Controls on the global distribution of contourite drifts: Insights from an eddy-resolving ocean model

Abstract Contourite drifts are anomalously high sediment accumulations that form due to reworking by bottom currents. Due to the lack of a comprehensive contourite database, the link between vigorous bottom water activity and drift occurrence has yet to be demonstrated on a global scale. Using an eddy-resolving ocean model and a new georeferenced database of 267 contourites, we show that the … Read more…

pyBadlands: A framework to simulate sediment transport, landscape dynamics and basin stratigraphic evolution through space and time

Abstract Understanding Earth surface responses in terms of sediment dynamics to climatic variability and tectonics forcing is hindered by limited ability of current models to simulate long-term evolution of sediment transfer and associated morphological changes. This paper presents pyBadlands, an open-source python-based framework which computes over geological time (1) sediment transport from landmasses to coasts, … Read more…

Untangling The Role Of Climate On Sediment And Reef Evolution Over Millennial Timescales

Climatic variability like precipitation changes or increase in extreme events such as storms and tropical cyclones is known to significantly modify the Earth’s surface. Yet, our understanding of how sediment dynamics and reef evolution might respond to these changes is still limited. In a recent study, a team of researchers from the University of Sydney’s … Read more…

Palaeolatitudinal distribution of lithologic indicators of climate in a palaeogeographic framework

Citation: Cao, W., Williams, S., Flament, N., Zahirovic, S., Scotese, C., and Müller, R. D., 2018. Paleolatitudinal distribution of lithologic indicators of climate in a paleogeographic framework. Geological Magazine, 1-24. Abstract: Whether the latitudinal distribution of climate-sensitive lithologies is stable through green- house and icehouse regimes remains unclear. Previous studies suggest that the palaeolatitudinal dis- tribution … Read more…

Oceanic crustal carbon cycle drives 26 million-year atmospheric carbon dioxide periodicities

Citation: Müller, R.D. and Dutkiewicz, A., 2018, Oceanic crustal carbon cycle drives 26 million-year atmospheric carbon dioxide periodicities, Science Advances, 4:eaaq0500, 1-7. Atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) data for the last 420 million years (My) show long-term fluctuations related to supercontinent cycles as well as shorter cycles at 26–32 My whose origin is unknown. Periodicities of 26–30 … Read more…

Models are as hot as rocks!

In a recent paper in JGR-Solid Earth, EarthByter Ömer Faruk Bodur and colleagues show that mantle lithosphere rheology has a primary control on the subduction style (i.e., one-sided vs. double-sided subduction) and strongly affects the pressure-temperature conditions of metamorphic rocks that can be buried >100 km depth and exhume to the surface! This long journey … Read more…

Predicting Sediment Thickness on Vanished Ocean Crust Since 200 Ma

Citation: Dutkiewicz, A., Müller, R.D., Wang, X., O’Callaghan, S., Cannon, J., Wright, N.M., 2017. Predicting sediment thickness on vanished ocean crust since 200 Ma. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 18, 4586–4603. Tracing sedimentation through time on existing and vanished seafloor is imperative for constraining long-term eustasy and for calculating volumes of subducted deep-sea sediments that contribute to global … Read more…

Improving global paleogeography since the late Paleozoic using paleobiology

Author List: Wenchao Cao, Sabin Zahirovic, Nicolas Flament, Simon Williams, Jan Golonka, Dietmar Müller Citation: Cao, W., Zahirovic, S., Flament, N., Williams, S., Golonka, J., and Müller, R. D., 2017, Improving global paleogeography since the late Paleozoic using paleobiology: Biogeosciences, v. 14, no. 23, p. 5425-5439. Paleogeographic maps, linked to plate tectonic reconstructions, are key components required for climate models … Read more…

Continental breakup triggered massive CO2 emissions

Currently, human activity is the primary driver of elevating atmospheric CO2, but the Earth fluctuated from greenhouse to icehouse conditions and back long before humans existed. The question is:  what triggered these long-term climate cycles? Now research at the University of Sydney’s EarthByte Group, in collaboration with the German Research Centre for Geosciences, reveals how … Read more…

A reconstruction of the Eurekan Orogeny incorporating deformation constraints

Author List:  Austin Gion, Simon Williams, Dietmar Müller Citation: Gion, A.M., Williams, S.E. and Müeller, R.D., 2017. A reconstruction of the Eurekan Orogeny incorporating deformation constraints. Tectonics, 36(2), pp.304-320. Abstract: The Eurekan Orogeny records Paleogene convergence between Greenland and the Canadian Arctic. The complexity of the region, well represented by the disputed magnitude of Cenozoic sinistral displacement of … Read more…

A global review and digital database of large-scale extinct spreading centers

Author List: Sarah MacLeod, Simon Williams, Kara Matthews, Dietmar Müller and Xiaodong Qin Citation: MacLeod, S.J., Williams, S.E., Matthews, K.J., Müller, R.D. and Qin, X., 2017. A global review and digital database of large-scale extinct spreading centers. Geosphere, pp.GES01379-1. Abstract: Extinct mid-ocean ridges record past plate boundary reorganizations, and identifying their locations is crucial to developing a better understanding of the … Read more…

