ANZIC Forum 2022 Talk: Deep-sea hiatuses track the vigour of Cenozoic ocean bottom currents

By Adriana Dutkiewicz Abstract: Scientific ocean drilling data collected over half a century have generated a treasure trove of data to map deep sea currents.  We have compiled data from more than 200 drill sites to map the continuity of the deep sea sedimentary record and to understand how global warming– or cooling – is … Read more…

When the Earth warms, the ocean speeds up

Sixty-six million years of geological data suggests that heating makes ocean currents stronger. By Ellen McPhiddian, Cosmos Ocean currents play a big role in floods, droughts, and other large-scale weather patterns. We know that ocean circulation will be affected by global warming – but figuring out exactly how it will be affected is much more difficult. Will there be … Read more…

Global warming speeds up currents in the ocean’s abyss

University of Sydney media release University of Sydney scientists have used the geological record of the deep sea to discover that past global warming has sped up deep ocean circulation. This is one of the missing links for predicting how future climate change may affect heat and carbon capture by the oceans. Circulation of the … Read more…

Geology: Deep-sea hiatuses track the vigor of Cenozoic ocean bottom currents

The deep-sea stratigraphic record is full of gaps. These hiatuses track changes in ocean circulation and chemistry, but determining their timing and causes has been limited by sparse data and incomplete knowledge of ocean gateway evolution in earlier studies. We combine a significantly expanded, age-calibrated deep-sea stratigraphic database with a global tectonic and paleo–water depth … Read more…

PhD scholarship in Deep-Sea Sediments and Paleoclimate

This PhD project with Dr. Adriana Dutkiewicz in the Univ. of Sydney EarthByte Group is aimed at reconstructing the evolution of the deep-sea carbon reservoir and its impact on the long-term global carbon cycle as part of an ARC-funded Future Fellowship. It includes a stipend allowance of $28,854 per annum for three years (with an … 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…

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…

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…

How marine snow cools the planet

University of Sydney scientists have modelled how carbonate accumulation from ‘marine snow’ in oceans has absorbed carbon dioxide over millennia and been a key driver in keeping the planet cool for millions of years. Researchers in the School of Geosciences have mapped out how carbonate formations have helped regulate Earth’s temperature over 120 million years. … 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…

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…

Mapping the Growth of Seafloor Carbonates in Deep Time

A news article published by the Deep Carbon Observatory entitled “Mapping the Growth of Seafloor Carbonates in Deep Time” explains how Adriana Dutkiewicz and colleagues used records of carbonate layers logged from cores collected during scientific ocean drilling expeditions combined with a model of ocean basin evolution to unravel the role deep sea carbonate deposition might have … Read more…

Roberto Spina reviews the future of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence Analytics in Geosciences

Roberto Spina, a computational geologist from Italy, wrote a lead article in GSA Today, in which he reviews the future of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence Analytics in Geosciences, using Adriana Dutkiwicz’s digital seafloor lithology map published 3 years ago as a ground-breaking example. The article includes a South Atlantic view of the virtual globe portraying her map, … Read more…

EarthByte Honours and Masters Projects 2019

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EarthByte has now released a list of Honours/Masters projects to be offered in 2019. These projects are outlined below. Project Title Supervisor(s) How is landscape complexity driving biodiversity over geological time scales? Tristan Salles & Patrice Rey How well are tectonic and climatic signals preserved in the stratigraphic record? Tristan Salles & Claire Mallard Vertical motions … Read more…

PyBacktrack 1.0: a tool for reconstructing paleobathymetry on oceanic and continental crust

The pyBacktrack software package allows the backtracking of the paleo-water depth of ocean drill sites, providing a framework for reconstructing the accumulation history of sediment components through time. The software incorporates the effects of decompaction of common marine lithologies and allows backtracking of sites on both oceanic and continental crust.  Backtracking on ocean crust is based on … Read more…

Controls on the global distribution of contourite drifts: Insights from an eddy-resolving ocean model

Abstract Contourite drifts are anomalously high sediment accumulations that form due to reworking by bottom currents. Due to the lack of a comprehensive contourite database, the link between vigorous bottom water activity and drift occurrence has yet to be demonstrated on a global scale. Using an eddy-resolving ocean model and a new georeferenced database of 267 contourites, we show that the … 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…

How seafloor weathering drives the slow carbon cycle

A previously unknown connection between geological atmospheric carbon dioxide cycles and the fluctuating capacity of the ocean crust to store carbon dioxide has been uncovered by two geoscientists from the University of Sydney. Prof Dietmar Müller and Dr Adriana Dutkiewicz from the Sydney Informatics Hub and the School of Geosciences report their discovery in the … 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…

Understanding the Deep Carbon Cycle from Icehouse to Greenhouse Climates

Sydney Research Excellence Initiative grant (2017-2018) Research area, key questions, significance, and innovation. The planet is experiencing a major transition from an icehouse climate, one dominated by permanent continental ice sheets at high latitudes, to a greenhouse climate that favours ice-free conditions. Although part of the deglaciation trend is influenced by a natural orbital cycle, … Read more…

