Continental breakup triggered massive CO2 emissions

Currently, human activity is the primary driver of elevating atmospheric CO2, but the Earth fluctuated from greenhouse to icehouse conditions and back long before humans existed. The question is:  what triggered these long-term climate cycles? Now research at the University of Sydney’s EarthByte Group, in collaboration with the German Research Centre for Geosciences, reveals how … Read more…

The Mapping Sciences Institute of Australia (NSW Division): Annual MSIA Seminar

The Mapping Sciences Institute of Australia (NSW Division) recently hosted its Annual MSIA Seminar at the Aspire Hotel in Ultimo, celebrating its 65th year promoting mapping. Prof. Dietmar Müller gave a presentation on “Using big data analytics to reveal what controls seabed geology”. World’s ocean basins contain a rich and nearly continuous record of environmental fluctuations … Read more…

University-wide code repository rolled out

Sydney Informatics Hub provides free repository service for code development and management. Sydney is the first university in Australia to offer staff and students access to GitHub Enterprise, a code development and management system that allows collaborators to work together to develop, test and distribute code. The platform is operated by Sydney Informatics Hub and is part of the … Read more…

EarthByte Honours and Masters Projects 2018

EarthByte globe icon

EarthByte has now released a list of Honours/Masters projects to be offered in 2018. These projects are outlined below. Project Title Supervisor(s) Dynamic Earth models, landscape dynamics and basin evolution in Australasia Dietmar Müller, Sabin Zahirovic, Tristan Salles, Rohit Chandra, Sally Cripps (Centre for Translational Data Science) Incorporating modern plate tectonic reconstructions into box models of the deep-time deep-Earth … Read more…

A reconstruction of the Eurekan Orogeny incorporating deformation constraints

Author List:  Austin Gion, Simon Williams, Dietmar Müller Citation: Gion, A.M., Williams, S.E. and Müeller, R.D., 2017. A reconstruction of the Eurekan Orogeny incorporating deformation constraints. Tectonics, 36(2), pp.304-320. Abstract: The Eurekan Orogeny records Paleogene convergence between Greenland and the Canadian Arctic. The complexity of the region, well represented by the disputed magnitude of Cenozoic sinistral displacement of … Read more…

A global review and digital database of large-scale extinct spreading centers

Author List: Sarah MacLeod, Simon Williams, Kara Matthews, Dietmar Müller and Xiaodong Qin Citation: MacLeod, S.J., Williams, S.E., Matthews, K.J., Müller, R.D. and Qin, X., 2017. A global review and digital database of large-scale extinct spreading centers. Geosphere, pp.GES01379-1. Abstract: Extinct mid-ocean ridges record past plate boundary reorganizations, and identifying their locations is crucial to developing a better understanding of the … Read more…

Kinematic constraints on the Rodinia to Gondwana transition

Author List: Andrew Merdith, Simon Williams, Dietmar Müller & Alan Collins. Citation: Merdith, Andrew & Williams, Simon & Müller, Dietmar & Collins, Alan. (2017). Kinematic constraints on the Rodinia-Gondwana transition. Precambrian Research. 299. . 10.1016/j.precamres.2017.07.013. Abstract: Earth’s plate tectonic history during the breakup of the supercontinent Pangea is well constrained from the seafloor spreading record, but evolving plate configurations during … Read more…

Influence of mantle flow on the drainage of eastern Australia since the Jurassic period

Author List: Tristan Salles, Nicolas Flament & Dietmar Müller. Citation: Salles, Tristan & Flament, Nicolas & Müller, Dietmar. (2017). Influence of mantle flow on the drainage of eastern Australia since the Jurassic Period. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems. 18. . 10.1002/2016GC006617. Abstract:  Recent studies of the past eastern Australian landscape from present-day longitudinal river profiles and from mantle flow models … Read more…

Dynamic topography and eustasy controlled the paleogeographic evolution of northern Africa since the mid-Cretaceous

Author List: Nicholas Barnett-Moore, Rakib Hassan, Dietmar Müller, Simon Williams & Nicolas Flament. Citation: Barnett-Moore, Nicholas & Hassan, Rakib & Müller, Dietmar & Williams, Simon & Flament, Nicolas. (2017). Dynamic topography and eustasy controlled the paleogeographic evolution of northern Africa since the mid Cretaceous. Tectonics. . 10.1002/2016tc004280. Abstract: Northern Africa underwent widespread inundation during the Late Cretaceous. Changes … Read more…

