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…

A Paleomagnetic Database for GPlates: PaleoPoles, Declination Arrows, and PaleoLatitudes

A PaleomagneticPmag Tutorial Image Database that has been assembled for use with the program, GPlates.  The paleomagnetic database presented here is made up of 1638 paleopoles compiled by Rob Van der Voo for his book, Paleomagnetism of the Atlantic, Tethys, and Iapetus Oceans.  In addition to the spreadsheet of paleopoles, we have constructed five feature collections that can be used to visualize the paleomagnetic data using GPlates:  1) site localities, 2) paleopoles, 3) declination arrows, 4) paleolatitude labels, and a set of time-dependent rasters which plot the site locations, paleopoles, declination arrows, and paleolatitude labels on a set of plate tectonic reconstructions ( 0 – 540 Ma).  The last section of this report is a detailed discussion of the paleomagnetic data for three-time intervals (40Ma, 285Ma, and 450Ma).  The Supplementary Materials includes a program, “PaleoPolePlotter”, which GPlates users can use to build paleopoles, declination arrows, and paleolatitude labels from user-defined data sets
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AAPG Barrel Award Competition

A team of Petroleum Geology honours and masters students from Curtin University has won the Asia Pacific heat of the American Association of Petroleum Geologist’s (AAPG) Imperial Barrel Award (IBA) competition. The IBA is an annual competition for geoscience graduate students from universities around the world which simulates work done by geologists and geophysicists in … 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…

Some Surprising Ways That Plate Tectonic, Paleogeographic, and Paleoclimatic Models are Used in Resource (Hydrocarbon & Mineral) Exploration

Malcolm Ross, GameChanger, Shell, Houston, TX, United States.

Date & Time
Friday 18 September, 11 AM

Madsen Building, Level 4 – Conference Room

Since the advent of plate tectonic theory in the 1960s, those charged with the exploration for hydrocarbon and mineral resources have looked to apply the theoretical advancements in that domain to the practical challenges of their pursuit of resources to exploit. … Read more…

Nicky Wright attends University of Michigan's 'Mountain Ranges and High Plateaus' course

Nicky Wright Mountain Ranges and High Plateaus group photo

Nicky Wright recently attended the 2-week graduate summer course ‘Mountain Ranges and High Plateaus‘, held at the University of Michigan’s field station in Wyoming. This was only the second time the University of Michigan has held this course, which featured instructors from five other U.S. universities and international and U.S. graduate students from both the … Read more…

India – Eurasia collision paper makes "Most Downloaded" list

Sabin Zahirovic Magic Planet

Congratulations to Dr Ana Gibbons, Dr Sabin Zahirovic, Dr Joanne Whittaker and Dr Yatheesh Vadakkeyakath, whose paper “A tectonic model reconciling evidence for the collisions between India, Eurasia and intra-oceanic arcs of the central-eastern Tethys” is now the third-most downloaded paper on Gondwana Research over the last 90 days!

Most Downloaded Gondwana Research Articles

The paper already has 3 citations (not bad for a paper that just came out this month).

Gibbons, A. D., Zahirovic, S., Müller, R. D., Whittaker, J. M., & Yatheesh, V. (2015). A tectonic model reconciling evidence for the collisions between India, Eurasia and intra-oceanic arcs of the central-eastern Tethys. Gondwana Research. doi: 10.1016/

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Earth's climate throughout the Phanerozoic

Eocene topo bath

Eocene topo bathProject Summary
EarthByte is involved in a series of projects aimed at understanding and modeling Earth’s climate throughout the Phanerozoic. Some of these projects include:

  • Future Fellowship of Maria Seton on “Oceanic gateways: a primary control on global climate change?”
  • Basin GENESIS Hub activities, related to the effect of the mantle, crustal deformation, erosion and sedimentary processes on sedimentary basins
  • ATOM – a coupled atmospheric-ocean circulation code jointly developed by Prof. Roger Grundmann and EarthByte.

EarthByte’s expertise in tectonics, geodynamics and surface process modeling is enhanced by close collaborations with leading palaeoclimate modellers and geochemical oceanographers.  … Read more…

EarthByte's plate tectonic animation added to NOAA's SOS database

An EarthByte plate tectonic animation has recently been added to NOAA’s Science on a Sphere database. NOAA produces large interactive 3D spherical projection systems that are installed at museums, universities, schools and other institutes across the world (see Science On a Sphere map locations). The EarthByte animation is from the recent Gibbons et al. (2015) … Read more…

Age, spreading rates and spreading asymmetry of the world's ocean crust

agegrid_ageerror_2008 rategrid_asymgrid_2008We present four companion digital models of the age, age uncertainty, spreading rates and spreading asymmetries of the world’s ocean basins as geographic and Mercator grids with 2 minute resolution. The grids include data from all the major ocean basins as well as detailed reconstructions of back-arc basins.

