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The central theme of my research has been to illustrate the plate tectonic development of the ocean basins and continents, as well as the changing distribution of land and sea during the past 1100 million years. In order to be able to do this well, during the past 25 years, I have studied paleontology, paleomagnetism, marine geophysics, satellite altimetry, reflection seismology, hydrocarbon charge systems, basin analysis, paleoclimatology, meteorology, Geographic Information Systems, computer graphics, computer programming, and database management. I have integrated and synthesized the information from these studies into widely cited research papers, maps, computer animations, computer software, 3D computer models, and an internationally visited Internet website (http://www.scotese.com) that shows how the Earth's geography, climate, oceanography, and life have evolved through time. While pursuing this research work I have served as the chairman of international working groups, the primary investigator of industry funded research projects, and have interacted with a broad spectrum of Earth scientists, for whom understanding the history of the Earth, the evolution of its life, the development of its atmosphere and oceans, and the formation of its economic resources is a life-long commitment.
Recent collaborative research projects have included: the constructions of a digital model that describes plate motions through time, the assembly of a database that records climatic sensitive lithologies (e.g. coal, salt, aluminum ore), a study of the biogeography of Cretaceous dinosaurs, a study of deep ocean circulation during the Eocene, the plate tectonic and paleoclimatic history of the Gondwana continents, and a review of the plate tectonic evolution of the North Pacific (see CV for details).
An Atlas of Earth History that summarizes much of this work has been published, two books are in press, and I am working on a third book, The Foundations of System History (Columbia University Press), that will describe and document the information and techniques that I have used to produce the maps and animations of Earth evolution.
My current research collaboration includes: paleoclimate models of the Late Paleozoic (E. Grossman, A&M) and Cretaceous (T. Moore, Argonne National Lab), a biogeographic study of Late Paleozoic ammonites (D. Korn, Tubigen, Germany), Late Proterozoic plate tectonic reconstructions (K.Metz), the relationship between sea floor spreading and sea level changes ( M. Kominz, W. Michigan U.; S. and C. Stein, Northwestern University), the tectonic and mineral development of NE Eurasia (W. Nokleberg, USGS), a global compilation of ophiolite localities (Y. Dilek, Miami U.), and the tectonic evolution of Central America (B. Burkart, UTA). I am also preparing a new set of maps that show the changing pattern of plate evolution through time (A. Schettino, Milan), because I believe that an understanding of the history of the changing geometry of plate configurations will be essential to our ultimate understanding of the driving mechanisms of plate tectonics. I am also building a series of 3D digital models of global topography and bathymetry that will be the basis of a new set of plate tectonic, paleogeographic and paleoclimatic maps and animations.
Future research plans include continued and expanded collaboration with paleoclimate modelers (A. Weaver, U. Victoria; D. Pollard, Penn State U.). and paleobiogeographers (B. Lieberman, U. Kansas; W. Kiessling, Berlin; S. Lidgard, Field Museum). I have been invited by the leaders of the USGS Global Mineral Assessment program to provide the plate tectonic reconstructions that will help the USGS assess the Earth's remaining mineral reserves, and I plan to add a basin modeling component to my 3D models of topography and bathymetry in order to secure future funding for the PALEOMAP Project from the oil exploration industry. And as always I will continue to illustrate these many and varied aspects of Earth evolution with maps and computer animations.
Research Summary 1974 - 2001
Research Funding $1,073,500
Research Papers & Articles 89
Books in Press & Preparation 3
Citations of Research 1457 (Science Citation Index)
Seminars & Invited Talks >100
Industry Reports >100