Kinematic constraints on the Rodinia to Gondwana transition

Author List: Andrew Merdith, Simon Williams, Dietmar Müller & Alan Collins. Citation: Merdith, Andrew & Williams, Simon & Müller, Dietmar & Collins, Alan. (2017). Kinematic constraints on the Rodinia-Gondwana transition. Precambrian Research. 299. . 10.1016/j.precamres.2017.07.013. Abstract: Earth’s plate tectonic history during the breakup of the supercontinent Pangea is well constrained from the seafloor spreading record, but evolving plate configurations during … Read more…

Influence of mantle flow on the drainage of eastern Australia since the Jurassic period

Author List: Tristan Salles, Nicolas Flament & Dietmar Müller. Citation: Salles, Tristan & Flament, Nicolas & Müller, Dietmar. (2017). Influence of mantle flow on the drainage of eastern Australia since the Jurassic Period. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems. 18. . 10.1002/2016GC006617. Abstract:  Recent studies of the past eastern Australian landscape from present-day longitudinal river profiles and from mantle flow models … Read more…

Dynamic topography and eustasy controlled the paleogeographic evolution of northern Africa since the mid-Cretaceous

Author List: Nicholas Barnett-Moore, Rakib Hassan, Dietmar Müller, Simon Williams & Nicolas Flament. Citation: Barnett-Moore, Nicholas & Hassan, Rakib & Müller, Dietmar & Williams, Simon & Flament, Nicolas. (2017). Dynamic topography and eustasy controlled the paleogeographic evolution of northern Africa since the mid Cretaceous. Tectonics. . 10.1002/2016tc004280. Abstract: Northern Africa underwent widespread inundation during the Late Cretaceous. Changes … Read more…

The origin of contractional structures in extensional gneiss domes

Author List: Patrice Rey, Luke Mondy, Guillaume Duclaux, Christian Teyssier, Donna Whitney, Marie Bocher, cécile Prigent. Citation: Rey, Patrice & Mondy, L & Duclaux, G & Teyssier, Christian & Whitney, Donna & Bocher, Marie & Prigent, cécile. (2017). The origin of contractional structures in extensional gneiss domes. 45. 263-266. 10.1130/G38595. Abstract: The juxtaposition of domains of shortening and extension at different … Read more…

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…

Global patterns in Earth’s dynamic topography since the Jurassic: the role of subducted slabs

Author List: Michael Rubey, Sascha Brune, Christian Heine, Rhodri Davies, Simon Williams, and Dietmar Müller. Citation: Rubey, M., Brune, S., Heine, C., Davies, D. R., Williams, S. E., and Müller, R. D.: Global patterns in Earth’s dynamic topography since the Jurassic: the role of subducted slabs, Solid Earth, 8, 899-919, https://doi.org/10.5194/se-8-899-2017, 2017. Abstract: We evaluate the spatial … Read more…

The deep Earth origin of the Iceland plume and its effects on regional surface uplift and subsidence

Abstract The present-day seismic structure of the mantle under the North Atlantic Ocean indicates that the Iceland hotspot represents the surface expression of a deep mantle plume, which is thought to have erupted in the North Atlantic domain during the Palaeocene. The spatial and temporal evolution of the plume since its eruption is still highly … Read more…

Dynamic topography of passive continental margins and their hinterlands since the Cretaceous

Author List: Dietmar Müller, Rakib Hassan, Michael Garnis, Nicolas Flament, Simon Williams. Citation: Müller, Dietmar & Hassan, Rakib & Gurnis, M & Flament, Nicolas & Williams, Simon. (2017). Dynamic topography of passive continental margins and their hinterlands since the Cretaceous. Gondwana Research. . 10.1016/j.gr.2017.04.028. Abstract: Even though it is well accepted that the Earth’s surface topography has been … Read more…

A full-plate global reconstruction of the Neoproterozoic

Author List:  Andrew Merdith, Alan Collins, Simon Williams, Sergei Pisarevsky, John Foden, Donnelly Archibald, Morgan Blades, Brandon Alessio, Sheree Armistead, Diana Plavsa, Chris Clark, Dietmar Müller Citation: Merdith, Andrew & Collins, Alan & Williams, Simon & Pisarevsky, Sergei & Foden, John & Archibald, Donnelly & Blades, Morgan & Alessio, Brandon & Armistead, Sheree & Plavsa, Diana & Clark, Chris … Read more…

Global plate boundary evolution and kinematics since the late Paleozoic

Author List: Kara Matthews, Kayla Maloney, Sabin Zahirovic, Simon Williams, Maria Seton and Dietmar Müller. Citation: Matthews, K.J., Maloney, K.T., Zahirovic, S., Williams, S.E., Seton, M., and Müller, R.D. (2016). Global plate boundary evolution and kinematics since the late Paleozoic, Global and Planetary Change, 146, 226-250. Abstract: Many aspects of deep-time Earth System models, including mantle convection, paleoclimatology, paleobiogeography and the deep … Read more…