The age, spreading rate and asymmetry at each grid node is determined by linear interpolation between adjacent seafloor isochrons in the direction of spreading. Ages for ocean floor between the oldest identified magnetic anomalies and continental crust are interpolated by geological estimates of the ages of passive continental margin segments. … Read more…

Supplementary resources for "Absolute plate motions since 130 Ma constrained by subduction zone kinematics"

Williams et al 2015 figure 3Citation
Williams, S., Flament, N., Müller, R. D., & Butterworth, N. (2015). Absolute plate motions since 130 Ma constrained by subduction zone kinematics. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 418, 66-77. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2015.02.026.

The supplementary data set comprise plate reconstructions from 130 Ma to present-day, designed to be used within the open-source reconstruction software GPlates.

There are eight sets of reconstructions. In each case, the relative plate motion (RPM) model is unchanged; the differences lie in the absolute plate motion (APM) model. This is expressed in the rotation file as the finite poles of rotation that describe motion of Africa relative to the Earth’s spin-axis. These files were the basis of the results presented in the EPSL paper.  … Read more…

Simon William's paper selected as a research highlight in EOS

The recently published paper by Simon Williams et al. 2013, on Early India-Australia spreading history revealed by newly detected Mesozoic magnetic anomalies in the Perth Abyssal Plain, was selected as one of three research highlights in the current edition of EOS. Well done! Download EOS research highlights – pdf Download the paper – pdf

Proceedings of the West Australian Basins Symposium IV – Structural Architecture of Australia's Southwest Continental Margin and Implications for Early Cretaceous Basin Evolution

Hall, L., Gibbons, A. D., Bernardel, G., Whittaker, J. M., Nicholson, C., Rollet, N., & Müller, R. D. (2013). Structural architecture of Australia’s southwest continental margin and implications for Early Cretaceous basin evolution. In Proceedings, West Australian Basins Symposium. Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia (pp. 18-21). Structural architecture of Australia’s southwest continental margin and implications for … Read more…

L'Oréal Fellowship for Women in Science awarded to Dr Jo Whittaker

Ex-Earthbyter Dr Joanne Whittaker was awarded the L’Oréal Fellowship for Women in Science for research on ‘How India and Australia Broke up over the last 100 million years’. Congratulations Jo! Royal Society Annual Awards Dinner 2013, left to right: The President, Donald Hector, Judith Wheeldon AM, Professor Marilyn Renfree AO, John Hardie MRSN, Dr Joanne … Read more…

Total sediment thickness of the World's Oceans & Marginal Seas, version 2

Sedthickv2 256x188This update replaces the original Total Sediment Thickness of the World’s Oceans & Marginal Seas (Divins, 2003).

Whittaker, J. M., Goncharov, A., Williams, S. E., Müller, R. D., & Leitchenkov, G. (2013). Global sediment thickness data set updated for the Australian‐Antarctic Southern Ocean. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 14(8), 3297-3305. doi: 10.1002/ggge.20181.

NGDC’s global ocean sediment thickness grid (Divins, 2003) has been updated for the Australian-Antarctic region (60°-155°E, 30°-70°S). New seismic reflection and refraction data have been used to add detail to the conjugate Australian and Antarctic margins and intervening ocean floor where previously regional sediment thickness patterns were poorly known.  … 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. Download the paper – pdf

EarthByte successful in applying for resources on iVEC supercomputer 'Fornax'

Dietmar Müller, Leonardo Quevedo and Thomas Landgrebe from EarthByte have been successful in applying for resources on the new iVEC supercomputer “Fornax” located at UWA through a merit allocation project built around GPlates new data mining capabilities. GPlates performance as a data-intensive application and its potential for generating a high impact research outcome by taking … Read more…

Earth's magnetic field

Project Summary
The magnetic field measured by satellites has 3 distinct sources: the dynamo in the liquid core, magnetised rocks near the Earth’s surface, and the external, solar terrestrial environment. It is difficult to separate out the large-scale field (originates in the earth’s core) from the small-scale, permanent field (originates in the earth’s crust). This project aims to develop physical theories for the origin of each field to aid separation, accompanied by comparison with satellite data and iterative improvements. It is envisaged that this project will extend our knowledge of the core field to unprecedented fine resolution while establishing the larger scales of the crustal field.  … Read more…