Global Seafloor Fabric

PIs: P. Wessel (SOEST, U of Hawaii) and R. D. Müller (U of Sydney)
Contributors: K. Matthews (U of Sydney), J. Whittaker (U of Tasmania), R. Myhill (U Bayreuth), M. T. Chandler (U of Hawaii)

Updated 22 November, 2022
North Atlantic Fracture Zone

What is this site?

This is a collection of seafloor fabric lineations, including fracture zones, extinct ridges, V-anomalies, discordant zones, and propagating rifts.

Available Data

The latest snapshot of the sea floor fabric data base can be found here in three different file formats:
  1. OGR/GMT multisegment files (as bzipped tarball).
  2. KMZ Google Earth files.
  3. ESRI Shapefile files (as zipped archive).

Recent Activity

Available Software

The software used to refine seafloor fabric traces from guide points and VGG grids and to convert Chron names to actual ages using magnetic timescales is available as a custom GMT 5.x supplement. Thus, you must install GMT (5.2 or later) before building the GSFML supplement. After GMT 5.x is installed and in your path you can download the GSFML supplement for GMT 5.x and follow the build instructions in the README.gsfml file. Once installed the three GSFML modules are available via the gmt executable (and the four bash scripts will be in your executable path).

Wish to contribute?

See GSFML Participation Instructions.


  1. Matthews, K. J., R. D. Müller, P. Wessel, and J. M. Whittaker (2011), The tectonic fabric of the ocean basins, J. Geophys. Res., 116(B12109). The data set analyzed in this paper is a snapshot of the database as of 2011 and has been preserved on the EarthByte ftp site.
  2. Wessel, P., K. J. Matthews, R. D. Müller, A. Mazzoni, J. M. Whittaker, R. Myhill, and M. T. Chandler (2015), Semiautomatic fracture zone tracking, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, doi:10.1002/2015GC005853. This article discusses the Fracture zone tracking software which is available as a GMT 5.2 supplement.

Maintained by Paul Wessel
SOEST EarthByte