Reconstructing past plate-motion histories in the presence of finite-rotation noise

Tuesday, 16 December 2014: 10:35 AM
Giampiero Iaffaldano1, Rhys Hawkins1, Thomas Bodin2 and Malcolm Sambridge1, (1)Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia, (2)University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, United States
Knowledge of past plate motions, which are derived from ocean-floor finite rotations, remains an important asset of the Earth Sciences, because it allows linking a variety of shallow- and deep-rooted geological processes. Efforts have recently been taken towards reconstructing finite rotations at the unprecedented temporal resolution of about 1 Myr, and more data are anticipated for the near future. These reconstructions, like any data set, feature a degree of noise that may significantly compromise our ability to make geodynamical inferences. Bayesian Inference has been recently shown to be effective in reducing the impact of noise on plate kinematics inferred from high-temporal-resolution finite-rotation data sets. Here we will review kinematic results upon noise reduction in some of these data sets, and speculate about the implications they have for plates/mantle dynamics.