REDBACK is a software package for efficient reduction of noise in finite-rotation datasets for plate kinematic reconstructions. It has been developed at the Research School of Earth Sciences of the Australian National University, as part of the AuScope–AGOS Inversion Laboratory.

REDBACK is released as open–source software under the GNU General Public License.

REDBACK is deliberately designed to perform efficiently on personal computers, and is available for Unix (Linux and Mac OS) as well as for Windows. Its strengths are easiness of use and computational efficiency. Users include plate kinematicists, geodynamicists and, more in general, anyone making use of tectonic plate motions and their changes through geological time.


The installation package consists of a user's manual (PDF) and two compressed folders: rjmcmc-#.tar.gz and REDBACK-#.tar.gz. The latter is the actual software for reduction of finite–rotation noise, while the former is a software library for the Reversible Jump Monte–Carlo Markov Chain, which REDBACK uses.

In order to compile REDBACK, you need to have the GCC compiler collection already installed on your machine. This is available for download at

You will be asked to register as a user prior to download. This allows you to receive future updates on REDBACK.

    User Manual PDF (5MB)     updated 11/05/2015

    rj-MCMC      tar file (1.3MB) updated 05/05/2014

    REDBACK     tar file (120KB) updated 03/03/2015


The following publications are references to the theoretical background underlying REDBACK, as well as to the algorithm it implements. They also illustrate its capabilities with examples involving synthetic and real finite-rotation datasets.

We recommend reading them beforehand.

    Iaffaldano G., Bodin T. and Sambridge M., Reconstructing plate-motion changes in the presence of finite-rotations noise, 2012, Nat. Commun. 3:1048, doi:10.1038/ncomms2051

    Iaffaldano G., R. Hawkins, Bodin T. and Sambridge M., REDBACK: open-source software for efficient noise-reduction in plate kinematic reconstructions, G3: Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, Vol. 15, No. 4, 04.2014, p. 1663-1670. Please contact Giampiero Iaffaldano <> for a copy.


For information and questions about REDBACK, feel free to get in contact with: