Researchers make a moving tectonic map of the Game of Thrones landscape | 5/9/2019 | Staff
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Scientists are among the millions of die-hard Game of Thrones fans digesting the show's finale today.

The striking landscape of Game of Thrones has led some researchers to build climate simulations that explain the erratic seasons depicted in the show, and others to piece together the geological history.

Work - Plate - Reconstruction - Game - Thrones

Inspired by this work, we have built the first plate tectonic reconstruction of the Game of Thrones continents. Tectonic plates are moving slabs that make up the outer layer of our planet, and behave like conveyor belts in the way they carry and drag continents around on the surface.

Even in this fantasy Game of Thrones world, geological processes like tectonic plate movement, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions would have been responsible for building the mountains, carving the rivers and creating vast oceans.

Tectonic - Puzzles

Why solve tectonic 'jigsaw puzzles'?

Firstly, because even scientists are allowed a bit of fun now and then. But we also hope this map will help people better understand the science of plate tectonics, which is key to us knowing our past, present and even future world.

Plate - Tectonics - Climate - Change - Game

Plate tectonics can help us contextualise climate change and, like in the Game of Thrones world, geological events can influence political and social history.

We built the tectonic maps using free community software, called GPlates, that we developed for real-world tectonic modelling in the School of Geosciences at the University of Sydney.

Animation - Model - Westeros - Essos - Technology

The animation first shows our model for Westeros and Essos, but also how we use the same technology to build a detailed representation of Earth's tectonic evolution. The same technology is also used by hobbyist "planet builders" who create evolving maps that might be used in computer games, movies and TV shows, or other creative pursuits.

Plate tectonic reconstructions of Westeros and Essos over 600 million years in GPlates ( Note the brown regions, mountains, that appear when continents collide....
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