loading page

Reclus, a new Database for Investigating the Tectonics of the Earth: an Example from the East African Margin and Hinterland
  • Paul Markwick,
  • Douglas Paton,
  • Estelle Mortimer
Paul Markwick
Knowing Earth Limited

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

Author Profile
Douglas Paton
TectonKnow Limited
Author Profile
Estelle Mortimer
University of Leeds
Author Profile


The open availability of global scientific databases is key to advancing research of the Earth system and facilitating cross-disciplinary studies. There are numerous datasets available for investigating tectonics, but none that provide an internally consistent representation of the structural framework, crustal architecture, and geodynamics. We present Reclus, a suite of global, integrated databases that fill this gap, thereby providing the community with the key components for investigating the Earth system. Reclus includes databases of the following: (1) structural elements, which define the three-dimensional geometry of the rock volume, including folds and faults; (2) ‘crustal’ facies describing the geometry and composition/rheology of the lithosphere; (3) igneous features; and (4) geodynamics, representing the dominant thermo-mechanical processes acting on the lithosphere. These databases and workflows are applied to East Africa to investigate the geometry and heterogeneity of the margin and its hinterland. This margin is often summarised in the literature as a ‘transform margin,’ represented by a single structural feature, the ‘Davie Fracture Zone’, but it is much more complicated. We show how the pre-existing structure, the superimposition of successive tectonic cycles, and crustal heterogeneity dictate the complexity observed.
Nov 2021Published in Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems volume 22 issue 11. 10.1029/2021GC009897