Chapter 2

Mapping the movement

Bob Parker, who went to Scripps as a post-doc in early 1967, had developed a computer programme to draw the oceans. McKenzie was there too and discussed with Parker how to combine the different forms of data using spherical geometry. Parker’s SUPERMAP programme proved useful, presenting the data in an oblique Mercator projectionoblique Mercator projectionan equatorial, cylindrical, conformal map projection derived from the mathematical analysis in which the equator is represented by a straight line normally true to scale.; the diagrams were immediately convincing. They put it all together over a weekend and submitted it to Nature. “We did that really very quickly. At the beginning, I didn’t know anything at all about what Jason MorganJason MorganJason Morgan (1935-present) took his PhD at Princeton where he spent most of his career. His work on plate tectonics, published 1968, focused on magnetic anomaly data, in contrast to McKenzie’s application of fault slip directions; they are fundamentally the same theory. Morgan went on to apply and refine Tuzo Wilson’s ideas about hot spots and mantle plumes, together with mantle convection. was doing on the other coast.”

One of the SUPERMAP projections collated by Dan McKenzie as part of the research for and publication of: McKenzie, D & R L Parker, “The North Pacific: an example of tectonics on a sphere”, Nature, 216: 1276-1280, (1967).