Quantitative bedrock geology of the continents and large-scale drainage regions Academic Article uri icon


  • We quantitatively analyze the area-age distribution of sedimentary, extrusive volcanic, and endogenous (plutonic and/or metamorphic) bedrock on the basis of data from the most recent digital Geological Map of the World at a scale of 1:25,000,000. The spatial resolution of the digital bedrock data averages 13,905 km2 per polygon. Comparison of certain regions of the world, previously analyzed at higher spatial resolution, with the low-resolution world data reveals general consistency in the areal exposure of major rock types as well as a minor systematic bias toward older average bedrock ages in the global data set. Application of the global bedrock data to 19 large-scale drainage regions and three large, internally drained regions reveals considerable regional variability of Earth's bedrock geology that is consistent with the dominant geotectonic setting of the respective drainage region.

publication date

  • June 2007