The Encyclopedia of Marine Geosciences

The Encyclopedia of Marine Geosciences was selected for the 2017 Mary B. Ansari Best Geoscience Research Resource Work Award of The Geoscience Information Society (GSIS). The formal award will be given at the GSA 2017 conference in October in Seattle/USA. EarthByters Dietmar Muller and Maria Seton contributed two chapters on “Paleophysiography of Ocean Basins” and “Plate Motion”. This Encyclopedia … Read more…

Evolution of the global network of tectonic plates 200 million years ago to present

This animation shows the tesselation of the surface of the Earth over the last 200 million years as an evolving "jigsaw puzzle" of plates. Tectonic plates, the pieces of Earth's broken outer shell, are all unequal in size. Today seven plates, including the Pacific Ocean and Africa as the largest plates, account for 94% of the surface while the remaining 6% are occupied by a multitude of small plates, such as Iberia and the Philippine Plate.

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Simulation of mantle convection and evolving tectonic plate network

Simulation of deep earth convection with blue colours in the interior outlining sinking subducted slabs and red colours outlining rising plumes in the Earth’s interior, while the system of tectonic plates at the surface is evolving dynamically, with red colours at the surface outlining evolving plate boundaries, corresponding to relatively low viscosity while the stable interior of the plates has a higher viscosity, shown in green.

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Australian paleotopography 70 million years ago to present

This quicktime animation accompanies the paper by Heine, C., Müller, R.D., DiCaprio, L. and Steinberger, B. (2010), Integrating deep Earth dynamics in paleogeographic reconstructions of Australia, Tectonophysics, 483, 135-150. The animation is based on a combination of a present-day digital elevation model corrected for time-dependent sediment thickness in some key areas combined with a model for Australia's plate motion over a convecting mantle, resulting in topography modulated by mantle convection-driven dynamic surface topography back in time and a eustatic sea model (see paper for details).  

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Modelled uplift history of the Eastern Australian Highlands through time

Modelled topography of the eastern Australian highlands since 150 million years ago. The model is based on a coupled plate tectonic-mantle convection model run on the Australian high performance computer Raijin. The model shows that the time-dependent interaction of plate motion with mantle downwellings and upwellings accounts for the broad pattern of margin uplift phases.

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High horizontal fault displacement rates and landscape evolution

High horizontal fault displacement rates and landscape evolution video featured image

In this numerical model of landscape evolution we impose over 2 million of years deformation produced with the Underworld software over an initial flat surface, ie a 256 km square box at a resolution of 1 km. On top of the deformed surface, a landscape evolution model, Badlands, is used to simulate both hillslope and … Read more…

Virtual seafloor geology globe spinning North-South

Lithology globe Aus Ant view

This spinning virtual seafloor geology globe is composed of a set of screen captures of an interactive digital globe portraying the distribution of different seafloor sediments available at the Gplates Portal. Citation Dutkiewicz, A., Müller, R. D., O’Callaghan, S., & Jónasson, H. (2015). Census of seafloor sediments in the world’s ocean. Geology, G36883-1. doi: 10.1130/G36883.1. … Read more…

Virtual seafloor geology globe spinning East-West

Lithology globe Aus Ant view

This spinning virtual seafloor geology globe is composed of a set of screen captures of an interactive digital globe portraying the distribution of different seafloor sediments available at the Gplates Portal. Citation Dutkiewicz, A., Müller, R. D., O’Callaghan, S., & Jónasson, H. (2015). Census of seafloor sediments in the world’s ocean. Geology, G36883-1. doi: 10.1130/G36883.1. … Read more…

Continental rifting in 3D using Underworld

This model shows the evolution of a continental rift from inception to breakup, using the Underworld numerical modelling framework. The left and right walls of the model are pulled apart from each other at a total rate of 2 cm/yr to induce rifting. Courtesy of Luke Mondy, EarthByte. View other EarthByte animations on our YouTube … Read more…