Australian NW Shelf sediments reveal climate shifts through the eons

Global climate underwent a major reorganization when the Antarctic ice sheet expanded ~14 million years ago (Ma). This event affected global atmospheric circulation, including the strength and position of the westerlies and the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), and, therefore, precipitation patterns. Stephen Gallagher, a member of the ARC Basin Genesis Hub node at the Univ. … Read more…

EarthByters selected as exceptional reviewers for GSA journals

EarthByters selected as exceptional reviewers for GSA journals Several Australian geologists and geophysicists have been selected as exceptional reviewers for Geological Society of America journals, for prompt, insightful, meticulous, and tactful reviews. Nicolas Flament was selected for his reviews of Lithosphere papers, and Dietmar Muller for Geosphere reviews. Other Australians honoured for their quality reviews … Read more…

Colombia GPlates Course

During the second week of May, Earthbyte Alumnus Nicholas Barnett-Moore visited a research group at the National University of Colombia, Medellín, under the coordination of Assistant Professor Agustin Cardona and Associate Professor Gaspar Monsalve to teach a one-week intensive course on the plate reconstruction software, GPlates. The primary research interests of this group were focused … Read more…

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…

Australasian IODP Regional Planning Workshop

Date: June 13-16, 2017 Venue: The University of Sydney The workshop is co-organised by Neville Exon (Australian National University), Karsten Gohl (Alfred Wegener Institut), Michael Gurnis (California Institute of Technology), Stuart Henrys (GNS Science, Wellington), Fumio Inagaki (JAMSTEC), Rob McKay (Victoria University, Wellington), Dietmar Mueller (University of Sydney, Conference Host), Dhananjai Pandey (NCAOR, India), Amelia … Read more…

Model of Australia’s Tectonic Stress May Future-Proof Carbon Storage

In response to ever-rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, some countries are exploring carbon sequestration as a way to mitigate the effects of this greenhouse gas. The general strategy is to inject carbon dioxide more than a mile underground, beneath an impermeable rock layer, where it can dissolve into fluids and crystallize. Injection locations … Read more…

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…

Zealandia: Earth’s Hidden Continent

ZealandiaA paper published in GSA Today, Zealandia: Earth’s Hidden Continent, by Nick Mortimer and colleagues, including EarthByte’s Dr Maria Seton, has gone viral over the last few days. In the paper, researchers have for the first time clearly defined Zealandia, a continent that includes New Zealand, New Caledonia, and the Lord Howe and Norfold Islands, that is today 94% submerged beneath the Pacific Ocean. According to GSA Today’s editors, the article is “by a long shot” their most downloaded article ever. Picked up by hundreds of media outlets worldwide, the findings of the paper has reached an estimated 720 million readers!

You can download the paper here. … Read more…

Basin Genesis Hub computer model explains Early Cretaceous eastward flow of ancient Murray River

Murray_RiverAustralia is an outstanding natural laboratory to study the influence of dynamic topography on landscape evolution, having been largely unaffected by tectonic deformation since the Jurassic. Recent studies of the past eastern Australian landscape from present-day longitudinal river profiles and from mantle flow models suggest that the interaction of plate motion with mantle convection accounts for the two phases of large-scale uplift of the region since 120 Ma. … Read more…

EarthByters find that death of ancient ocean between China and Russia triggered mantle upwelling

Flament_Figure5A collaboration between the University of Wollongong, the EarthByte Group at the University of Sydney, the California Institute of Technology and ETH Zürich have solved the mystery of the formation of a recently discovered structure 2,500 km below the city of Perm in Russia.

Earth’s lowermost rocky mantle, just above its iron-rich core, is characterised by two giant hot upwellings under the Pacific Ocean and Africa. Many islands in the Pacific and around Africa owe their volcanic activity to “hotspots” within these large, hot regions deep underneath the surface.  … Read more…

EarthByte-Augury Basin Genesis Hub field trip to the Sydney Basin Permo-Triassic sequence

A-EB_fieldtrip_Dec_2016The collaboration between the EarthByters at the School of Geosciences, University of Sydney and the Lyon-based Augury geodynamics group, who are currently visiting Sydney, led to a field trip to the Late Permian-Early Triassic Sydney Basin succession, beautifully exposed along the coastal Illawarra region. … Read more…

Augury Geodynamics team visits Earthbyte Group in December 2016 in the quest towards Plate Tectonics 2.0

Augury-EarthByte cutout.jpgOur geodynamics collaborators from the Augury Geodynamics Group, Univ. Lyon, are spending the month of December 2016 with the EarthByte Group  to collaborate on a range of issues revolving around seeking improved connections between kinematic (plate tectonic) and dynamic Earth models to advance our understanding and knowledge of the evolution of the solid Earth and the “rules of plate tectonics”. Even though some basic rules of plate tectonics have been accepted since the 70s, these rules are not extensive enough to understand the dynamic, time-dependent interaction between the convecting mantle and the tectonic plates.  The visit is inspired by the move towards Plate Tectonics 2.0 – the development of a unified conceptual and methodological framework to understand how the shallow crust, landscapes, continental margins, and ocean basins interact with the coupled non-linear evolution of the plates and deep Earth through time.

