Communications Earth & Environment: Quaternary landscape dynamics boosted species dispersal across Southeast Asia

Sundaland, the inundated shelf separating Java, Sumatra and Borneo from the Malay Peninsula, is of exceptional interest to biogeographers for its species richness and its position at the junction between the Australasian and Indomalay biogeographic provinces. Owing to its low elevation and relief, its physiography is contingent on relative sea-level change, which drove Quaternary species … Read more…

Geosphere: Fast Pliocene integration of the Central Anatolian Plateau drainage: Evidence, processes, and driving forces

Continental sedimentation was widespread across the Central Anatolian Plateau in Miocene– Pliocene time, during the early stages of plateau uplift. Today, however, most sediment produced on the plateau is dispersed by a well-integrated drainage and released into surrounding marine depocenters. Residual long-term (106–107 yr) sediment storage on the plateau is now restricted to a few … Read more…

Marine and Petroleum Geology: Single-phase vs two-phase rifting: Numerical perspectives on the accommodation of extension during continental break-up

How continental lithosphere responds to extension is a function of the dynamic interaction between layers of differing rheological properties, including the shallow crust, deep crust, lithospheric mantle, and asthenosphere. We investigate the first-order controls on the modes of extension and timing of transition from continental rifting to development of continental margins via a suite of … Read more…

Basin Research: Modelling the role of dynamic topography and eustasy in the evolution of the Great Artesian Basin

Widespread flooding of the Australian continent during the Early Cretaceous, referred to as the Eromanga Sea, deposited extensive shallow marine sediments throughout the Great Artesian Basin (GAB). This event had been considered ‘out of sync’ with eustatic sea level and was instead solely attributed to dynamic subsidence associated with Australia’s passage over eastern Gondwanan subducted … Read more…

GPlates 2.3 software and data sets

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GPlates 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 California Institute of Technology (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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

GPlates 2.2 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 2.2 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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PyBacktrack 1.1 has been released as Python package and Docker image

PyBacktrack is a Python package that backtracks the paleo-water depth of ocean drill sites through time by combining a model of tectonic subsidence with decompaction of the site stratigraphic lithologies. PyBacktrack can also include the effects of mantle-convection driven dynamic topography on paleo-water depth, as well as sea-level variations. PyBacktrack provides a model of tectonic … Read more…

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…

AuScope reviews innovations of the ARC Basin Genesis HUB

Sedimentary basins around the world are critical to sustaining modern life on Earth. These basins can be thought of as containers that hold water, minerals, energy, and can potentially be used to store carbon dioxide. Unpacking how they form, and where those resources and storage opportunities may lie is a sizeable feat for the best … Read more…