GPlates 2.3 software and data sets

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GPlates 1.5 PromoGPlates is a free desktop software for the interactive visualisation of plate-tectonics. The compilation and documentation of GPlates 2.3 data was primarily funded by AuScope National Collaborative Research Infrastructure (NCRIS).

GPlates is developed by the EarthByte Group (part of AuScope NCRIS) at the University of Sydney and the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences (GPS) at CalTech. … Read more…

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Research Associate/Research Fellow in Plate Tectonics and Geodynamics

Keen to work with the EarthByte team on plate tectonic reconstructions and geodynamics? We are seeking an enthusiastic researcher (Level A/B) to join us on the STELLAR project (Spatio TEmporaL expLorAtion for Resources). STELLAR is a collaboration between BHP and the EarthByte Group at the University of Sydney aimed at implementing big and complex spatio-temporal … Read more…

PhD Scholarship Opportunity for Domestic Australian Students

THE RISE AND DEMISE OF EARTH’S GIANT REEF SYSTEMS   Expression of Interest This PhD scholarship is only available to Australian domestic applicants. Submit your expression of interest for this PhD scholarship opportunity to Dr Sabin Zahirovic via email (sabin.zahirovic@sydney.edu.au) by 30 June 2021 (with the subject line “DECRA-PHD-2021”). In your expression of interest, include … Read more…

Chatting about reconstructing 1 billion years of Earth evolution in Geology Bites podcast

In the latest Geology Bites podcast series, Dietmar Muller talks about the challenges and benefits of reconstructing Earth evolution over a billion years with Oliver Strimpel, former astrophysicist and museum director, and Visiting Professor at the Department of Earth Sciences at Oxford University. https://www.geologybites.com/

Paper in Frontiers of Earth Science: Modeling the Dynamic Landscape Evolution of a Volcanic Coastal Environment Under Future Climate Trajectories

Modeling the Dynamic Landscape Evolution of a Volcanic Coastal Environment Under Future Climate Trajectories Kyle Manley, T. Salles and R. D. Müller As anthropogenic forcing continues to rapidly modify worldwide climate, impacts on landscape changes will grow. Olivine weathering is a natural process that sequesters carbon out of the atmosphere, but is now being proposed … Read more…

Environmental predictors of deep-sea polymetallic nodule occurrence in the global ocean

Abstract: Polymetallic nodules found on the abyssal plains of the oceans represent one of the slowest known geological processes, and are a source of critical and rare metals for frontier technologies. A quantitative assessment of their occurrence worldwide has been hampered by a research focus on the northeastern Pacific Ocean and the lack of a … Read more…

Subduction history reveals Cretaceous slab superflux as a possible cause for the mid-Cretaceous plume pulse and superswell events

Abstract: Subduction is a fundamental mechanism of material exchange between the planetary interior and the surface. Despite its significance, our current understanding of fluctuating subducting plate area and slab volume flux has been limited to a range of proxy estimates. Here we present a new detailed quantification of subduction zone parameters from the Late Triassic … Read more…

Integration of Selective Dimensionality Reduction Techniques for Mineral Exploration Using ASTER Satellite Data

Abstract: There are a significant number of image processing methods that have been developed during the past decades for detecting anomalous areas, such as hydrothermal alteration zones, using satellite images. Among these methods, dimensionality reduction or transformation techniques are known to be a robust type of methods, which are helpful, as they reduce the extent … Read more…

East African topography and volcanism explained by a single, migrating plume

Abstract: Anomalous topographic swells and Cenozoic volcanism in east Africa have been associated with mantle plumes. Several models involving one or more fixed plumes beneath the northeastward migrating African plate have been suggested to explain the space-time distribution of magmatism in east Africa. We devise paleogeographically constrained global models of mantle convection and, based on … Read more…

Surrogate-assisted Bayesian inversion for landscape and basin evolution models

Abstract: The complex and computationally expensive nature of landscape evolution models poses significant challenges to the inference and optimization of unknown model parameters. Bayesian inference provides a methodology for estimation and uncertainty quantification of unknown model parameters. In our previous work, we developed parallel tempering Bayeslands as a framework for parameter estimation and uncertainty quantification … Read more…

Bayesian geological and geophysical data fusion for the construction and uncertainty quantification of 3D geological models

Abstract: Traditional approaches to develop 3D geological models employ a mix of quantitative and qualitative scientific techniques, which do not fully provide quantification of uncertainty in the constructed models and fail to optimally weight geological field observations against constraints from geophysical data. Here, using the Bayesian Obsidian software package, we develop a methodology to fuse … Read more…

Reconstructing seafloor age distributions in lost ocean basins

Abstract: Reconstructions of past seafloor age make it possible to quantify how plate tectonic forces, surface heat flow, ocean basin volume and global sea-level have varied through geological time. However, past ocean basins that have now been subducted cannot be uniquely reconstructed, and a significant challenge is how to explore a wide range of possible … Read more…

Concentration-concentration fractal modelling: a novel insight for correlation between variables in response to changes in the underlying controlling geological-geochemical processes

Behnam Sadeghi has recently published a research paper in “Ore Geology Reviews”. This paper is based on one of the methods Behnam has developed in his PhD thesis. It is about a quite novel fractal model, named Concentration-Concentration (C-C), applied to geochemical anomaly classification. Also, in this paper Behnam has proposed a Bayesian framework, using … Read more…

Controls on soil geochemistry fractal characteristics in Lemesos (Limassol), Cyprus

Behnam Sadeghi has recently published a research paper about urban geochemistry in Cyprus, based on soil data, and using fractal models and statistical analysis. A part of this paper is from his PhD thesis. This is a collaborative project with the Geological Survey of Cyprus and UNSW School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences. ABSTRACT: This … Read more…

A global dataset of present-day oceanic crustal age and seafloor spreading parameters

Abstract: We present an updated oceanic crustal age grid and a set of complementary grids including spreading rate, asymmetry, direction and obliquity. Our dataset is based on a selected set of magnetic anomaly identifications and the plate tectonic model of Müller et al. (2019). We find the mean age of oceanic crust is 64.2 Myrs, … Read more…

Kinematic and geodynamic evolution of the Isthmus of Panama region: Implications for Central American Seaway closure

Abstract: A major topic of debate in Earth and climate science surrounds the timing of closure of the Central American Seaway. While it is clear that the gateway was closed by ~2.8 Ma, recent studies based on geological and marine molecular evidence have suggested an earlier closing time of early to mid-Miocene. Here, we examine … Read more…

Sea level fluctuations driven by changes in global ocean basin volume following supercontinent break-up

Abstract: Long-term variations in eustatic sea level in an ice-free world, which existed through most of the Mesozoic and early Cenozoic eras, are partly driven by changes in the volume of ocean basins. Previous studies have determined ocean basin volume changes from plate tectonic reconstructions since the Mesozoic; however, these studies have not considered a … Read more…

A Quantitative Tomotectonic Plate Reconstruction of Western North America and the Eastern Pacific Basin

Abstract: Plate reconstructions since the breakup of Pangaea are mostly based on the preserved spreading history of ocean basins, within absolute reference frames that are constrained by a combination of age-progressive hotspot tracks and palaeomagnetic data. The evolution of destructive plate margins is difficult to constrain from surface observations as much of the evidence has … Read more…

PyGPlates now supports Python 3

PyGPlates now supports Python 3.  You can download pyGPlates:   http://www.gplates.org/download.html What’s new in pyGPlates revision 28:- Windows and macOS support for Python 2.7, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7 and 3.8. macOS libraries signed and notarized by Apple (should no longer get security prompts). Ubuntu support for 16.04 LTS (Xenial), 18.04 LTS (Bionic), 19.10 (Eoan) and 20.04 LTS (Focal). Create topological features (dynamic … Read more…

PyBacktrack 1.3 now available as a Python package and a Docker image.

PyBacktrack 1.3 is now available as a Python package and a Docker image. The documentation is available at: https://pybacktrack.readthedocs.io/en/latest/ Changes since version 1.2: Supports Python 3: please also use the recent pyGPlates Python 3 release. Added the following output columns: dynamic_topography: change in dynamic topography elevation since present day decompacted_depth: depth from fully decompacted layers (using surface porosity only) … 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…

GPlates x Digital Directory: re-linking people with earth system science in an opportune moment of pause

COVID-19 has stimulated both major behavioural change during lockdown; and new thoughts, experiments and even dreams as many of our human-created systems have come to a raging halt. As the traffic dims, we have the opportunity to ‘remind ourselves that we are embedded in a more-than-human world — and have some fun along the way … 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…

Update to the Muller et al. (2019) plate reconstructions

The GPlates team has updated the relative and absolute plate motions in the Muller et al. (2019) reconstructions.  The details of the updates are summarised below. Version 2.0 of the model (including GPlates files, age-grids, global and regional animations, stretching factor grids, etc.) are available to download from this link. The Muller et al. (2019) … Read more…

Computer vision-based framework for extracting tectonic lineaments from optical remote sensing data

Abstract: The extraction of tectonic lineaments from digital satellite data is a fundamental application in remote sensing. The location of tectonic lineaments such as faults and dykes are of interest for a range of applications, particularly because of their association with hydrothermal mineralization. Although a wide range of applications have utilized computer vision techniques, a … Read more…

The interplay of dynamic topography and eustasy on continental flooding in the late Paleozoic

Abstract: Global sea level change can be inferred from sequence stratigraphic and continental flooding data. These methods reconstruct sea level from peri-cratonic and cratonic basins that are assumed to be tectonically stable and sometimes called reference districts, and from spatio-temporal correlations across basins. However, it has been understood that long-wavelength (typically hundreds of km) and low-amplitude … Read more…

Constraining Absolute Plate Motions Since the Triassic

Abstract: The absolute motion of tectonic plates since Pangea can be derived from observations of hotspot trails, paleomagnetism, or seismic tomography. However, fitting observations is typically carried out in isolation without consideration for the fit to unused data or whether the resulting plate motions are geodynamically plausible. Through the joint evaluation of global hotspot track … Read more…

Bayeslands: A Bayesian inference approach for parameter uncertainty quantification in Badlands

Abstract: Bayesian inference provides a rigorous methodology for estimation and uncertainty quantification of unknown parameters in geophysical forward models. Badlands is a landscape evolution model that simulates topography development at various space and time scales. Badlands consists of a number of geophysical parameters that needs estimation with appropriate uncertainty quantification; given the observed present-day ground truth … Read more…

Decoding earth’s plate tectonic history using sparse geochemical data

Abstract: Accurately mapping plate boundary types and locations through time is essential for understanding the evolution of the plate-mantle system and the exchange of material between the solid Earth and surface environments. However, the complexity of the Earth system and the cryptic nature of the geological record make it difficult to discriminate tectonic environments through … Read more…