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3d plate tectonics in Python

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A successor to PyTectonics has emerged that runs in a web browser. It has come to surpass PyTectonics in functionality. You can find this project [here]( The PyTectonics project page will remain for archival purposes but no additional work will be done on the simulator.

PyTectonics is a 3d plate tectonics simulator written in Python to provide realistic terrain generation for hobbyist world builders. It aims to use simple yet scientifically defensible models that may be easily understood by nonexperts and modified by developers. A 3D framework is used to provide a solid foundation for modeling that is grounded in reality.

PyTectonics requires the vpython and scipy libraries

pyTectonics Web Site


  • Interactive 3d display using colors from satellite imagery
  • Realistic plate motion based around Euler poles
  • Realistic collisions conserving angular momentum
  • Island arc formation
  • Continental orogenesis
  • Isostacy

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Intended Audience

Advanced End Users

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