SoftwareX – Badlands: A parallel basin and landscape dynamics model

Abstract: Over more than three decades, a number of numerical landscape evolution models (LEMs) have been developed to study the combined effects of climate, sea-level, tectonics and sediments on Earth surface dynamics. Most of them are written in efficient programming languages, but often cannot be used on parallel architectures. Here, I present a LEM which … Read more…

Large fluctuations of shallow seas in low-lying Southeast Asia driven by mantle flow

Author List: Sabin Zahirovic, Nicolas Flament, Dietmar Müller, Maria Seton, Mike Gurnis. Citation: Zahirovic, S., Flament, N., Müller, R.D., Seton, M., and Gurnis, M. (2016). Large fluctuations of shallow seas in low-lying Southeast Asia driven by mantle flow. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems. doi:10.1002/2016GC006434 The Sundaland continental promontory, as the core of Southeast Asia, is one of the lowest lying … Read more…

Controls on the distribution of deep-sea sediments

Author List: Dr Adriana Dutkiewicz, Dr Simon O’Callaghan, Prof Dietmar Müller Citation: Dutkiewicz, A., O’Callaghan, S., and Müller, R.D. (2016). Controls on the distribution of deep-sea sediments. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 17 1–24. doi:10.1002/2016GC006428 Abstract: Deep-sea sediments represent the largest geological deposit on Earth and provide a record of our planet’s response to conditions at the sea surface from … Read more…

Vigorous deep-sea currents cause global anomaly in sediment accumulation in the Southern Ocean

Author List:  Adriana Dutkiewicz, Dietmar Müller, Andy Hogg and Paul Spence. Citation: Dutkiewicz, A., Müller, R. D., Hogg, A. M. & Spence, P. (2016). Vigorous deep-sea currents cause global anomaly in sediment accumulation in the Southern Ocean. Geology, 44(8), 663–666. doi:10.1130/G38143.1 Abstract: The vigorous current systems in the Southern Ocean play a key role in regulating the Earth’s … Read more…

Abrupt plate accelerations shape rifted continental margins

Author List: Sascha Brune, Simon Williams, Nathaniel Butterworth and Dietmar Müller. Citation: Brune, S., Williams, S.E, Butterworth, N. P., and Müller, R.D. (2016). Abrupt plate accelerations shape rifted continental margins. Nature, 1–4. doi:10.1038/nature18319 Abstract: Rifted margins are formed by persistent stretching of continental lithosphere until breakup is achieved. It is well known that strain-rate-dependent processes control rift evolution, yet quantified extension … Read more…

Ridge-spotting: A new test for Pacific absolute plate motion models

Author List: Paul Wessel, Dietmar Müller. Citation: Wessel, P., and Müller, R.D. (2016). Ridge-spotting: A new test for Pacific absolute plate motion models. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 17 (6): 2408–2420. doi:10.1002/2016GC006404 Abstract: Relative plate motions provide high-resolution descriptions of motions of plates relative to other plates. Yet geodynamically, motions of plates relative to the mantle are required since … Read more…

Ocean Basin Evolution and Global-Scale Plate Reorganization Events Since Pangea Breakup

Author List: Dietmar Müller, Maria Seton, Sabin Zahirovic, Simon Williams, Kara Matthews, Nicky Wright, Grace Shephard, Kayla Maloney, Nicholas Barnett-Moore, Maral Hosseinpour, Dan Bower and John Cannon. Citation: Müller, R.D., Seton, M., Zahirovic, S., Williams, S.E., Matthews, K.J., Wright, N.M., Shephard, G.E., Maloney, K.T., Barnett-Moore, N., Hosseinpour, M., Bower, D.J., & Cannon, J. (2016). Ocean Basin Evolution and … Read more…

Subduction controls the distribution and fragmentation of Earth’s tectonic plates

Author List: Claire Mallard, Nicolas Coltice, Maria Seton, Dietmar Müller and Paul Tackley Citation: Mallard, C., Coltice, N., Seton, M., Müller, R. D. & Tackley, P. J. (2016). Subduction controls the distribution and fragmentation of Earth’s tectonic plates. Nature, 535, 140-143. doi:10.1038/nature17992 Abstract: Volcanic hotspot tracks featuring linear progressions in the age of volcanism are typical surface expressions of plate … Read more…

A rapid burst in hotspot motion through the interaction of tectonics and deep mantle flow

Author List: Rakib Hassan, Dietmar Müller, Mike Gurnis, Simon Williams and Nicolas Flament Citation: Hassan, R., Müller, R.D., Gurnis, M., Williams, S.E. and Flament, N. (2016). A rapid burst in hotspot motion through the interaction of tectonics and deep mantle flow. Nature, 533, 239-242. doi:10.1038/nature17422 Abstract: Volcanic hotspot tracks featuring linear progressions in the age of volcanism … Read more…