Australian paleotopography 70 million years ago to present

This quicktime animation accompanies the paper by Heine, C., Müller, R.D., DiCaprio, L. and Steinberger, B. (2010), Integrating deep Earth dynamics in paleogeographic reconstructions of Australia, Tectonophysics, 483, 135-150. The animation is based on a combination of a present-day digital elevation model corrected for time-dependent sediment thickness in some key areas combined with a model for Australia's plate motion over a convecting mantle, resulting in topography modulated by mantle convection-driven dynamic surface topography back in time and a eustatic sea model (see paper for details).  

 

The animation illustrates several key elements of Australia's Cenozoic paleotopography, including successive transgressions and regressions in the Eucla Basin, the progressive drawing down of the northeast of Australia as it approaches the Melanesian slab burial ground, as well as the mid to late Cenozoic relative uplift of a large region from the Pilbara to southern and central Australia, likely driven by a combination of mantle-driven dynamic topography and eustatic sea level change – also see: Barnett-Moore, N., Flament, N., Heine, C., Butterworth, N. and Müller, R.D. (2014) Cenozoic uplift of south Western Australia as constrained by river profiles. Tectonophysics, 622, 186-197.

 

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