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…

Taking the pulse of the global ocean

sediments_currents_global_oceanWhen organic particles sink from the surface ocean to the seafloor, a small but significant proportion of atmospheric carbon is stored away. Adriana Dutkiewicz and colleagues at the University of Sydney and Data61/CSIRO have now used global data sets collected over decades combined with cutting-edge big data analysis to understand how this process depends on surface ocean environments.   … Read more…

Commotion in the deep Southern Ocean

souther_ocean_circulationCongratulations Adriana Dutkiewicz, Dietmar Müller, Andrew Hogg, and Paul Spence for their recent paper published in Geology. Their paper, Vigorous deep-sea currents cause global anomaly in sediment accumulation in the Southern Ocean, revealed an enormous stretch of the Southern Ocean where sediments are building up at a rate that dwarfs other deep ocean locations. The work has attracted the attention of media internationally. … Read more…

Commotion in the deep Southern Ocean

SE_Ind_ridge_labelled
Bathymetry of the Southeast indian Ridge, where a major sediment accumulation rate anomaly has been linked to lateral changes in the vigour of bottom water flow.

A team led by the University of Sydney School of Geosciences has found an 8,000-km long sediment pile-up in the middle of the Southern Ocean, making this feature unique in the world. Their study was published today in the leading international journal Geology. … Read more…

PLOS ONE – The GPlates Portal: Cloud-Based Interactive 3D Visualization of Global Geophysical and Geological Data in a Web Browser

Müller, R. D., Qin, X., Sandwell, D. T., Dutkiewicz, A., Williams, S. E., Flament, N., Maus, S., & Seton, M. (2016). The GPlates Portal: Cloud-Based Interactive 3D Visualization of Global Geophysical and Geological Data in a Web Browser. PLoS ONE, 11(3), e0150883. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0150883 The GPlates Portal: Cloud-Based Interactive 3D Visualization of Global Geophysical and Geological Data … Read more…

GPlates Portal International Media Coverage

gravity_grid_180my_agoThe recent article on the GPlates Portal published in PLOS ONE by Prof Dietmar Müller, Xiaodong Qin, Prof David Sandwell, Dr Adriana Dutkiewicz, Dr Simon Williams, Dr Nicolas Flament, Dr Stefan Maus, and Dr Maria Seton, has received significant international media attention over the past week, featuring in articles from Australia, UK, US, India, and UAE!

See the list of online media below, and check out the interactive globes yourself!

Read more…

History and current advances in reconstructing the Earth through deep geological time

Rodinia 1000 Ma

Rodinia 1000 MaTime machine: History and current advances in reconstructing the Earth through deep geological time – an article on Quartz by Steve LeVine. The article is a review of the development of ideas and technologies in reconstructing the Earth through deep time, aimed at understanding supercontinent assembly, breakup and dispersal, starting with Alfred Wegener. The article focusses on research activities in the context of the IGCP 648 project ‘Supercontinent Cycles and Global Geodynamics‘ led by Zheng-Xiang Li. The piece provides some historical context, and highlights the work of a number of leading scientists, postdoctoral researchers and PhD students currently involved in this work.  … Read more…

Seafloor lithology of the ocean basins

Lithology globe Aus Ant view

Lithology globe Aus Ant viewCitation
Dutkiewicz, A., Müller, R. D., O’Callaghan, S., & Jónasson, H. (2015). Census of seafloor sediments in the world’s ocean. Geology, G36883-1. doi: 10.1130/G36883.1.

Abstract
Knowing the patterns of distribution of sediments in the global ocean is critical for understanding biogeochemical cycles and how deep-sea deposits respond to environmental change at the sea surface. We present the first digital map of seafloor lithologies based on descriptions of nearly 14,500 samples from original cruise reports, interpolated using a support vector machine algorithm. We show that sediment distribution is more complex, with significant deviations from earlier hand-drawn maps, and that major lithologies occur in drastically different proportions globally. … Read more…

