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…

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…

Professor Dietmar Müller has been recognised as Australia’s research leader in the field of geophysics!

✨Huge congratulations to Professor Dietmar Müller who has been recognised as Australia’s research leader in the field of geophysics! ✨ The Australian newspaper’s annual research awards acknowledge 17 scholars who are Australia’s leading researchers in chemical and material sciences – one selected from each of the 17 fields in this discipline. They are the researchers with … 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…

Research Scholarship in Spatio-Temporal Data Mining for Mineral Exploration

Postgraduate research scholarship at the EarthByte Group Up to $105,000 stipend scholarship to support a PhD student to research spatio-temporal data mining for mineral exploration. Highlights Value Eligibility Open date Close date $35,000 pa (for up to 3 years) Full-time PhD student at the School of Geosciences Hold an honours or master’s degree 1 September 2020 … 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…

Visualizing the Deep Carbon Cycle

Christian Fogerty, writing for American Geophysical Union (AGU)’s EoS magazine, reviews some of our work on modelling and visualising Earth’s deep carbon cycle. We started our exciting journey with the Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO) in 2015, and these projects have laid the foundations of a lot of exciting future work. Importantly, the team behind the … Read more…

Developing community-based scientific priorities and new drilling proposals in the southern Indian and southwestern Pacific oceans

Abstract: An International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) workshop was held at Sydney University, Australia, from 13 to 16 June 2017 and was attended by 97 scientists from 12 countries. The aim of the workshop was to investigate future drilling opportunities in the eastern Indian Ocean, southwestern Pacific Ocean, and the Indian and Pacific sectors of the … 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…

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…

EarthByte Honours and Masters Projects 2020

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EarthByte has now released a list of Honours/Masters projects to be offered in 2020. These projects are outlined below. We can also tailor projects to your interests. Feel free to contact us by clicking the supervisor links below. Project Title Supervisor(s) How climate and subsidence control the sedimentation along the Norwegian Margin? Claire Mallard , … 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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NSW South Coast Carbon Down Under Field Excursion 2019

A fun day at the NSW South Coast introduced the Deep Carbon Observatory“Carbon Down Under” workshop participants to the Late Permian and Lower Triassic geology of the Sydney Basin. The Triassic Narrabeen sandstones, deposited after the Permo-Triassic mass extinction, are devoid of signs of life and represent a time when atmospheric CO2 was at about 6 … Read more…

MinEx CRC PhD project: Bayesian optimisation for drill site selection

MinEx CRC PhD project: Bayesian optimisation for drill site selection at the University of South Australia, the School of Geosciences, University of Sydney and Geoscience Australia, including the Centre for Translational Data Science and the EarthByte Group. Download the MinEx pgrad booklet at https://buff.ly/2N5DLJ0

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…

Dietmar Müller presents at 2019 NSW Mining Exploration Forum on Bayesian approach for optimising the placement of new drill holes

The 2019 NSW Mining Exploration Forum in Parliament House featured a range of talks on how to overcome to current deficit in new resource discoveries, especially in the area of metals needed for the “green economy”.  Invited talks in a session chaired by Sydney University alumna Alexandra Bonner (now Heron Resources) covered the application of … Read more…

EGU Blog: Meeting Plate Tectonics – Dietmar Müller

David Fernández-Blanco interviewed Dietmar Müller for the EGU Tectonics and Structural Geology Blog, as part of a series of interviews portraying scientists who have contributed to developing and applying plate tectonic theory over the last 50 years.  So far, this set of interviews includes Dan McKenzie, Xavier Le Pichon, Mathilde Cannat, Richard Gordon, Peter Molnar, David Bercovici, Roland … Read more…

Multi-objective Bayesian optimisation for drill site selection

Dietmar gave an invited talk at the 2019 Future of Mining conference in Sydney, with co-authors Sebastian Haan from the Sydney Informatics Hub and Fabio Ramos from the Centre for Translational Data Science. The talk covered how Bayesian optimisation can be used to invert surface geophysical data and physical rock properties derived from drill data … Read more…

Moving the Earth: The art and craft of communicating geoscience

In January 2019 Peter Spinks taught a media workshop for the Basin Genesis Hub at the University of Sydney. Topics covered included why it’s important to communicate with the public, stakeholders and the media, the value system involved, “getting the picture”, i.e. preparing graphics, illustrations, photographs and videos, popular science writing 101, media releases and … Read more…

Australian Academy of Science honours Dietmar Müller with the Jaeger Medal for lifelong achievement

Australian Academy of Science honours Dietmar Müller with the Jaeger Medal for lifelong achievement, which recognises research on the Earth or its oceans carried out in Australia or with a connection to Australian Earth science. Prof Dietmar Müller has been awarded the Jaeger medal of the Australian Academy of Science.  The award recognises his lifelong passion and innovations in building … Read more…

Carbon Down Under workshop – 24 to 26 July 2019

Carbon Down Under

We are excited to announce a Sydney-based workshop that will bring existing and emerging leaders in deep carbon research to discuss the state of the discipline, but importantly a plan for future collaboration that builds on the momentum generated by the Deep Carbon Observatory. The workshop will be held on Wednesday and Thursday 24 and … Read more…

“How we traced the underwater volcanic ancestry of Lord Howe Island” published this week in The Conversation

Maria Seton, Simon Williams and Nick Mortimer (GNS Science) published an article in The Conversation on the underwater volcanic ancestry of Lord Howe Island based on their recently published paper in Geological Magazine.   “Lord Howe Island is a beautiful and incredibly isolated world heritage site some 600km off the coast of New South Wales, lauded for … Read more…