Reconstructing Our World in 4D: Advances in Palaeogeography Special Issue
The latest special issue “Advances in Palaeogeography” in Geological Magazine presents a collection of ten articles widely addressing a range of new and important topics within the field of palaeogeography.
Many of these case studies highlight how paleogeography as a science is necessarily integrative and often requires a broad understanding of global processes to enable thorough reconstructions. In historical consideration, the featured case studies here demonstrate well the current state of palaeogeography-related research and how integrative approaches were absolutely essential to the “…innovative yet often provocative ideas which finally led to the establishment to the theories of continental drift and plate tectonics” and have gone to promote a strong global plate tectonic legacy during the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.
Several studies discuss and highlight how modern techniques, such as U-Pb zircon geochronology, improved low-temperature thermochronology, “big data”, and dynamic computer simulations, can be paired easily with more traditional geologic datasets such as lithologic, palaeomagnetic, and palaeontological data. All together, these allow for more accurate global models for both horizontal and vertical geographic distributions throughout geologic time.
And lastly, the issue further explores how the field of palaeogeography can be an essential tool in understanding world energy and natural resource challenges in a more refined context to global systems.
This special issue of Geological Magazine is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan Gilbert Smith, one of the first computational researchers in palaeogeography during the 20th century. Alan was a Fellow of St John’s College and Emeritus Reader in Geology at the University of Cambridge.