Taking the pulse of the global ocean

sediments_currents_global_oceanWhen organic particles sink from the surface ocean to the seafloor, a small but significant proportion of atmospheric carbon is stored away. Adriana Dutkiewicz and colleagues at the University of Sydney and Data61/CSIRO have now used global data sets collected over decades combined with cutting-edge big data analysis to understand how this process depends on surface ocean environments.   … Read more…

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Controls on the distribution of deep-sea sediments

Author List: Dr Adriana Dutkiewicz, Dr Simon O’Callaghan, Prof Dietmar Müller Citation: Dutkiewicz, A., O’Callaghan, S., and Müller, R.D. (2016). Controls on the distribution of deep-sea sediments. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 17 1–24. doi:10.1002/2016GC006428 Abstract: Deep-sea sediments represent the largest geological deposit on Earth and provide a record of our planet’s response to conditions at the sea surface from … Read more…

Commotion in the deep Southern Ocean

souther_ocean_circulationCongratulations Adriana Dutkiewicz, Dietmar Müller, Andrew Hogg, and Paul Spence for their recent paper published in Geology. Their paper, Vigorous deep-sea currents cause global anomaly in sediment accumulation in the Southern Ocean, revealed an enormous stretch of the Southern Ocean where sediments are building up at a rate that dwarfs other deep ocean locations. The work has attracted the attention of media internationally. … Read more…

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Vigorous deep-sea currents cause global anomaly in sediment accumulation in the Southern Ocean

Author List:  Adriana Dutkiewicz, Dietmar Müller, Andy Hogg and Paul Spence. Citation: Dutkiewicz, A., Müller, R. D., Hogg, A. M. & Spence, P. (2016). Vigorous deep-sea currents cause global anomaly in sediment accumulation in the Southern Ocean. Geology, 44(8), 663–666. doi:10.1130/G38143.1 Abstract: The vigorous current systems in the Southern Ocean play a key role in regulating the Earth’s … Read more…

Commotion in the deep Southern Ocean

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Bathymetry of the Southeast indian Ridge, where a major sediment accumulation rate anomaly has been linked to lateral changes in the vigour of bottom water flow.

A team led by the University of Sydney School of Geosciences has found an 8,000-km long sediment pile-up in the middle of the Southern Ocean, making this feature unique in the world. Their study was published today in the leading international journal Geology. … Read more…

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PLOS ONE – The GPlates Portal: Cloud-Based Interactive 3D Visualization of Global Geophysical and Geological Data in a Web Browser

Author List: Dietmar Müller, Xiaodong Qin, David Sandwell, Adriana Dutkiewicz, Simon Williams, Nicolas Flament, Stefan Maus, Maria Seton Citation: Müller, R. D., Qin, X., Sandwell, D. T., Dutkiewicz, A., Williams, S. E., Flament, N., Maus, S., & Seton, M. (2016). The GPlates Portal: Cloud-Based Interactive 3D Visualization of Global Geophysical and Geological Data in a Web Browser. … Read more…

GPlates Portal International Media Coverage

gravity_grid_180my_agoThe recent article on the GPlates Portal published in PLOS ONE by Prof Dietmar Müller, Xiaodong Qin, Prof David Sandwell, Dr Adriana Dutkiewicz, Dr Simon Williams, Dr Nicolas Flament, Dr Stefan Maus, and Dr Maria Seton, has received significant international media attention over the past week, featuring in articles from Australia, UK, US, India, and UAE!

See the list of online media below, and check out the interactive globes yourself!

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History and current advances in reconstructing the Earth through deep geological time

Rodinia 1000 Ma

Rodinia 1000 MaTime machine: History and current advances in reconstructing the Earth through deep geological time – an article on Quartz by Steve LeVine. The article is a review of the development of ideas and technologies in reconstructing the Earth through deep time, aimed at understanding supercontinent assembly, breakup and dispersal, starting with Alfred Wegener. The article focusses on research activities in the context of the IGCP 648 project ‘Supercontinent Cycles and Global Geodynamics‘ led by Zheng-Xiang Li. The piece provides some historical context, and highlights the work of a number of leading scientists, postdoctoral researchers and PhD students currently involved in this work.  … Read more…

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Seafloor lithology of the ocean basins

Lithology globe Aus Ant view

Lithology globe Aus Ant viewCitation
Dutkiewicz, A., Müller, R. D., O’Callaghan, S., & Jónasson, H. (2015). Census of seafloor sediments in the world’s ocean. Geology, G36883-1. doi: 10.1130/G36883.1.

Abstract
Knowing the patterns of distribution of sediments in the global ocean is critical for understanding biogeochemical cycles and how deep-sea deposits respond to environmental change at the sea surface. We present the first digital map of seafloor lithologies based on descriptions of nearly 14,500 samples from original cruise reports, interpolated using a support vector machine algorithm. We show that sediment distribution is more complex, with significant deviations from earlier hand-drawn maps, and that major lithologies occur in drastically different proportions globally. … Read more…

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Homeward Bound… Big Data Reveals Geology of World’s Ocean Floor

Lithology globe Aus Ant view

The 2015 Ocean Innovation (OI) conference takes place in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada during October and focuses on “mapping our oceans.” For each OI conference, a special issue of The Journal of Ocean Technology (JOT) that complements the conference’s theme is released. A series of essays, peer review technical papers, and columns are included and … Read more…