What is EarthByte?

Various images of EarthByte research

EarthByte is an internationally leading eGeoscience collaboration between several Australian Universities, international centres of excellence and industry partners. One of the fundamental aims of the EarthByte Group is geodata synthesis through space and time, assimilating the wealth of disparate geological and geophysical data into a four-dimensional Earth model including tectonics, geodynamics and surface processes. The EarthByte … Read more…

Mike Tetley wins International Geological Congress Travel Grant

Mike Tetley in black and white

Congratulations to PhD candidate Mike Tetley who was awarded a 34th International Geological Congress Travel Grant Scheme for Early-Career Australian and New Zealand Geoscientists. The funds will go towards his current 12-month research visit to Caltech where he is working with Prof Mike Gurnis, a world leader in Earth Dynamics, to study the evolution of … Read more…

pygplates beta revision 12 released

GPlates Vector Logo

GPlates Vector LogoThe first beta release of pygplates (the GPlates Python library) is now available for download.

pygplates enables access to GPlates functionality via the Python programming language. This may be of particular use to researchers requiring more flexibility than is provided by the GPlates user interface.

The following pygplates functionality is available:-

  • Load and save feature data (GPML, Shapefile, etc)
  • Create/modify/query feature data
  • Traverse/modify/query plate rotation hierarchy
  • Partition into plates and assign plate properties
  • Reconstruct geometries, flowlines, motion paths
  • Resolve topological plates and query their boundary sections (ridges/subductions)
  • Calculate velocities
  • Distance between geometries (region-of-interest queries)
  • Geometry queries (length, point-in-polygon, area, centroid, tessellate, interpolate, join, partition)

Read more…


EarthByte welomes Sebastiano ‘Sam’ Doss

Sam Doss

EarthByte welcomes new Research Assistant Sebastiano ‘Sam’ Doss to the group. Sebastiano is currently working on the Deep Carbon Observatory project, investigating the interaction of subduction zones with carbonate platforms over time in connection to CO2 flux in the atmosphere.

2016 supercomputing resources

Basin GENESIS Hub logo

The EarthByte group has been awarded 11 million computing hours, representing the equivalent of k$AU440, to carry out research for the Basin GENESIS Hub on the supercomputers Raijin (National Computational Infrastructure) and Magnus (Pawsey Supercomputing Centre) for 2016 through the National Computational Merit Allocation Scheme (7.25 MSUs, one of the top 4 allocations across all disciplines … Read more…

GPlates Portal receives a major facelift

GPlates Vector Logo

The GPlates Portal has received a major facelift, using state-of-the-art web design. The primary design principle of the new front page is to convey the most important information to users in an effective way. The new grid layout guarantees the presentation of information is always in a user readable format on the screen of any … Read more…

EarthByte/Scripps research features on NASA Earth Observatory

Triplejunction gis 2014 (Copyright NASA Earth Observatory)

NASA Earth Observatory features a piece on the recent Mammerickx Microplate discovery. Their Image of the Day for 13 January 2016 is a satellite gravity map of the Indian Ocean, and the associated article, entitled ‘New Seafloor Map Helps Scientists Find New Features‘, discusses the power of satellite data for seafloor mapping and details the … Read more…

Earth and Planetary Science Letters – Oceanic microplate formation records the onset of India–Eurasia collision

Mammerickx Microplate zoom

Author List: Kara Matthews, Dietmar Müller and David Sandwell Citation: Matthews, K. J., Müller, R. D., & Sandwell, D. T. (2016). Oceanic microplate formation records the onset of India–Eurasia collision. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 433, 204-214. Oceanic microplate formation records the onset of India–Eurasia collision

Summer Scholarship Students 2016

QGIS application in field geology Basin GENESIS Hub Supervisors: A/Prof Patrice, Dr Sabin Zahirovic, Luke Mondy, Prof Dietmar Müller Jo Tobin Geographic information systems (GIS) have played a significant role in the advances in geologic field data analysis. This project involves the use of QGIS (an open source, community driven GIS which runs on Linux, Windows … Read more…

Data Processing and Plotting Using 
Generic Mapping Tools (GMT) Course

GMT Course Image 2016

GMT Course Image 2016Course Overview
This course is designed to introduce students to different types of spatial data, data processing and interpolation functions and data plotting using GMT (Generic Mapping Tools). GMT is a set of public domain tools that will be used in conjunction with UNIX general processing tools (awk, grep) and basic shell programming. The examples presented in the course will focus on marine geophysical data, however many of the principles are applicable to other scientific data.

The learning outcomes for the course include:  … Read more…


Software Developer required at EarthByte

Basin GENESIS Hub logo

A Software Developer position is available at EarthByte. The position will focus on the development, engineering, and maintenance of complex open-source, surface processes and geodynamics modelling software for the ARC-ITRH Basin GENESIS Hub. The total package offered is $100K-$127K p.a. for a full-time, fixed term 12 months (renewal possible). Applications close 24 January 2016. Click … 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…


Mammerickx Microplate media coverage

Mammerickx Microplate zoom

Mammerickx Microplate zoomThe recent EPSL article on the discovery of the Mammerickx Microplate, by Dr Kara Matthews, Prof Dietmar Müller and Prof David Sandwell, has received lots of media attention from many different countries around the world including Australia, UK, USA, India, Pakistan, Mexico, Nepal and Honduras.

