Nature Communications: Coupled influence of tectonics, climate, and surface processes on landscape evolution in southwestern North America

The Cenozoic landscape evolution in southwestern North America is ascribed to crustal isostasy, dynamic topography, or lithosphere tectonics, but their relative contributions remain controversial. Here we reconstruct landscape history since the late Eocene by investigating the interplay between mantle convection, lithosphere dynamics, climate, and surface pro- cesses using fully coupled four-dimensional numerical models. Our quantified … Read more…

Environmental stability on Earth allowed marine biodiversity to flourish

Modern ocean biodiversity, which is at its highest level ever, was achieved through long-term stability of the location of so-called biodiversity hotspots, regions of especially high numbers of species, scientists have found. The findings, published in Nature, were reached through a pioneering model that reconstructs the diversity of marine animals from their origin – some … Read more…

Nature: Post-extinction recovery of the Phanerozoic oceans and biodiversity hotspots

The fossil record of marine invertebrates has long fuelled the debate as to whether or not there are limits to global diversity in the sea. Ecological theory states that, as diversity grows and ecological niches are filled, the strengthening of biological interactions imposes limits on diversity. However, the extent to which biological interactions have constrained … Read more…

Solid Earth: A tectonic-rules-based mantle reference frame since 1 billion years ago – implications for supercontinent cycles and plate–mantle system evolution

Understanding the long-term evolution of Earth’s plate-mantle system is reliant on absolute plate motion models in a mantle reference frame, but such models are both difficult to construct and controversial. We present a tectonic rules-based optimisation approach to construct a plate motion model in a mantle reference frame covering the last billion years and use … Read more…

G-cubed: Slow Geodynamics and Fast Morphotectonics in the Far East Tethys

How can the sluggish, long-wavelength mantle convection be expressed by so many time and space scales of morphotectonic activity? To investigate these relationships, we explore the Java-Banda subduction zone, where geodynamic records cluster. In the far-East Tethys, the exceptionally arcuate Banda subduction zone circumscribes the deepest oceanic basin on Earth, seismotectonic activity slices the upper … Read more…

Front Earth Sci: Two-step Gravity Inversion Reveals Variable Architecture of African Cratons

The lithospheric build-up of the African continent is still to a large extent unexplored. In this contribution, we present a new Moho depth model to discuss the architecture of the three main African cratonic units, which are: West African Craton, Congo Craton, and Kalahari Craton. Our model is based on a two-step gravity inversion approach … Read more…

Extending full-plate tectonic models into deep time: Linking the Neoproterozoic and the Phanerozoic

Recent progress in plate tectonic reconstructions has seen models move beyond the classical idea of continental drift by attempting to reconstruct the full evolving configuration of tectonic plates and plate boundaries. A particular problem for the Neoproterozoic and Cambrian is that many existing interpretations of geological and palaeomagnetic data have remained disconnected from younger, better-constrained … Read more…

Plate tectonic carbon cycle explains how Earth maintains a Goldilocks climate

Earth’s hot and cold climates driven by tectonic plate speeds A new study has revealed how the plate tectonic carbon cycle maintains a “Goldilocks climate” on Earth that is neither too hot nor too cold. It is now established that CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels are driving atmospheric CO2 above 400 parts per million … Read more…

Evolution of Earth’s tectonic carbon conveyor belt

This video shows plate motions, carbon storage within tectonic plates and carbon degassing along mid-ocean ridges and subduction zones through time. Our carbon model shows these processes alone cannot explain global cooling in the Cenozoic Era. The effects of rock erosion, not shown here, played a key role. Arrows indicate plate motion speed relative to … Read more…

Postgraduate Research Scholarship in Deep-time exploration for mineral deposits along convergent margins

Postgraduate research scholarship at the EarthByte Group for international and domestic students. Up to $107,850 stipend scholarship to support a PhD student to research in deep-time exploration for mineral deposits along convergent margins   Highlights Value Eligibility Open date Closing date $35,950 pa (for up to 3 years, with a possible 6 month extension) Full-time … Read more…