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EarthByte Group develops machine learning recipe to find copper-gold deposits along the Andes

In a paper just published in the journal Tectonics, EarthByter and Natural Sciences, University of Sydney alumnus Nathaniel Butterworth and colleagues from the School of Geosciences, University of Sydney and Data61/CSIRO have developed a spatio-temporal machine learning recipe to identify subduction zone tectonic environments in which porphyry copper-gold deposits tend to form. The new approach … Read more…

GPlates 2.0 Released

2016_11_MedMeet-Group.jpgGPlates 2.0 was released last week, with lots of new features including plate deformation, volume rendering, much improved project and session management, a plate topology building tool and an interactive tool to determine best-fit rotation poles using the method of Hellinger, and much more. Check out the full list of improvements here. … Read more…

NW Shelf Basin Hub workshop at Curtin University

NW_Shelf_Workshop_CurtinA number of Basin Hub members have gathered at Curtin University in Perth to brainstorm and discuss progress on research relating to the tectonic and surface process evolution of the NW Australian shelf. Our PhD student Amy I’Anson sends these photos of the team using Curtin’s spectacular HIVE 24 megapixel screen. Very cool! … Read more…

Basin Genesis Hub surface processes workshop

pyBadlands_workshop_Oct_2016Greetings from the surface processes workshop using the open-source Badlands code developed by our very own Tristan Salles as part of the Basin GENESIS Hub. Today we covered how to use Docker/Kitematic to download the pyBadlands virtual machine and run the examples (mountain building, delta formation, and so on). … Read more…

Surface Processes Modelling Workshop

Badlands imageThe EarthByte Group will conduct a 2 days workshop on surface processes modelling on the 13th and 14th of October in the Madsen Building at the School of Geoscience, The University of Sydney, Australia.

The workshop aims to introduce those interested in landscape evolution and source to sink problems to a new open-source code: Badlands. Note that you do not have to be a seasoned modeller to participate. Geomorphologists, tectonicists and sedimentologists interested in testing conceptual models based on field observations are welcome!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

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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…

The pains and strains of a continental breakup in the media

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View of Australia’s western continental margin, looking eastwards from the Indian Ocean.

Congratulations to Dr Sascha Brune, Dr Simon Williams, Dr Nathan Butterworth, and Prof Dietmar Müller on their paper published in Nature earlier this week. The paper,  Abrupt plate accelerations shape rifted continental marginshas been picked up by the media across the globe.

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The pains and strains of a continental breakup

View of Australia’s western continental margin, looking eastwards from the Indian Ocean. Every now and then in Earth’s history, a pair of continents draws close enough to form one. There comes a time, however, when they must inevitably part ways. Now scientists at Australia’s EarthByte research group, in collaboration with the German Research Centre for … Read more…

Solving Earth’s giant jigsaw puzzle of tectonic plates

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Earth’s plate tesselation through time (150 Myr ago to present)

Plate tectonics drives earthquakes and volcanism, forms precious mineral deposits and controls the planet’s long-term carbon cycle.   But why do we have just a few large plates, and many tiny plates?  Does it matter? These questions have now been answered in a French-Swiss-Australian collaborative paper led by PhD student Claire Mallard at the Univ. Lyon, published on 15 June 2016 in the journal Nature. The paper includes Nicolas Coltice (Lyon), EarthByters Dietmar Müller and Maria Seton, and Paul Tackley (ETH). 

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How the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain got its spectacular bend

In a paper published in Nature, Rakib Hassan with fellow EarthByters Dietmar Müller, Simon E. Williams & Nicolas Flament, and Caltech’s Michael Gurnis, proposed a solution to a long standing geological mystery – how the distinct bend in the Hawaiian-Emperor Seamount Chain came to be. Using NCI’s Raijin supercomputer, the research team simulated flow patterns in the Earth’s mantle over the past 100 million years. The convection model suggests that the history of subduction has a profound effect on the time-dependent deformation of the edges of the Large Low-Shear Velocity Province (LLSVP) under the Pacific. The Hawaiian plume originates from the edge of this province and the southward migration of the plume during the formation of the Emperor chain reflects the migration of the northern edge of the LLSVP before ~47 million years ago. 
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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…

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…

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…