Origin and evolution of the deep thermochemical structure beneath Eurasia

Author List: Nicolas Flament, Simon Williams, Dietmar Müller, Michael Gurnis & Dan Bower. Citation: Flament, Nicolas & Williams, Simon & Müller, Dietmar & Gurnis, Michael & J. Bower, Dan. (2017). Origin and evolution of the deep thermochemical structure beneath Eurasia. Nature Communications. 8. . 10.1038/ncomms14164. Abstract: A unique structure in the Earth’s lowermost mantle, the Perm Anomaly, was … Read more…

Sydney Science Forum: The world builders – Creating an experimental planet

Presented by Professor Dietmar Müller School of Geosciences, University of Sydney What makes our planet habitable? Rapid global environmental change compels us to better understand what makes Earth suitable for life. Find out how the Experimental Planet being developed by the EarthByte Group in the University of Sydney’s School of Geosciences, is exploring different pathways … Read more…

Volcanoes, geysers and earthquakes! – 89.7 Eastside FM

A recent trip to Iceland piqued Sylvia’s curiosity about nearly every geological feature she saw. Back in Sydney, she explored those features – volcanoes, geysers, earthquakes, tectonic plates – with Dietmar Muller, Professor of Geophysics at the University of Sydney. That conversation went to air on Arts Wednesday 16 August 2017 and you can listen … Read more…

The Encyclopedia of Marine Geosciences

The Encyclopedia of Marine Geosciences was selected for the 2017 Mary B. Ansari Best Geoscience Research Resource Work Award of The Geoscience Information Society (GSIS). The formal award will be given at the GSA 2017 conference in October in Seattle/USA. EarthByters Dietmar Muller and Maria Seton contributed two chapters on “Paleophysiography of Ocean Basins” and “Plate Motion”. This Encyclopedia … Read more…

Rock solid insights deepen our understanding of the world

Final year undergraduate student, Madison East is based in the School of Geosciences EarthByte Group, a leading international collaboration between Australian universities, industry partners and centres of excellence. “I began a research scholarship with Dietmar Müller and the EarthByte Groupin the summer of 2016/17 looking at how subduction zones have evolved since the Jurassic,” said … Read more…

Global patterns in Earth’s dynamic topography since the Jurassic: the role of subducted slabs

Author List: Michael Rubey, Sascha Brune, Christian Heine, Rhodri Davies, Simon Williams, and Dietmar Müller. Citation: Rubey, M., Brune, S., Heine, C., Davies, D. R., Williams, S. E., and Müller, R. D.: Global patterns in Earth’s dynamic topography since the Jurassic: the role of subducted slabs, Solid Earth, 8, 899-919, https://doi.org/10.5194/se-8-899-2017, 2017. Abstract: We evaluate the spatial … Read more…

Tectonic speed limits from plate kinematic reconstructions

Abstract The motion of plates and continents on the planet’s surface are a manifestation of long-term mantle convection and plate tectonics. Present-day plate velocities provide a snapshot of this ongoing process, and have been used to infer controlling factors on the speeds of plates and continents. However, present-day velocities do not capture plate behaviour over … Read more…

The deep Earth origin of the Iceland plume and its effects on regional surface uplift and subsidence

Abstract The present-day seismic structure of the mantle under the North Atlantic Ocean indicates that the Iceland hotspot represents the surface expression of a deep mantle plume, which is thought to have erupted in the North Atlantic domain during the Palaeocene. The spatial and temporal evolution of the plume since its eruption is still highly … Read more…

The Australian-New Zealand IODP Consortium Workshop

The recent Australian-New Zealand IODP Consortium workshop organised jointly with the School of Geosciences, University of Sydney was the largest Australasian workshop for scientific ocean drilling on record with about 100 attendees from 12 countries, including Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Japan, India, Germany, Great Britain, France, Denmark, Sweden, Canada, and the USA, with the youngest attendee being only … Read more…

Dynamic topography of passive continental margins and their hinterlands since the Cretaceous

Author List: Dietmar Müller, Rakib Hassan, Michael Garnis, Nicolas Flament, Simon Williams. Citation: Müller, Dietmar & Hassan, Rakib & Gurnis, M & Flament, Nicolas & Williams, Simon. (2017). Dynamic topography of passive continental margins and their hinterlands since the Cretaceous. Gondwana Research. . 10.1016/j.gr.2017.04.028. Abstract: Even though it is well accepted that the Earth’s surface topography has been … Read more…

Rodinia conference in Townsville reviews progress and challenges in reconstructing ancient supercontinents

