Published online by Cambridge University Press: 29 January 2018
Palaeogeographic reconstructions have been proposed for years. The technique employed, however, is more or less always the same: it consists of determining the palaeoenvironment at the local scale and extending it to the regional scale. Such work is carried out in a maximum number of locations all over the planet and the global palaeogeography is the result of interpolation of those reconstructions. Advances in palaeogeography can be made via an alternative way, which consists of integrating and then coupling various global models. It results in the proposal of synthetic palaeogeographies that can be compared a posteriori to local or regional data. The advantage is twofold: (1) the view is really global and it avoids gaps (in particular in the oceanic realm) in the reconstructions, and it is very much less focused on the coastline; (2) it takes advantages from almost all the fields of geosciences, so that reconstructions can be constrained from a large variety of data. The two techniques – the ‘classic’ and the ‘alternative’ – are not contradictory but complementary, and it is desirable that one feeds the other and the study of palaeogeography be revived.