The creation of realistic virtual terrain has been a longstanding computer graphics problem, as terrain will form the backdrop of any virtual world. Approaches to this problem to date have taken one of two approaches: either fractally generating landscapes, or simulating the processes of water and thermal erosion. I have developed a new method to synthesize virtual landscapes, by simulating some of the geological forces that create real-world landscapes

I model the collision and deformation of simulated tectonic plates, and create features that mimic those found along real-world plate boundaries. This is achieved through the use of a meshless object representation subjected to physically-based forces, using existing techniques for accurately modeling stress and strain in solid objects.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Landscapes--Computer simulation; Plate tectonics--Computer simulation; Virtual reality; Computer graphics

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Computer Science (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Computer Science (GCCIS)


Joe Geigel

Advisor/Committee Member

Zach Butler

Advisor/Committee Member

Warren Carithers


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at QA76.9.C65 J37 2006


RIT – Main Campus