Part-time research assistant position in mineral exploration

The EarthByte Group is looking for a research assistant as part of our STELLAR industry project in collaboration with BHP. The casual position will be for up to 10 hours per week on average. The successful applicant can complete these hours through a regular weekly schedule or clump their hours into intensive weekly blocks (i.e., … Read more…

ANZIC Forum 2022 Talk: Deep-sea hiatuses track the vigour of Cenozoic ocean bottom currents

By Adriana Dutkiewicz Abstract: Scientific ocean drilling data collected over half a century have generated a treasure trove of data to map deep sea currents.  We have compiled data from more than 200 drill sites to map the continuity of the deep sea sedimentary record and to understand how global warming– or cooling – is … Read more…

Geoscience Data Journal: Subduction and carbonate platform interactions

Plate tectonics, as the unifying theory in Earth sciences, controls the functioning of important planetary processes on geological timescales. Here, we present an open-source workflow that interrogates community digital plate tectonic reconstructions, primarily in the context of the planetary deep carbon cycle. We present an updated plate tectonic reconstruction covering the last 400 million years … Read more…

Terra Nova: Timing of partial melting and granulite formation during the genesis of high to ultra-high temperature terranes: Insight from numerical experiments

Long-lived high to ultra-high temperature (HT-UHT) granulitic terranes formed throughout Earth’s history. Yet, the detailed processes involved in their formation re- main unresolved and notably the sequence of appearance and duration of migmatisa- tion and granulites conditions in the orogenic cycle. These processes can be evaluated by analytical and numerical models. First, solving the steady-state … Read more…

Earth Science Reviews: Sea-level fluctuations driven by changes in global ocean basin volume following supercontinent break-up

Long-term variations in eustatic sea level in an ice-free world, which existed through most of the Mesozoic and early Cenozoic eras, are partly driven by changes in the volume of ocean basins. Previous studies have determined ocean basin volume changes from plate tectonic reconstructions since the Mesozoic; however, these studies have not considered a number … Read more…

The use of machine learning in processing remote sensing data for mineral exploration

ASEG will be hosting their next technical meeting on Wednesday 20th April, featuring EarthByter Ehsan Farahbakhsh Title: The use of machine learning in processing remote sensing data for mineral exploration     Time:                    5:30 pm for 6:00 pm start Address:              Level 2, 99 on York (99 York St, Sydney. Room ‘York 2’) For virtual attendance, … Read more…

Groundwater ‘superhighway’ modelled along Australia’s east coast

When floodwaters recede, where do they go? By Loren Smith University of Sydney researchers have modelled water-storing aquifers that perform a natural balancing act: they absorb water during floods and supply water during drought. Yet human intervention is limiting their function. University of Sydney researchers have identified a groundwater ‘superhighway’ along Australia’s east coast. Stretching from … Read more…

When the Earth warms, the ocean speeds up

Sixty-six million years of geological data suggests that heating makes ocean currents stronger. By Ellen McPhiddian, Cosmos Ocean currents play a big role in floods, droughts, and other large-scale weather patterns. We know that ocean circulation will be affected by global warming – but figuring out exactly how it will be affected is much more difficult. Will there be … Read more…

Global warming speeds up currents in the ocean’s abyss

University of Sydney media release University of Sydney scientists have used the geological record of the deep sea to discover that past global warming has sped up deep ocean circulation. This is one of the missing links for predicting how future climate change may affect heat and carbon capture by the oceans. Circulation of the … Read more…

Nature Commmunications: Impact of green clay authigenesis on element sequestration in marine settings

Retrograde clay mineral reactions (reverse weathering), including glauconite formation, are first-order controls on element sequestration in marine sediments. Here, we report substantial element sequestration by glauconite formation in shallow marine settings from the Triassic to the Holocene, averaging 3 ± 2 mmol·cm−²·kyr−1 for K, Mg and Al, 16 ± 9 mmol·cm−²·kyr−1 for Si and 6 ± 3 mmol·cm−²·kyr−1 for Fe, which is ~2 orders of magnitude higher … Read more…

