Digital images of combined oceanic and continental data sets and their use in tectonic studies



Recently, much interest has centered around the development of gridded geophysical data sets capable of resolving features important for tectonic studies of the earth's crust and lithosphere in both oceanic and continental areas. Construction of such data sets is now possible for several reasons: (1) satellite missions, such as GEOS 3, Seasat, and Magsat have provided abundant information with uniform coverage in all parts of the oceans, including remote areas poorly explored by surface ships; (2) a new digital bathymetric data set has been completed by the U.S. Naval Oceanographic Office; (3) geophysical measurements made in many countries around the world are closely spaced and thus highly suitable for gridding; and (4) these data have been disseminated to the scientific community.

Except for studies based on earthquake seismology, tectonic studies of continental and oceanic areas have largely proceeded separately, using data acquired from land geological and geophysical surveys, and ships at sea, respectively. Our purpose in this paper is to demonstrate how crustal and lithospheric studies can benefit when continental and oceanic data sets are combined. In addition, we show how digital imaging techniques provide an effective means for displaying the information contained in these combined data sets. Interpretation methods are greatly facilitated by the ability to enhance linear trends and subtle regional textures, and by the ability to display complementary data sets side-by-side or by overlaying images.