Last updated: March 23, 2018

Hi and welcome on this page! Here, you can download the source files behind reconstructions of active margin deformation zones that I have published with my colleagues over the last years. If you use these files, please give reference to the proper publications, as detailed below.

My reconstructions are made with GPlates free software, and are embedded in the global plate kinematic reconstruction of Seton et al., 2012 that is the default reconstruction in GPlates.
GPlates works with two types of files: a shape file that defines the polygons, or lines that are reconstructed through time (.gpml format), and rotation files that define how those polygons or lines move relative to each other through time, as well as an absolute reference frame that shows how the entire plate reconstruction is positioned relative to the mantle (mantle reference frames) or the Earth’s spin axis (paleomagnetic reference frames). Relative and absolute motions are described in a .rot file.

Here, you can download my published reconstructions: (click here for a zip file with all files).

Shape and Rotation files

I provide three folders with files: Shape files, rotation files, and reference frames. The shape files can be uploaded in GPlates, and comprise:
A set of modified files from the reconstruction of Seton et al. (2012) whereby I deleted the polygons in areas that I have reconstructed in more detail. These modified files are:


My own files include:

see: van Hinsbergen et al., 2011; 2018; Gaina et al., 2015; McQuarrie and van Hinsbergen, 2013)
see: van Hinsbergen and Schmid, 2012
see: van Hinsbergen et al., 2014
see: Boschman et al., 2014 and Molina-Garza et al., 2018
see: Schepers et al., 2017
I made a GPlates rendition of the beautiful reconstruction of McQuarrie and Wernicke (2005) of the Basin and Range province since 36 Ma.

Rotation file

My ‘master’ rotation file is based on the rotation file of Seton et al. (2012), updated with the updated Pacific reconstruction of Wright et al., 2016 and follows their rotations for the major continents:


To this file, you can should the rotation files that come with the reconstructions per area:

India_Arabia_Asia.rot (codes 4000-4100 and 7000-7400)
Mediterranean.rot (codes 3000). This file includes rotations for the Aegean and SW Mediterranean region, as well as a full Mediterranean reconstruction that I hope to publish in 2019
Caribbean.rot (codes 2000-2250)
Andes.rot (codes 2500-2750)
Basin_Range.rot (codes 10000-11500)


Absolute Reference frames

Finally, to the rotation file, you should add a reference frame (701 to 0). In the zip file, there are several of these frames available. Mantle reference frames should be used for geodynamic problems, paleomagnetic reference frames for paleogeography and paleoclimate studies (see van Hinsbergen et al., 2015 and for an overview.

mantle reference frames:

Frame_vanderMeer2010slabframe.rot for the slab reference frame of van der Meer et al. (2010) (my default)
Frame_Doubrovine2012hotspotframe.rot for the global moving hotspot reference frame of Doubrovine et al. (2012)
Frame_O’Neill2005hotspotframe.rot for the Indo-Atlantic moving hotspot reference frame of O’Neill et al. (2005) (GPlates default)
Frame_Torsvik08GMHFsmoothed.rot for the Indo-Atlantic moving hotspot reference frame of Torsvik et al., 2008
Frame_Torsvik2012pmagTPWcorrframe.rot for the true polar wander corrected paleomagnetic reference frame of Torsvik et al. (2012) (NB, no paleolongitude control!)

paleomagnetic reference frames:

Frame_Torsvik2012pmagframe.rot for the paleomagnetic reference frame of Torsvik et al. (2012) (my default)
Frame_BesseCourtillot2002pmagframe.rot for the paleomagnetic reference frame of Besse and Courtillot (2002)
Frame_KentIrving2010pmagframe.rot for the paleomagnetic reference frame of Kent and Irving (2010)


In addition to the reconstruction files listed above, I have made a few movies that can be used for teaching or outreach purposes and that you may find useful:

India-Arabia-Asia movie
Caribbean movie
Mediterranean movie
Aegean movie
Western Mediterranean movie

Global tomography and subduction zone reconstructions

Over the last years, we have published several papers on a compilation of lower mantle slab remnants, and used this to develop mantle reference frames (van der Meer et al. 2010), improve oceanic plate reconstructions (van der Meer et al., 2012), and quantitatively assess the influence of geodynamic processes on climate evolution (van der Meer et al., 2014). Much of this information is now included in the Atlas of the Underworld, but GIS files that lay at the basis for the previous papers can be downloaded here: