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…

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…

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…

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…

Modeling geochemical anomalies of stream sediment data through a weighted drainage catchment basin method for detecting porphyry Cu-Au mineralization

Abstract: Stream sediment surveying is a geochemical sampling method which is typically applied in the preliminary stages of mineral prospecting. Both continuous and discrete mapping approaches have been proposed to delineate geochemical anomalies at large scales using stream sediment samples. We aim to enhance the efficiency of a recent discrete mapping method called Weighted Drainage … Read more…

Tectonic, geodynamic and surface process driving forces of Australia’s paleogeography since the Jurassic

Abstract: Today the eastern highlands of Australia are significantly more elevated than western Australia, but the continent’s geodynamic evolution suggests that the opposite was the case during Cretaceous times, when the Eromanga Sea dominated the eastern Australian landscape. Previous geodynamic and surface processes models have been used to simulate the evolution of this seaway, but … Read more…

Deep Carbon Cycling Over the Past 200 Million Years: A Review of Fluxes in Different Tectonic Settings

Abstract: Carbon is a key control on the surface chemistry and climate of Earth. Significant volumes of carbon are input to the oceans and atmosphere from deep Earth in the form of degassed CO2 and are returned to large carbon reservoirs in the mantle via subduction or burial. Different tectonic settings (e.g., volcanic arcs, mid-ocean … Read more…

GPlates 2.2 software and data sets

GPlates Title Logo

GPlates 1.5 PromoGPlates is a free desktop software for the interactive visualisation of plate-tectonics. The compilation and documentation of GPlates 2.2 data was primarily funded by AuScope National Collaborative Research Infrastructure (NCRIS).

GPlates is developed by an international team of scientists and professional software developers at the EarthByte Project (part of AuScope) at the University of Sydney, the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences (GPS) at CalTech, the Geodynamics team at the Geological Survey of Norway (NGU) and the Centre for Earth Evolution and Dynamics (CEED) at the University of Oslo. … Read more…

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Muller et al. (2019) deforming plate reconstructions and associated digital supplements (Tectonics)

A Global Plate Model Including Lithospheric Deformation Along Major Rifts and Orogens Since the Triassic R. Dietmar Müller, Sabin Zahirovic, Simon E. Williams, John Cannon, Maria Seton, Dan J. Bower, Michael G. Tetley, Christian Heine, Eline Le Breton, Shaofeng Liu, Samuel H. J. Russell, Ting Yang, Jonathon Leonard, and Michael Gurnis Journal: Tectonics (open access) … Read more…

How Earth’s continents became twisted and contorted over millions of years

Dietmar Muller, Maria Seton and Sabin Zahirovic published an article in The Conversation on How Earth’s continents became twisted and contorted over millions of years based on their recently published paper in Tectonics. Classical plate tectonic theory was developed in the 1960s. It proposed that the outer layer of our planet is made up of a small number of rigid … 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 … Read more…

Sequestration and subduction of deep-sea carbonate in the global ocean since the Early Cretaceous

Citation: Dutkiewicz, Adriana & Müller, Dietmar & Cannon, John & Vaughan, Sioned & Zahirovic, Sabin. (2018). Sequestration and subduction of deep-sea carbonate in the global ocean since the Early Cretaceous. Geology. 10.1130/G45424.1. Abstract Deep-sea carbonate represents Earth’s largest carbon sink and one of the least-known components of the long-term carbon cycle that is intimately linked … Read more…

New interactive rift obliquity globe on the GPlates Portal

The ARC Basin Genesis Hub has made a new interactive rift obliquity globe available on the GPlates Portal at http://portal.gplates.org/cesium/?view=rift_ov, based on a recently published paper entitled “Oblique rifting: the rule, not the exception” in Solid Earth. This virtual globe visualizes extension velocities and obliquities within Earth’s major post-Pangea rift systems. Each circle depicts the … Read more…

PaleoDEM Resource – Scotese and Wright (2018)

A paleo-digital elevation model (paleoDEM) is a digital representation of paleotopography and paleobathymetry that has been “reconstructed” back in time. This report describes how the 117 PALEOMAP paleoDEMS (see Supplementary Materials) were made and how they can be used to produce detailed paleogeographic maps. The paleoDEMS describe the changing distribution of deep oceans, shallow seas, … Read more…

Tectonic evolution and deep mantle structure of the eastern Tethys since the latest Jurassic

Sabin Zahirovic, Kara J. Matthews, Nicolas Flament, R. Dietmar Müller, Kevin C. Hill, Maria Seton, Michael Gurnis Earth-Science Reviews Citation: Zahirovic, S., Matthews, K.J., Flament, N., Müller, R.D., Hill, K.C., Seton, M. and Gurnis, M., 2016, Tectonic evolution and deep mantle structure of the eastern Tethys since the latest Jurassic, Earth Science Reviews, 162, 293-337. The … Read more…