Several EarthByters presented talks at the Rodinia 2017 conference in Townsville, including Dietmar Müller, Andrew Merdith, Simon Williams, Mike Tetley and Nicolas Flament.  The conference was opened by two talks by Alan Collins (Univ. Adelaide) and Andrew, presenting their new Proterozoic Rodinia plate model with continuously closing plate boundaries that were recently published in Gondwana … Read more…

Dietmar Müller to lead Sydney Informatics Core Facility

Dietmar Müller appointed as Director of the Sydney Informatics Hub.  Professor Dietmar Müller has been appointed as the new director of the University’s Sydney Informatics Hub. One of seven Core Research Facilities, the Sydney Informatics Hub offers expertise and capabilities from the University’s High Performance Computing cluster, Artemis, and the Centre for Translational Data Science, … Read more…

Fellows feature story in Crinkling News

Read the story of Dietmar in this week’s edition of Crinkling News, Australia’s only newspaper for kids. He located a photo of himself and his family when he was a kid to share his story of what inspired him to become a scientist. Crinkling News is posted out weekly to 800 Australian schools and has 30,000 young readers. They have … Read more…

Congratulations to the new Australian Academy of Science Fellow Prof Dietmar Muller

Prof Dietmar Muller, EarthByter at the School of Geosciences, University of Sydney, was elected a fellow of the Australian Academy of Science for his work on charting the evolution of the Earth through deep time. He is a world-leading geophysicist whose research has transformed our understanding of the Earth’s evolution over the past 200 million years. … Read more…

EarthByters selected as exceptional reviewers for GSA journals

EarthByters selected as exceptional reviewers for GSA journals Several Australian geologists and geophysicists have been selected as exceptional reviewers for Geological Society of America journals, for prompt, insightful, meticulous, and tactful reviews. Nicolas Flament was selected for his reviews of Lithosphere papers, and Dietmar Muller for Geosphere reviews. Other Australians honoured for their quality reviews … Read more…

Understanding the Deep Carbon Cycle from Icehouse to Greenhouse Climates

Sydney Research Excellence Initiative grant (2017-2018) Research area, key questions, significance, and innovation. The planet is experiencing a major transition from an icehouse climate, one dominated by permanent continental ice sheets at high latitudes, to a greenhouse climate that favours ice-free conditions. Although part of the deglaciation trend is influenced by a natural orbital cycle, … Read more…

Australasian IODP Regional Planning Workshop

Date: June 13-16, 2017 Venue: The University of Sydney The workshop is co-organised by Neville Exon (Australian National University), Karsten Gohl (Alfred Wegener Institut), Michael Gurnis (California Institute of Technology), Stuart Henrys (GNS Science, Wellington), Fumio Inagaki (JAMSTEC), Rob McKay (Victoria University, Wellington), Dietmar Mueller (University of Sydney, Conference Host), Dhananjai Pandey (NCAOR, India), Amelia … Read more…

EarthByte offers spatio-temporal modeling resources to researchers and the public

In 2016, the EarthByte group, based in the School of Geosciences at the University of Sydney, created a visualization tool and model to measure the interactions of arc volcanism with buried carbonate platforms in deep time. The new workflow tools, which are available to the DCO community, enable scientists to approximate paleo-atmospheric CO2 flux within … Read more…

The effect of continental stress on carbon storage sites

Mitigating global warming by CO2 storage? Check for the continental stressitis. If proposed CO2 sites are not properly assessed for long-term stability,  future civilisations could still suffer the consequences of global warming. Professor Dietmar Müller from the School of Geosciences at the University of Sydney and Scott Dyksterhuis from ExxonMobil have created a computer model … Read more…

Basin Genesis Hub computer model explains Early Cretaceous eastward flow of ancient Murray River

Murray_RiverAustralia is an outstanding natural laboratory to study the influence of dynamic topography on landscape evolution, having been largely unaffected by tectonic deformation since the Jurassic. Recent studies of the past eastern Australian landscape from present-day longitudinal river profiles and from mantle flow models suggest that the interaction of plate motion with mantle convection accounts for the two phases of large-scale uplift of the region since 120 Ma. … Read more…

Modelling and visualizing distributed compressional plate deformation using GPlates2.0: The Arctic Eurekan Orogeny

Gion_etal_figPresent-day distributed plate deformation is being mapped and simulated in great detail, largely based on satellite observations.  In contrast, the modelling of and data assimilation into deforming plate models for the geological past is still in its infancy.  The recently released GPLates2.0 software provides a framework for building plate models including diffuse deformation.  … Read more…