Volcanoes acted as a safety valve for Earth’s long-term climate

Volcanoes acted as a safety valve for Earth’s long-term climate The natural weathering of rocks on Earth’s surface over time is a crucial process for removing CO2 from the atmosphere Researchers have now used artificial intelligence to study interactions between land, sea and the atmosphere to determine the biggest drivers of this process over the … Read more…

World Economic Forum: Watch how today’s continents were formed over one billion years – in just 40 seconds

The plate tectonic theory says that Earth’s surface is made up of slabs of rock that are slowly shifting right under our feet. Because of this constant movement, today’s Earth looks a lot different from what it did millions of years ago. In 1912, German scientist Alfred Wegener proposed that Earth’s continents once formed a … Read more…

The Conversation: Travelling through deep time to find copper for a clean energy future

More than 100 countries, including the United States and members of the European Union, have committed to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The world is going to need a lot of metal, particularly copper. Recently, the International Energy Agency sounded the warning bell on the global supply of copper as the most widely used metal in renewable … Read more…

Nicolas Flament awarded the AAS Anton Hales medal

Dr Nicolas Flament, University of Wollongong Dr Flament works at the interface between geodynamics and geology by novel 4D mathematical modelling of flow deep in Earth’s interior. He makes significant contributions to understanding our planet by connecting the evolution of the deep Earth with the evolution of its surface. He shows Earth was largely a water … Read more…

A geological postcard from Australia to Mars on NASA Perseverance

How a bit of the Australian desert is destined for the Red Planet – A small piece of the Pilbara holds the secret to an ancient geological environment that was common to Earth and Mars 3.5 billion years ago. Find out how Patrice Rey from the School of Geosciences played a pivotal role in unearthing … Read more…

Earth-moving research charts one billion years of tectonic plate movement

New research shows how the earth’s tectonic plates have shifted over the last billion years. Tectonic plates are irregular-shaped slabs of solid rock which can vary massively in size from a few hundred to thousands of kilometres across. Heat from radioactive processes within the planet’s interior causes the plates to shift. And this movement creates … Read more…

GPlates Portal passes 1 million views!

Just in time for science week, our #AuScope supported GPlates Portal has passed 1 million views! The most popular globe remains the vertical gravity gradient globe which highlights the Earth’s lithospheric structure, followed by our seafloor lithology globe. For #ScienceWeek our portal guru Michael Chin has created a new globe for reconstructing the SRTM15 digital elevation model. Check it … Read more…

Congratulations to Sabin Zahirovic for receiving a Tall Poppy Award

Huge congratulations to EarthByter Sabin Zahirovic for receiving a Tall Poppy Award from the Australian Institute of Policy and Science for his combined research and outreach in geology. https://www.sydney.edu.au/news-opinion/news/2020/08/21/young-tall-poppy-science-award-winners.html

Visualizing the Deep Carbon Cycle

Christian Fogerty, writing for American Geophysical Union (AGU)’s EoS magazine, reviews some of our work on modelling and visualising Earth’s deep carbon cycle. We started our exciting journey with the Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO) in 2015, and these projects have laid the foundations of a lot of exciting future work. Importantly, the team behind the … Read more…

Paper in Geological Society London Memoirs: Geodynamics of the SW Pacific: a brief review and relations with New Caledonian geology

A book chapter in: New Caledonia: Geology, Geodynamic Evolution and Mineral Resources. Geological Society, London, Memoirs, 51, 13–26, https://doi.org/10.1144/M51-2018-5 has finally been published. The book chapter, which gives a brief overview of the geodynamics of New Caledonia, was a collaboration between colleagues from New Caledonia, New Zealand, Australia and France. Abstract below: The SW Pacific … Read more…

How Earth’s continents became twisted and contorted over millions of years

Dietmar Muller, Maria Seton and Sabin Zahirovic published an article in The Conversation on How Earth’s continents became twisted and contorted over millions of years based on their recently published paper in Tectonics. Classical plate tectonic theory was developed in the 1960s. It proposed that the outer layer of our planet is made up of a small number of rigid … Read more…

EGU Blog: Meeting Plate Tectonics – Dietmar Müller

David Fernández-Blanco interviewed Dietmar Müller for the EGU Tectonics and Structural Geology Blog, as part of a series of interviews portraying scientists who have contributed to developing and applying plate tectonic theory over the last 50 years.  So far, this set of interviews includes Dan McKenzie, Xavier Le Pichon, Mathilde Cannat, Richard Gordon, Peter Molnar, David Bercovici, Roland … Read more…

How marine snow cools the planet

University of Sydney scientists have modelled how carbonate accumulation from ‘marine snow’ in oceans has absorbed carbon dioxide over millennia and been a key driver in keeping the planet cool for millions of years. Researchers in the School of Geosciences have mapped out how carbonate formations have helped regulate Earth’s temperature over 120 million years. … Read more…

Australian Academy of Science honours Dietmar Müller with the Jaeger Medal for lifelong achievement