Geology: Deep-sea hiatuses track the vigor of Cenozoic ocean bottom currents

The deep-sea stratigraphic record is full of gaps. These hiatuses track changes in ocean circulation and chemistry, but determining their timing and causes has been limited by sparse data and incomplete knowledge of ocean gateway evolution in earlier studies. We combine a significantly expanded, age-calibrated deep-sea stratigraphic database with a global tectonic and paleo–water depth … Read more…

Scientific Reports: Constraining the response of continental‐scale groundwater flow to climate change

Numerical models of groundwater flow play a critical role for water management scenarios under climate extremes. Large‐scale models play a key role in determining long-range flow pathways from continental interiors to the oceans, yet struggle to simulate the local flow patterns offered by small‐scale models. We have developed a highly scalable numerical framework to model … Read more…

EPSL: Long-term Phanerozoic sea level change from solid Earth processes

The sedimentary rock record suggests that global sea levels may have fluctuated by hundreds of meters throughout Phanerozoic times. Long-term (10–80 Myr) sea level change can be inferred from paleogeographic reconstructions and stratigraphic methods can be used to estimate sea level change over 1–10 Myr in tectonically quiescent regions assumed to be stable. Plate tectonic … Read more…

Remote Sensing: A Comparative Study of Convolutional Neural Networks and Conventional Machine Learning Models for Lithological Mapping Using Remote Sensing Data

Lithological mapping is a critical aspect of geological mapping that can be useful in studying the mineralization potential of a region and has implications for mineral prospectivity mapping. This is a challenging task if performed manually, particularly in highly remote areas that require a large number of participants and resources. The combination of machine learning … Read more…

Journal of Asian Earth Sciences: The roles and seismic expressions of turbidites and mass transport deposits using stratigraphic forward modeling and seismic forward modeling

Turbidity currents and mass transport are two principal processes in deepwater settings. However, their roles in shaping deepwater depositional systems and interpreting their deposits in seismic profiles have not been fully settled due to the lack of extensive well data and high-quality seismic data in comparison with onshore oil fields. Therefore, this study integrated stratigraphic … Read more…

Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellowship awarded to Behnam Sadeghi

Geologic Map of the Moon from (USGS) Astrogeology Science Center A Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellowship has been awarded to EarthByter Behnam Sadeghi. He will complete his Fulbright project at the Carnegie Institution for Science, Earth and Planets Laboratory (EPL) in Washington which has close collaborations with NASA, as well as at Stanford University. His research project, focused … Read more…

GPlates mobile app developer wanted

The EarthByte Group is looking for a student with experience in app development to work as part of an AuScope funded GPlates-in-Schools project. The position will be covered by a casual contract of 20-30 hours per week, depending on the time commitment of the candidate. The successful applicant can complete these hours through a regular … Read more…

Geomorphology: Combining stratigraphic forward modeling and susceptibility mapping to investigate the origin and evolution of submarine canyons

The debate on the submarine canyon origin between the upslope erosion model dominated by retrogressive mass failures and the downslope erosion model controlled by gravity flows has not been fully settled. However, this debate is critical for explaining submarine canyon evolution. This study combines susceptibility mapping and stratigraphic forward modeling (SFM) to examine the origin … Read more…

Elements: Carbonatites and global tectonics

Carbonatites have formed for at least the past three billion years. But over the past 700 My the incidence of carbonatites have significantly increased. We compile an updated list of 609 carbonatite occurrences and plot 387 of known age on plate tectonic reconstructions. Plate reconstructions from Devonian to present show that 75% of carbonatites are … Read more…

Terra Nova: The Louisiade ophiolite: A missing link in the western Pacific

Recent dredging of a 100 km long ridge along the northernmost part of the Louisiade Plateau (LP) recovered serpentinized peridotites, MORB (mid-ocean-ridge basalt) and volcaniclastic breccia–conglomerates. Clinopyroxene, Cr-spinel and bulk rocks show that the serpentinites are harzburgites to dunites, whereas hornblende phenocrysts from volcaniclastic rocks reflect hydrous, andesitic volcanism. The association of MORB, depleted mantle rocks … Read more…