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Geodynamic diagnostics, scientific visualisation and StagLab 3.0

Published on Jun 29, 2018in Geoscientific Model Development5.154
· DOI :10.5194/GMD-11-2541-2018
Fabio Crameri8
Estimated H-index: 8
(University of Oslo)
Abstract
Today's Geodynamic models can, often do, and sometimes have to become very complex. Their underlying, increasingly elaborate numerical codes produce a growing amount of raw data. Post-processing such data becomes therefore more and more challenging and time consuming. In addition, visualising processed data and results has, in times of coloured figures and a wealth of half-scientific software, become one of the weakest pillars of science, widely mistreated and ignored. Efficient and automated Geodynamic diagnostics and sensible, scientific visualisation, preventing common pitfalls, is thus more important than ever. Here, a collection of numerous diagnostics for plate tectonics and mantle dynamics is provided and a case for truly scientific visualisation is made. Amongst other diagnostics are a most accurate and robust plate-boundary identification, slab-polarity recognition, plate-bending derivation, surface-topography component splitting and mantle-plume detection. Thanks to powerful image processing tools and other elaborate algorithms, these and many other insightful diagnostics are conveniently derived from only a subset of the most basic parameter fields. A brand-new set of scientifically proof, perceptually uniform colour maps including " devon ", " davos ", " oslo " and " broc " is introduced and made freely available. These novel colour maps bring a significant advantage over misleading, non-scientific colour maps like "rainbow "', which is shown to introduce a visual error to the underlying data of up to 7.5 %. Finally, StagLab ( http://www.fabiocrameri.ch/software ) is introduced, a software package that incorporates the whole suite of automated Geodynamic diagnostics and, on top of that, applies state-of-the-art, scientific visualisation to produce publication-ready figures and movies, all in a blink of an eye, all fully reproducible. StagLab, a simple, flexible, efficient and reliable tool, made freely available to everyone, is written in MatLab and adjustable for use with Geodynamic mantle-convection codes.
  • References (48)
  • Citations (37)
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References48
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Abstract As the Earth's primary mode of planetary cooling, the oceanic plate is created at mid-ocean ridges, transported across the planet's surface, and destroyed at subduction zones. The evolution of its buoyancy and rheology during its lifespan maintains the coherence of the plate as a distinct geological entity and controls the localised deformation and vertical material exchange at plate boundaries, which enables the horizontal ocean-plate movements. These motions intimately link the oceani...
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#1Fabio Crameri (University of Oslo)H-Index: 8
#2Carolina Lithgow-Bertelloni (UCL: University College London)H-Index: 32
Abstract The sinking remnant of a surface plate crosses and interacts with multiple boundaries in Earth's interior. Here, we specifically investigate the prominent dynamic interaction of the sinking plate portion with the upper-mantle transition zone and its corresponding surface elevation signal. We unravel, for the first time, that the collision of the sinking slab with the transition zone induces a sudden, dramatic downward tilt of the upper plate towards the subduction trench. Unraveling thi...
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Computations have helped elucidate the dynamics of Earth's mantle for several decades already. The numerical methods that underlie these simulations have greatly evolved within this time span, and today include dynamically changing and adaptively refined meshes, sophisticated and efficient solvers, and parallelization to large clusters of computers. At the same time, many of these methods -- discussed in detail in a previous paper in this series -- were developed and tested primarily using model...
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The long-wavelength surface deflection of Earth's outermost rocky shell is mainly controlled by large-scale dynamic processes like isostasy or mantle flow. The largest topographic amplitudes are therefore observed at plate boundaries due to the presence of large thermal heterogeneities and strong tectonic forces. Distinct vertical surface deflections are particularly apparent at convergent plate boundaries mostly due to the convergence and asymmetric sinking of the plates. Having a mantle convec...
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Recent advances in numerical modeling allow global models of mantle convection to more realistically reproduce the behavior at convergent plate boundaries; in particular, the inclusion of a free surface at the outer boundary has been shown to facilitate self-consistent development of single-sided subduction. This allows for a more extensive study of subduction in the context of global mantle convection, as opposed to commonly used regional models. Our first study already indicated important diff...
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