Homeward Bound… Big Data Reveals Geology of World's Ocean Floor

Lithology globe Aus Ant view

The 2015 Ocean Innovation (OI) conference takes place in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada during October and focuses on “mapping our oceans.” For each OI conference, a special issue of The Journal of Ocean Technology (JOT) that complements the conference’s theme is released. A series of essays, peer review technical papers, and columns are included and … Read more…

Homeward Bound… Big Data Reveals Geology of World’s Ocean Floor

Lithology globe Aus Ant view

The 2015 Ocean Innovation (OI) conference takes place in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada during October and focuses on “mapping our oceans.” For each OI conference, a special issue of The Journal of Ocean Technology (JOT) that complements the conference’s theme is released. A series of essays, peer review technical papers, and columns are included and … Read more…

Ocean sediment map makes world news

Lithology globe Aus Ant view

Lithology globe Aus Ant viewThe recently-published ocean sediment map made by Dr Adriana Dutkiewicz and colleagues has taken the world’s media by storm. It’s been reported online and in press, from Australia to Cuba, Hungary and many other countries! See the updated list of media items below, and check out the link to the interactive 3D globe with the ocean sediments map.

Countries where the story has been covered so far:

Australia, UK, USA, India, Italy, Germany, Spain, Hungary, Austria, Cuba, Costa Rica and Peru.

Radio Interviews
ABC 774 Melbourne
World’s first digital seafloor map reveals ‘paradise’ – ABC Rural Radio
ABC 702 Sydney
BBC Radio 5 Live’s “Up All Night”
It took more than a year of research and sifting through thousands of samples to generate the world’s first digital map of the seafloor – ABC Country Radio (Interview at 41:10)  … Read more…

Virtual seafloor geology globe spinning North-South

Lithology globe Aus Ant view

This spinning virtual seafloor geology globe is composed of a set of screen captures of an interactive digital globe portraying the distribution of different seafloor sediments available at the Gplates Portal. Citation Dutkiewicz, A., Müller, R. D., O’Callaghan, S., & Jónasson, H. (2015). Census of seafloor sediments in the world’s ocean. Geology, G36883-1. doi: 10.1130/G36883.1. … Read more…

Virtual seafloor geology globe spinning East-West

Lithology globe Aus Ant view

This spinning virtual seafloor geology globe is composed of a set of screen captures of an interactive digital globe portraying the distribution of different seafloor sediments available at the Gplates Portal. Citation Dutkiewicz, A., Müller, R. D., O’Callaghan, S., & Jónasson, H. (2015). Census of seafloor sediments in the world’s ocean. Geology, G36883-1. doi: 10.1130/G36883.1. … Read more…

Big data reveals geology of world’s ocean floor

Lithology globe Aus Ant view

Lithology globe Aus Ant viewA team led by the University of Sydney School of Geosciences has created the first digital globe of seafloor sediments.

Ocean sediments cover 70% of our planet’s surface, forming the substrate for the largest ecosystem on Earth and its largest carbon reservoir – but the most recent map of seafloor geology was drawn by hand over 40 years ago, at the dawn of modern ocean exploration.

That’s about to change. In a gargantuan effort Adriana Dutkiewicz and her colleagues carefully analysed and categorised 15,000 seafloor sediment samples to reveal the nature of sedimentary blankets over ocean ridges, seamounts and the vast abyssal plains. She teamed up with big data experts to find the best way to use modern computer algorithms to turn the vast sea of point observations into a continuous digital map.  … Read more…

Big Data Knowledge Discovery

Big Data Knowledge Discovery is an interdisciplinary research initiative that focuses on the scientific challenges and opportunities presented by the use of the new techniques of data science applied in the natural sciences. This research initiative brings together world class discipline leaders in the data-intensive sciences of Geo Sciences, Life Sciences and Physical Sciences with … Read more…

Gondwana Research – Origin of silica and fingerprinting of Australian sedimentary opals

Dutkiewicz, A., Landgrebe, T. C., & Rey, P. F. (2015). Origin of silica and fingerprinting of Australian sedimentary opals. Gondwana Research, 27(2), 786-795. doi: 10.1016/j.gr.2013.10.013. Origin of silica and fingerprinting of Australian sedimentary opals

Seawater chemistry driven by supercontinent assembly, breakup and dispersal, Müller et al. (2013)

Muller etal Fig1 - Seawater Chemistry Driven by Supercontinental AssemblyCitation
Müller, R. D., Dutkiewicz, A., Seton, M. and Gaina, C. (2013). Seawater chemistry driven by supercontinent assembly, break-up and dispersal Geology. doi 10.1130/G34405.1.