The influence of carbonate platform interactions with subduction zone volcanism on palaeo-atmospheric CO2 since the Devonian

Abstract: The CO2 liberated along subduction zones through intrusive/extrusive magmatic activity and the resulting active and diffuse outgassing influences global atmospheric CO2. However, when melts derived from subduction zones intersect buried carbonate platforms, decarbonation reactions may cause the contribution to atmospheric CO2 to be far greater than segments of the active margin that lacks buried carbon-rich rocks and … Read more…

GPlates 2.1 software and data sets

GPlates Title Logo

GPlates 1.5 PromoGPlates is a free desktop software for the interactive visualisation of plate-tectonics. The compilation and documentation of GPlates 2.1 data was primarily funded by AuScope National Collaborative Research Infrastructure (NCRIS).

GPlates is developed by an international team of scientists and professional software developers at the EarthByte Project (part of AuScope) at the University of Sydney, the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences (GPS) at CalTech, the Geodynamics team at the Geological Survey of Norway (NGU) and the Centre for Earth Evolution and Dynamics (CEED) at the University of Oslo. … Read more…

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The Interplay Between the Eruption and Weathering of Large Igneous Provinces and the Deep-Time Carbon Cycle

Abstract: Although many sources of atmospheric CO2 have been estimated, the major sinks are poorly understood in a deep-time context. Here we combine plate reconstructions, the eruption ages and outlines of Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs), and the atmospheric CO2 proxy record to investigate how their eruptions and weathering within the equatorial humid zone impacted global … 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…

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…

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…

Global Dynamic Topography Models

Cao et al., 2018

Cao, X., Flament, N, Müller, R.D. and Li, S., 2018, The dynamic topography of eastern China since the latest Jurassic Period , Tectonics.

Müller et al., 2017

Müller R.D., Hassan, R., Gurnis, M., Flament, N., and Williams, S.E., 2017, Dynamic topography of passive continental margins and their hinterlands since the Cretaceous, Gondwana Research, in press, accepted 21 March 2017.

Barnett-Moore et al., 2017

Barnett-Moore, N., R. Hassan, R. D. Müller, S. E. Williams, and N. Flament (2017), Dynamic topography and eustasy controlled the paleogeographic evolution of northern Africa since the mid-Cretaceous , Tectonics, 36, 929–944, doi:10.1002/2016TC004280.

 Rubey et al., 2017

Rubey, M., Brune, S., Heine, C., Davies, D. R., Williams, S. E., and Müller R. D.: Global patterns of Earth’s dynamic topography since the Jurassic, Solid Earth Discuss., doi:10.5194/se-2017-26, in press, 2017.

Müller et al., 2016

Müller, R. D., Flament, N., Matthews, K. J., Williams, S. E., & Gurnis, M. (2016). Formation of Australian continental margin highlands driven by plate-mantle interaction.. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 441, 60-70. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2016.02.025

Zahirovic et al., 2016a

Zahirovic, S., Matthews, K. J., Flament, N., Müller, R. D., Hill, K. C., Seton, M., & Gurnis, M. (2016a). Tectonic evolution and deep mantle structure of the eastern Tethys since the latest Jurassic. Earth-Science Reviews, 162, 293-337.

Zahirovic et al.,2016b

Zahirovic, S., Flament, N., Müller, R. D, Seton, M., & Gurnis, M. (2016b). Large fluctuations of shallow seas in low-lying Southeast Asia driven by mantle flow. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 17(9), 3589-3607.

Flament et al., 2015

Flament, N., Gurnis, M., Müller R. D., Bower, D. J., & Husson, L. (2015). Influence of subduction history on South American topography. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 430, 9-18, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2015.08.006.

Seton et al., 2015

Seton, M., Flament, N., Whittaker, J., Müller, R. D., Gurnis, M., & Bower, D. J. (2015). Ridge subduction sparked reorganization of the Pacific plate-mantle system 60.50 million years ago. Geophysical Research Letters, 42(6), 1732-1740.

Bower et al., 2015

Bower, D. J., Gurnis, M., & Flament, N. (2015). Assimilating lithosphere and slab history in 4-D Earth models. Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, 238, 8-22.

Flament et al., 2014

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Tectonic speed limits from plate kinematic reconstructions

Abstract The motion of plates and continents on the planet’s surface are a manifestation of long-term mantle convection and plate tectonics. Present-day plate velocities provide a snapshot of this ongoing process, and have been used to infer controlling factors on the speeds of plates and continents. However, present-day velocities do not capture plate behaviour over … 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…