Tectonic speed limits from plate kinematic reconstructions

Abstract The motion of plates and continents on the planet’s surface are a manifestation of long-term mantle convection and plate tectonics. Present-day plate velocities provide a snapshot of this ongoing process, and have been used to infer controlling factors on the speeds of plates and continents. However, present-day velocities do not capture plate behaviour over … 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…

Global plate boundary evolution and kinematics since the late Paleozoic

Matthews++_SummaryFigCitation

Matthews, K.J., Maloney, K.T., Zahirovic, S., Williams, S.E., Seton, M., and Müller, R.D. (2016). Global plate boundary evolution and kinematics since the late Paleozoic, Global and Planetary Change, 146, 226-250. DOI: 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2016.10.002

Abstract

Many aspects of deep-time Earth System models, including mantle convection, paleoclimatology, paleobiogeography and the deep Earth carbon cycle, require high-resolution plate models that include the evolution of the mosaic of plate boundaries through time. We present the first continuous late Paleozoic to present-day global plate model with evolving plate boundaries, building on and extending two previously published models for the late Paleozoic (410–250 Ma) and Mesozoic-Cenozoic (230–0 Ma). We ensure continuity during the 250–230 Ma transition period between the two models, update the absolute reference frame of the Mesozoic-Cenozoic model and add a new Paleozoic reconstruction for the Baltica-derived Alexander Terrane, now accreted to western North America. This 410–0 Ma open access model provides a framework for deep-time whole Earth modelling and acts as a base for future extensions and refinement.

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Large fluctuations of shallow seas in low-lying Southeast Asia driven by mantle flow

Zahirovic, S., Flament, N., Müller, R.D., Seton, M., and Gurnis, M. (2016). Large fluctuations of shallow seas in low-lying Southeast Asia driven by mantle flow. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems. doi:10.1002/2016GC006434 Large fluctuations of shallow seas in low-lying Southeast Asia driven by mantle flow

Deep Carbon Modelling Workshop

Date:  August 29 – 30 2016 Venue: The University of Sydney Description: A two-day workshop bringing together climate and geo-scientists from around Sydney and international collaborators on the DCO-funded Deep Carbon Modelling project. Deep carbon science describes the multi-disciplinary effort to unravel the dynamic interactions of carbon-bearing systems in deep time. The workshop will focus on exploring the interplays … Read more…

Ocean Basin Evolution and Global-Scale Plate Reorganization Events Since Pangea Breakup

Müller, R.D., Seton, M., Zahirovic, S., Williams, S.E., Matthews, K.J., Wright, N.M., Shephard, G.E., Maloney, K.T., