Journal of Geophysical Research – The breakup of East Gondwana: assimilating constraints from Cretaceous ocean basins around India into a best-fit tectonic model

Gibbons, A. D., Whittaker, J. M., & Müller, R. D. (2013). The breakup of East Gondwana: Assimilating constraints from Cretaceous ocean basins around India into a best‐fit tectonic model. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 118(3), 808-822. doi:10.1002/jgrb.50079. Download the paper – pdf Access supplementary materials here

Eastern Australasian Basins Symposium IV – Developing a consistent sequence stratigraphy for the Wilkes Land and Great Australian Bight margins

Lane, H., Müller, R. D., Totterdell, J. M., & Whittaker, J. (2012). Developing a consistent sequence stratigraphy for the Wilkes Land and Great Australian Bight margins. In Eastern Australasian Basins Symposium IV: Brisbane, Queensland. Download the paper – pdf

Eastern Australasian Basins Symposium IV – Crustal velocity and sediment thickness asymmetries along and between the conjugate Australian-Antarctic margins

Whittaker, J. M., Goncharov, A., Williams, S. E., & Müller, R. D. (2012). Crustal velocity and sediment thickness asymmetries along and between the conjugate Australian-Antarctic margins. Mares, T.(Ed). Download the paper – pdf

Eastern Australasian Basins Symposium IV – Full-fit reconstructions of the southern Australian Margin and Antarctica – implications for correlating geology between Australia and Antarctica

Williams, S. E., Whittaker, J. M., & Müller, R. D. (2012). Full-fit reconstructions of the southern Australian margin and Antarctica–implications for correlating geology between Australia and Antarctica. In Proceedings of the Eastern Australasian Basins Symposium IV, Brisbane Qld (unpubl.). Download the paper – pdf

Constraining the Jurassic extent of Greater India: Tectonic evolution of the West Australian margin

2011GC003919-p1a-1We present the Indian Ocean plate tectonic model accompanying the study of Gibbons et al., (2012). This work details the first regional-scale tectonic model of the breakup of East Gondwana. Our model shows that the breakup of East Gondwana started with the migration of a continental sliver, Argoland, in the Late Jurassic and was followed by breakup between Greater India and Australia-Antarctica in the Early Cretaceous, involving spreading reconfigurations, which left several sunken continental plateaus of Indian crust on the Australian plate. New evidence from seafloor off northwest Australia also shows that the majority of Greater India reached only about halfway up the West Australian margin, to the Wallaby-Zenith Plateaus. … Read more…

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Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems – Constraining the Jurassic extent of Greater India: Tectonic evolution of the West Australian margin

Gibbons, A. D., Barckhausen, U., den Bogaard, P., Hoernle, K., Werner, R., Whittaker, J. M., & Müller, R. D. (2012). Constraining the Jurassic extent of Greater India: Tectonic evolution of the West Australian margin. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 13(5). doi:10.1029/2011GC003919. Download the paper – pdf

An open-source software environment for visualizing and refining plate tectonic reconstructions using high-resolution geological and geophysical data sets

GSA Today Cover-1We describe a powerful method to explore spatio-temporal relationships within geological and geophysical data sets by analyzing the data within the context of tectonic reconstructions. GPlates is part of a new generation of plate reconstruction software that incorporates functionality familiar from GIS software with the added dimension of geological time. Here we use GPlates to reconstruct geological terranes, geophysical grids, and paleomagnetic data within alternative tectonic models of the assembly of Western Australia and the configuration of Rodinia. With the ability to rapidly visualize a diverse range of geological and geophysical constraints within different reconstructions, users can easily investigate the implications of different tectonic models for reconciling a variety of observations and make more informed choices between different models and data. … Read more…

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Insights on the kinematics of the India-Eurasia collision from global geodynamic models

Image 002We present the input plate motion models and results from the study by Zahirovic et al. (2012) on the India-Eurasia collision using linked kinematic and geodynamic models.

Two end-member scenarios of the India-Eurasia collision were tested. The conventional model invokes long-lived Andean-style subduction along southern Eurasia until continental collision between a maximum extent Greater India and Lhasa at ~60 Ma. … Read more…

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G-Cubed – Insights on the kinematics of the India-Eurasia collision from global geodynamic models

Zahirovic, S., Müller, R. D., Seton, M., Flament, N., Gurnis, M., & Whittaker, J. (2012). Insights on the kinematics of the India‐Eurasia collision from global geodynamic models. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 13(4). doi:10.1029/2011GC003883. Download the paper – pdf

GSA Today – An open-source software environment for visualizing and refining plate tectonic reconstructions using high resolution geological and geophysical data sets

Williams, S. E., Müller, R. D., Landgrebe, T. C., & Whittaker, J. M. (2012). An open-source software environment for visualizing and refining plate tectonic reconstructions using high-resolution geological and geophysical data sets.GSA Today, 22(4/5), 4-9. doi:10.1130/GSATG139A.1. Download the paper – pdf

