Journal cover Journal topic
Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Model description paper
20 Feb 2018
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of this manuscript was accepted for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD) and is expected to appear here in due course.
Geodynamic diagnostics, scientific visualisation and StagLab 3.0
Fabio Crameri Centre for Earth Dynamics and Evolution (CEED), University of Oslo, Postbox 1028 Blindern, 0315 Oslo, Norway
Abstract. Today's Geodynamic models can, often do, and sometimes have to become very complex. Their underlying, increasingly elaborate numerical codes produce a growing amount of raw data. Post-processing such data becomes therefore more and more challenging and time consuming. In addition, visualising processed data and results has, in times of coloured figures and a wealth of half-scientific software, become one of the weakest pillars of science, widely mistreated and ignored. Efficient and automated Geodynamic diagnostics and sensible, scientific visualisation, preventing common pitfalls, is thus more important than ever. Here, a collection of numerous diagnostics for plate tectonics and mantle dynamics is provided and a case for truly scientific visualisation is made. Amongst other diagnostics are a most accurate and robust plate-boundary identification, slab-polarity recognition, plate-bending derivation, surface-topography component splitting and mantle-plume detection. Thanks to powerful image processing tools and other elaborate algorithms, these and many other insightful diagnostics are conveniently derived from only a subset of the most basic parameter fields. A brand-new set of scientifically proof, perceptually uniform colour maps including "devon", "davos", "oslo" and "broc" is introduced and made freely available. These novel colour maps bring a significant advantage over misleading, non-scientific colour maps like "rainbow"', which is shown to introduce a visual error to the underlying data of up to 7.5 %. Finally, StagLab ( is introduced, a software package that incorporates the whole suite of automated Geodynamic diagnostics and, on top of that, applies state-of-the-art, scientific visualisation to produce publication-ready figures and movies, all in a blink of an eye, all fully reproducible. StagLab, a simple, flexible, efficient and reliable tool, made freely available to everyone, is written in MatLab and adjustable for use with Geodynamic mantle-convection codes.
Citation: Crameri, F.: Geodynamic diagnostics, scientific visualisation and StagLab 3.0, Geosci. Model Dev. Discuss.,, in review, 2018.
Fabio Crameri


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Short summary
Firstly, this study acts as a compilation of key Geodynamic diagnostics and describes how to automatise them for a more efficient scientific procedure. Secondly, it outlines today's key pitfalls of scientific visualisation and provides means to circumvent them with, for example, a novel set of fully scientific colour maps. Thirdly, it introduces StagLab 3.0, a software that applies such fully-automated diagnostics and state-of-the-art visualisation in a blink of an eye.
Firstly, this study acts as a compilation of key Geodynamic diagnostics and describes how to...