I manage the PLATES Project, a global plate tectonics research and data
compilation project based at the University of Texas at Austin Institute for
Geophysics (UTIG). The project, sponsored by a consortium of oil companies,
is built on nine years of plate tectonic research. Three principal investigators
lead the project: Drs. Mike Coffin, Larry Lawver, and Eric Rosencrantz.
Their areas of research are described below. One of Dr. Lawver's special
areas is plate tectonic reconstructions of Antarctica. Dr. Ian Dalziel, also at
UTIG, is one of PLATES' collaborators. Dr. Dalziel is heavily involved
in Antarctic research. These scientists provided answers to the Live
from Antarctica questions that were sent to me.
PLATES Principal Investigators
- Mike Coffin, Ph.D.- Research scientist in marine geophysics. Dr.
research interests include studies of the structure, stratigraphy, and
tectonics of continental margins, plate boundaries, and ocean plateaus and
basins using multichannel seismic reflection, refraction, gravity, satellite
altimeter, magnetic, and rock sample data. He has worked in the Indian
Ocean, the southern Ocean, the Central and Western North Atlantic, and the
- Larry Lawver, Ph.D. - Senior research scientist in marine geophysics.
Lawver's research focuses on heat flow studies in marginal basins, plate
tectonic reconstructions of the polar regions, and the tectonic evolution of
Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific.
- Eric Rosencrantz, Ph.D. - Research scientist in tectonics. Dr.
areas of research include the tectonics and geology of the Caribbean and Gulf
of Mexico and global tectonics, and geophysical software development.