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…

EarthByte offers spatio-temporal modeling resources to researchers and the public

In 2016, the EarthByte group, based in the School of Geosciences at the University of Sydney, created a visualization tool and model to measure the interactions of arc volcanism with buried carbonate platforms in deep time. The new workflow tools, which are available to the DCO community, enable scientists to approximate paleo-atmospheric CO2 flux within … 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…

Curtin Basin Genesis Hub team scoops bronze in international geoscience awards

A team of students from the WA School of Mines, Curtin University, has picked up the bronze medal in the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) Imperial Barrel Award competition in Houston, Texas. The Imperial Barrel Award (IBA) is an annual competition for geoscience graduate students from universities around the world, simulating the exploration work … 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…

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…