A plate tectonics (continental drift) simulation can be used to simulate the growth and evolution of continents, like in SimEarth. The results can be very realistic if your model is realistic; unfortunately, it usually takes a long time to run if the model is detailed enough for most uses. Here are a couple of continental drift simulators available on the net:
- ftp.uu.net /comp.sources.misc/volume10/tec
- This package contains source code for David Allen's Continental Drift Simulator. Includes ports to: Sun, Unix, Amiga, PC. I tested the PC version (Turbo C), and it compiles/works fine.
- ftp.uu.net /comp.sources.misc/volume18/planet
- This package is an update to the above. Now includes Clim, a climate generator, and Globe, an X program to animate the maps. Also includes an update to Tec. However, this doesn't compile on PC's.
- GrimmWare's Genesis Engine
- This is a commercial package which claims to use plate tectonics theory to generate gaming worlds. The Genesis Engine is supposed to be available for licensing in February 1997. [I have not yet seen this package to evaluate it; if anyone has experience with this package, I'd appreciate a review.]
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