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…

Modelling and visualizing distributed compressional plate deformation using GPlates2.0: The Arctic Eurekan Orogeny

Gion_etal_figPresent-day distributed plate deformation is being mapped and simulated in great detail, largely based on satellite observations.  In contrast, the modelling of and data assimilation into deforming plate models for the geological past is still in its infancy.  The recently released GPLates2.0 software provides a framework for building plate models including diffuse deformation.  … 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…