‘Towards a unified East Gondwanaland reconstruction and its implications for Himalayan Orogeny’ wins funding

EarthByte’s Dietmar Müller, Joanne Whittaker and Ana Gibbons along with Gordon Lister and Lloyd White of the Research School of Earth Sciences at ANU, Canberra, have won funding for their project “Towards a unified East Gondwanaland reconstruction and its implications for Himalayan Orogeny” from the Australia-India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF). This project will involve a close collaboration with Yatheesh Vadakkeyakath, K.A. Kamesh Raju, G.C. Bhattacharya and S. Kiranmai of the National Institute of Oceanography in Goa, India. The project follows on from a successful French-Australian collaboration that unraveled a new high-resolution plate model of the Australia-Antarctica-India plate boundaries, while similar information was obtained for the India-Antarctica-Africa plate boundaries under two recently concluded Indo-French collaborations. … Read more…

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'Towards a unified East Gondwanaland reconstruction and its implications for Himalayan Orogeny' wins funding

EarthByte’s Dietmar Müller, Joanne Whittaker and Ana Gibbons along with Gordon Lister and Lloyd White of the Research School of Earth Sciences at ANU, Canberra, have won funding for their project “Towards a unified East Gondwanaland reconstruction and its implications for Himalayan Orogeny” from the Australia-India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF). This project will involve a close collaboration with Yatheesh Vadakkeyakath, K.A. Kamesh Raju, G.C. Bhattacharya and S. Kiranmai of the National Institute of Oceanography in Goa, India. The project follows on from a successful French-Australian collaboration that unraveled a new high-resolution plate model of the Australia-Antarctica-India plate boundaries, while similar information was obtained for the India-Antarctica-Africa plate boundaries under two recently concluded Indo-French collaborations. … Read more…

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EarthByte attends EGU 2011

Post-docs Nicolas Flament, Christian Heine, Jo Whittaker and Simon Williams, along with students Ana Gibbons, Charmaine Thomas and Luke Mondy presented their research at the EGU General Assembly in Vienna, which this year attracted 10,725 scientists geoscientists. Christian Heine and Ana Gibbons co-chaired the session “Unresolved problems in plate tectonics: kinematic reconstructions, plate driving forces, … Read more…

IODP workshop on Indian Ocean Drilling scheduled for late 2011

An Integrated Ocean Drilling (IODP) workshop on Indian Ocean Drilling to be held in late 2011 in Goa, India has just been approved, funded by $33,000 from IODP, and supported by the Australian IODP Office, which plans to send 15 Australians and Kiwis to the meeting, including EarthByte’s Dietmar Müller, and Stephen Gallagher (UMelb), Neville Exon (ANU), Richard Arculus (ANU), Mike Coffin (Tasmania) and Richard Wysoczanski (NZ, NIWA). The workshop is timed to suit an April 2012 drilling proposal submission deadline. … Read more…

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Full-fit, palinspastic reconstruction of the conjugate Australian-Antarctic margins

AusAntCThick47Ma-1Despite decades of study the pre-rift configuration and early rifting history between Australia and Antarctica is not well established. The plate boundary system during the Cretaceous includes the evolving Kerguelen-Broken Ridge Large Igneous Province in the west as well as the conjugate passive and transform margin segments of the Australian and Antarctic continents. … Read more…

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High resolution reconstruction of the Central and Eastern Indian Ocean

Project Summary
Plate reconstruction models for the rifting and separation of Gondwanaland’s conjugate margins continue to be poorly constrained. We propose to develop a new, high-resolution plate model for the central and eastern Indian ocean by synthesizing old and new geological and geophysical data utilizing combined French and Australian advanced software for magnetic anomaly modeling and plate tectonic reconstructions. We will test alternative continental fit reconstruction hypotheses by using a variety of reconstructed data sets. Such a joint research is timely, as the Indian Ocean continental margins become the focus of intense oil and gas exploration.  … Read more…

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How supercontinents and superoceans affect seafloor roughness

Tasman Sea grav SW Indian grav Pacific grav

Seafloor roughness varies considerably across the world’s ocean basins and is fundamental to controlling the circulation and mixing of heat in the ocean and dissipating eddy kinetic energy. Models derived from analyses of active mid-ocean ridges suggest that ocean floor roughness depends on seafloor spreading rates, with rougher basement forming below a half-spreading rate threshold of 30-35 mm/yr, as well as on the local interaction of mid-ocean ridges with mantle plumes or cold-spots.
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Integrating global multidimensional datasets to underpin subduction process modelling during the past 60 million years

Project Report
Understanding the initiation and processes governing subduction remains one of the greatest challenges in geodynamics. Subduction processes affect every aspect of the Earth system, from its control on the thermal and chemical state of the mantle, to its recycling of oceanic lithosphere, sediments, water and volatiles, to its affect on the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and solid Earth through earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Moreover, subduction is generally agreed to be one of the primary driving forces of plate tectonics and mantle convection through slab pull and the addition of raw materials into the mantle. … Read more…

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