Summary
Global oceans are known to have alternated between aragonite and calcite seas. These oscillations reflect changes in the Mg/Ca ratio of seawater, which control biomineralisation and the composition of marine carbonates and are thought to be caused by the time dependence of crustal accretion at mid-ocean ridge crests and associated high temperature mid-ocean ridge brine flux. Here we use global ocean basin reconstructions to demonstrate that these fluctuations are instead caused by the gradual growth and destruction of mid-ocean ridges and their relatively cool flanks during long-term tectonic cycles thus linking ocean chemistry to off-ridge low temperature hydrothermal flux. Early Jurassic aragonite seas were a consequence of supercontinent stability and minima in mid-ocean ridge length and basalt alteration. The break-up of Pangaea led to a gradual doubling in ridge length and a 50% increase in hydrothermal flux mainly through an enormous increase in ridge flank area, leading to enhanced alteration of basalt, lowered seawater Mg/Ca ratios and marine hypercalcification from 140 to 35 Ma. … Read more…

Opal exploration research recognised as outstanding highlight

Recent EarthByte research on opal exploration was recognised as an outstanding highlight and reflects the work of many of the group including, Andrew Merdith, Tom Landgrebe, Adriana Dutkiewicz and Patrice Rey. Congratulations to all of the contributors to the project and specifically to John Cannon and Michael Chin, the GPlates developers!

Geology – Seawater chemistry driven by supercontinent assembly, breakup, and dispersal

Müller, R. D., Dutkiewicz, A., Seton, M., & Gaina, C. (2013). Seawater chemistry driven by supercontinent assembly, breakup, and dispersal. Geology, 41(8), 907-910. doi: 10.1130/G34405.1. Seawater chemistry driven by supercontinent assembly, breakup, and dispersal

Australian Journal of Earth Sciences – Towards a predictive model for opal exploration using a spatio-temporal data mining approach

Merdith, A. S., Landgrebe, T. C., Dutkiewicz, A., & Müller, R. D. (2013). Towards a predictive model for opal exploration using a spatio-temporal data mining approach. Australian Journal of Earth Sciences, 60(2), 217-229. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08120099.2012.754793. Towards a predictive model for opal exploration using a spatio-temporal data mining approach Supplementary data 

From data mining to opal mining

Opal NobbyDocuments
AJES Paper
CG Paper

Opal is Australia’s national gemstone, however most significant opal discoveries were made in the early 1900’s – more than 100 years ago – until recently. Currently there is no formal exploration model for opal, meaning there are no widely accepted concepts or methodologies available to suggest where new opal fields may be found. … Read more…

Computers & Geoscience – Relationships between palaeogeography and opal occurrence in Australia: a data-mining approach

Landgrebe, T. C. W., Merdith, A., Dutkiewicz, A., & Müller, R. D. (2013). Relationships between palaeogeography and opal occurrence in Australia: A data-mining approach. Computers & Geosciences, 56, 76-82. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cageo.2013.02.002. Download the paper – pdf

Computers & Geoscience – Relationships between palaeogeography and opal occurrence in Australia: a data-mining approach

Landgrebe, T. C. W., Merdith, A., Dutkiewicz, A., & Müller, R. D. (2013). Relationships between palaeogeography and opal occurrence in Australia: A data-mining approach. Computers & Geosciences, 56, 76-82. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cageo.2013.02.002. Download the paper – pdf

EarthByte to attend AGU 2011

EarthByte group members Dietmar Müller, Adriana Dutkiewicz, Nicolas Flament, Leonardo Quevedo, Maria Seton, Simon Williams, Nathaniel Butterworth, Kayla Maloney and Kara Matthews are attending the AGU Fall Meeting 2011 in San Francisco, USA from 5-9 December, 2011. Click here for more details about the AGU Fall Meeting