See below for a list of media items:

Online Media
The biggest continental collision in Earth’s history: Scientists pinpoint crashing together of continents that created the Himalayas 50 million years ago – Daily Mail
Scientists fix date for earth-shattering Himalayan birth pangs – The Sydney Morning Herald
Microplate discovery dates birth of Himalayas – EurekAlert!
Himalayas: Discovery of first ancient Indian Ocean microplate hints at new date of formation of mountain range – Yahoo! News  … Read more…


Nicky Wright is awarded the Chris Powell Medal

Nicky Wright Receives Chris Powell Medal

A big congratulations to PhD student Nicky Wright who was awarded the Chris Powell Medal for Postgraduate Research in Tectonics and Structural Geology from the Geological Society of Australia SGTSG. The medal is awarded at each regular field conference of the SGTSG for an outstanding research paper arising from postgraduate research on some aspect of … Read more…

EarthByte welcomes Megan Korchinski

Megan Korchinski

EarthByte welcomes Megan Korchinski, a visiting PhD student from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA. Megan will be studying with us for the next 3 months at the University of Sydney. Megan is part of the Structure Tectonics And Metamorphic Petrology (STAMP) research group, and is interested in the exhumation mechanisms of subducted continental crust. … Read more…

Gordon Bell Prize 2015

Gordon Bell Prize image

Long-term EarthByte collaborator, Prof Mike Gurnis (Caltech), is part of a team that has just received the prestigious Gordon Bell Prize for pushing the boundaries of supercomputing in the application of the most realistic numerical model of mantle convection and plate tectonics. Related News IBM wants to predict earthquakes and volcanoes with Watson Gordon Bell … Read more…

Preliminary Insights from Northwest Shelf Drilling (Exp. 356)

Speaker Assoc Prof Stephen Gallagher, University of Melbourne. Date & Time Friday 13 November, 11 AM Location Madsen Building, Level 4 – Conference Room Summary This expedition aimed to examine the 5 million year history of the Indonesian Throughflow, Australian monsoon and subsidence on the northwest shelf of Australia.

EarthByte projects available for Honours students in 2016

BGH basin main

EarthByte has now released a list of projects for potential Honours students for 2016. The project topics span: The role of mechanical stratigraphy in the structural style of deformed sedimentary basins Understanding the formation Earth’s largest continental ribbon: The Lord Howe Rise Evolution of the Australian climate and landscape over the last 100 Myr Unravelling … Read more…

Dr Nico Flament receives a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award

Nicolas Flament

Nicolas FlamentCongratulations to Dr Nicolas Flament for being awarded a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) from the Australian Research Council!

Below are some details about Nico’s project (2016-2019) entitled ‘The geodynamics of past sea level changes‘:

This project is designed to quantify the effect of flow deep within Earth’s interior on past sea-level changes and on the flooding history of Australia over the last 550 million years. The rise and fall of sea level has shaped our planet over time. This project plans to combine recent advances in tectonic reconstructions and dynamic Earth models with the global and Australian rock record. … Read more…


Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO) proposal funded

Global plate reconstruction

A Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO) Proposal, designed to study the interaction of subduction zones with carbonate platforms through time in terms of CO2 cycles, submitted to the Smithsonian Institution and prepared to a large extent by Dr Sabin Zahirovic and EarthByte Research Assistant Jodie Pall, was successful, raising $US36k. The DCO actually doubled our proposed budget from … Read more…

Basin Hub features in NCI Newsletter

Basin GENESIS Hub logo

The Basin GENESIS Hub was featured in NCI’s Newsletter entitled ‘Basin GENESIS Hub Launched‘. NCI Director Professor Lindsay Botten said NCI’s role in the Hub highlighted the importance of high-performance computing in industry-relevant research. “NCI is delighted to support this high-profile ARC Industry Transformation Hub, led by Professor Müller,” Professor Botten said. “Projects of this excellence, and … Read more…

EarthByte welcomes PhD Student Xuesong Ding

Xuesong Ding

EarthByte welcomes new PhD student Xuesong Ding who’s PhD project focuses on exploring the interplay between changes in sea level and in dynamic topography on the sequence stratigraphy of Australia’s northern margin, from the North West Shelf (NWS) to Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Ore Geology Reviews – Prospectivity of Western Australian iron ore from geophysical data using a reject option classifier

Prospectivity of Western Australian iron ore from geophysical data using a reject option classifier - figure

Merdith, A. S., Landgrebe, T. C., & Müller, R. D. (2015). Prospectivity of Western Australian iron ore from geophysical data using a reject option classifier. Ore Geology Reviews. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.oregeorev.2015.03.014 Prospectivity of Western Australian iron ore from geophysical data using a reject option classifier Download supplementary material – zip file