignificant compared with plate-tectonic movements. Data analyses, reconstructions and most figures were produced with the GMAP software of Torsvik & Smethurst (1998) which is located on http://www.ngu.no/ geophysics or http://dragon.ngu.no.