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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ANNOUNCING THE LAUNCH OF NEW GPLATES WEBSITE

We are very excited to announce the launch of the newly designed GPlates website. Visit the new website at www.gplates.org. After a few months of team work and dedication, we have made the new GPlates website more responsive and more mobile-friendly. As the development team of the GPlates open source project, our goal with this … Read more…

Modelling global precipitation since 250 million years ago

We have developed a novel data-driven approach to reconstruct precipitation patterns through geological time, since the supercontinent Pangea was in existence. Our approach involves linking climate-sensitive sedimentary deposits such as coal, evaporites and glacial deposits to a global plate model, reconstructed paleo-elevation maps and high-resolution General Circulation Models via Bayesian machine learning. We model the … Read more…

Intraplate volcanism triggered by bursts in slab flux

Long-lived, widespread intraplate volcanism without age progression is one of the most controversial features of plate tectonics. Previously proposed edge-driven convection, asthenospheric shear, and lithospheric detachment fail to explain the ~5000-km-wide intraplate volcanic province from eastern Australia to Zealandia. We model the subducted slab volume over 100 million years and find that slab flux drives … Read more…

Coupled evolution of plate tectonics and basal mantle structure

The relationships between plate motions and basal mantle structure remain poorly understood, with some models implying that the basal mantle structure has remained stable over time, while others suggest that it could be shaped by the aggregation and dispersal of supercontinents. Here we investigate the evolution of mantle flow driven by end‐member plate tectonic models … Read more…

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…

PhD 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 Closing 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…

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…

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…