Plate reconstruction with paleo-bathymetry of the ocean basins

Reconstructions of tectonic plates and oceanic paleodepth (i.e. paleobathymetry). Citation Müller, R., M. Sdrolias, C. Gaina, and W. Roest (2008). Age, spreading rates, and spreading asymmetry of the world’s ocean crust, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 9(4), 19, Q04006. doi: 10.1029/2007GC001743. View the full playlist on our EarthByte YouTube channel

Geology – Seawater chemistry driven by supercontinent assembly, breakup, and dispersal

Müller, R. D., Dutkiewicz, A., Seton, M., & Gaina, C. (2013). Seawater chemistry driven by supercontinent assembly, breakup, and dispersal. Geology, 41(8), 907-910. doi: 10.1130/G34405.1. Seawater chemistry driven by supercontinent assembly, breakup, and dispersal

Global continental and ocean basin reconstructions since 200 Ma

Plate reconstruction 200Ma-1Global plate motion models provide a spatial and temporal framework for geological data and have been effective tools for exploring processes occurring at the earth’s surface. However, published models either have insufficient temporal coverage or fail to treat tectonic plates in a self-consistent manner. They usually consider the motions of selected features attached to tectonic plates, such as continents, but generally do not explicitly account for the continuous evolution of plate boundaries through time. … Read more…

Earth-Science Reviews – Global continental and ocean basin reconstructions since 200 Ma

Seton, M., Müller, R. D., Zahirovic, S., Gaina, C., Torsvik, T., Shephard, G., … & Chandler, M. (2012). Global continental and ocean basin reconstructions since 200Ma. Earth-Science Reviews, 113(3), 212-270. doi:10.1016/j.earscirev.2012.03.002. Download the paper – pdf

Age and Bathymetry of the World’s Ocean Crust for the last 140 million years

Muller etal Figure1Reconstructing vanished oceans
We establish the locations and geometry of mid ocean ridges through time on the basis of marine magnetic anomaly identifications, geological information such as paleomagnetic data from terranes and microcontinents, especially in the Tethys Ocean, mid-oceanic ridge subduction events and the rules of plate tectonics. Based on a global set of tectonic plate rotations we construct a set of refined seafloor isochrons following the interpolation technique outlined by Müller et al. (1997; 2008) but including a multitude of additional data. … Read more…

Constructing a tectonic framework for Ocean Drilling at high latitudes

Project Summary
Currently a major Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) campaign south of Australia is being carried out, comprising nine drilling legs. We propose to create a tectonic and paleogeographic framework for interpreting, modelling and synthesising these data. A joint analysis of Arctic and Antarctic regions will bring together a group of researchers from the Universities of Ottawa/Canada, California at San Diego/USA and Sydney to integrate data and models for the evolution of polar ocean basins and margins. The project will strengthen our ties with centres of excellence in polar geoscience and help to maximise the return for Australia’s investment in ODP.  … Read more…

Seafloor spreading around Australia

(a) Abstract
The Australian Plate has undergone major changes in plate boundary geometry and relative plate velocities since the breakup of Gondwanaland. We illustrate the history of seafloor spreading around Australia by reconstructing gridded ocean floor ages and plate boundary configurations in a fixed Australian reference frame. In the Argo Abyssal Plain, seafloor spreading started at M25 dated as 154.3 Ma Late Jurassic (Oxfordian). The onset of seafloor spreading west of Australia at ~136 Ma marks the breakup between Greater India and Australia. Roughly at the same time, long-lived subduction east of Australia ceased, probably due to subduction of the Phoenix-Pacific spreading ridge, changing this plate boundary to a transform margin. … Read more…

The Mid-Cretaceous seafloor spreading pulse: fact or fiction?

Project Summary
A major debate in Geoscience is centred on the hypothesis that a massive pulse of rapid seafloor spreading occurred during the mid-Cretaceous (~120-80 Ma). It has been suggested that such a pulse caused prolonged magnetic field stability, large igneous provinces, a sea-level highstand, variations in atmospheric CO2 and anoxia, but doubts have been raised about its existence. We propose to test this hypothesis by creating complete palaeo-seafloor age grids for the last 130 m.y. They will serve as input for 3-D spherical convection models, whose output will be groundtruthed by plate kinematics, results from mantle tomography and by the uplift-subsidence history of cratons.  … Read more…