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Visualisation of 8000 years of geological history in Southern India

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Visualisation of geological process raises special issues for scientists and animators. The degree of physical movement of a rising arch or along a fault line may be very small compared to the normal terrain variation. Over a long time period the major changes in the environment may come from the more substantial surface manifestations of changing draining regimes. In Tamil Nadu State in South-Eastern India there are continuing tectonic movements arising from the collision of the subcontinent with the greater Asian land mass. Over comparatively recent times (7000 years) these movements have had a major impact on drainage and other hydrological outcomes. The Cauvery River in particular has migrated several hundred kilometres over this period. A mosaic was made from recent satellite imagery and then manipulated to create surface textures for dates between 7000 years and 1000 years. Changes in the terrain surface, such as rising arch structures and descending grabens, have been modelled and animated. The combination of terrain movement and surface change provides a visual history of the period.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 June 1999

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