Australian Academy of Science honours Dietmar Müller with the Jaeger Medal for lifelong achievement, which recognises research on the Earth or its oceans carried out in Australia or with a connection to Australian Earth science. Prof Dietmar Müller has been awarded the Jaeger medal of the Australian Academy of Science.  The award recognises his lifelong passion and innovations in building … Read more…

“How we traced the underwater volcanic ancestry of Lord Howe Island” published this week in The Conversation

Maria Seton, Simon Williams and Nick Mortimer (GNS Science) published an article in The Conversation on the underwater volcanic ancestry of Lord Howe Island based on their recently published paper in Geological Magazine.   “Lord Howe Island is a beautiful and incredibly isolated world heritage site some 600km off the coast of New South Wales, lauded for … Read more…

Geological Society of Australia’s Earth Science Student Symposium of New South Wales (GESSS-NSW)

Earlier this week, the Geological Society of Australia‘s Earth Science Student Symposium of New South Wales (GESSS-NSW) was held at the Abercrombie Business School, the University of Sydney! GESSS-NSW is an Earth sciences conference held by students, for students. For months, EarthByters were heavily involved in the organization conference, where Mandi Thran was Committee Chair, Rhi Garrett was Secretary, Maxim Adams served … Read more…

Dietmar Muller receives NSW Premier’s Prize for Excellence in Mathematics, Earth Sciences, Chemistry or Physics

Five University of Sydney researchers have been recognised for their work by the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.  Amongst them was Dietmar Muller who received the NSW Premier’s Prize for Excellence in Mathematics, Earth Sciences, Chemistry or Physics at an awards ceremony held at Government House. http://www.chiefscientist.nsw.gov.au/premiersprizes/2018-category-winners This is a marvellous recognition of the fundamental role … Read more…

Prof. Dietmar Muller awarded the Excellence Professor Award from the German Petersen Foundation for 2019

Congratulations to Prof Dietmar Muller who has been awarded the Excellence Professor Award from the German Petersen Foundation for 2019. The award comes with €20,000 (about AU$32,000) and an invitation to spend 6-8 weeks at GEOMAR in Kiel to present a series of lectures, a short course, and to continue/launch collaborations in the field of marine geoscience. … Read more…

Kaj Hoernle awarded Gustav Steinmann Medal at annual meeting of the German Geological Society

Long-term EarthByte collaborator Kaj Hoernle has been awarded the Gustav Steinmann Medal at the recent annual meeting of the German Geological Society. The medal, which has been awarded since 1938, honours outstanding overall achievements in the geosciences. Kaj studied geology, petrology and geochemistry at Columbia University and at UC Santa Barbara. Since 1994 he has … Read more…

Dietmar Muller gives public Accelerated Computing for Innovation talk on “Understanding Earth System Evolution – connecting Deep to Surface Processes”

The Earth’s composition and location relative to the sun has resulted in a thermal, structural and geochemical evolution that is unique in the solar system, forming a resource-rich, oxygenated habitable planet. Human civilization is built on the premise of relatively stable climate and coastlines Yet the geological record reveals numerous episodes of enormous change, innovation, … Read more…

Does the sea level or the sun drive volcanic seafloor topography?

Modelling shows what causes abyssal hills 2.5km below sea level Computer modelling shows climate- and sea-level cycles are not responsible for the ‘hills’ and ‘valleys’ at the bottom of the sea – a hypothesis that would have mapped a path to uncovering Earth’s climate history. Half a century after discovering how plate tectonics works, the … Read more…

The ARC Basin GENESIS Hub: connecting solid Earth evolution to sedimentary basins

The August edition of Preview by the Australian Society of Exploration Geophysicists features an article entitled “The ARC Basin GENESIS Hub: connecting solid Earth evolution to sedimentary basins”.  It highlights the work of Early Career Researchers in the ARC Basin Genesis Hub, including research fellows and PhD students. You can download and read the article here. … Read more…

How seafloor weathering drives the slow carbon cycle

A previously unknown connection between geological atmospheric carbon dioxide cycles and the fluctuating capacity of the ocean crust to store carbon dioxide has been uncovered by two geoscientists from the University of Sydney. Prof Dietmar Müller and Dr Adriana Dutkiewicz from the Sydney Informatics Hub and the School of Geosciences report their discovery in the … Read more…

Volcanoes, geysers and earthquakes! – 89.7 Eastside FM

A recent trip to Iceland piqued Sylvia’s curiosity about nearly every geological feature she saw. Back in Sydney, she explored those features – volcanoes, geysers, earthquakes, tectonic plates – with Dietmar Muller, Professor of Geophysics at the University of Sydney. That conversation went to air on Arts Wednesday 16 August 2017 and you can listen … Read more…

Fellows feature story in Crinkling News

Read the story of Dietmar in this week’s edition of Crinkling News, Australia’s only newspaper for kids. He located a photo of himself and his family when he was a kid to share his story of what inspired him to become a scientist. Crinkling News is posted out weekly to 800 Australian schools and has 30,000 young readers. They have … 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…

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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…

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Commotion in the deep Southern Ocean

SE_Ind_ridge_labelled
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…

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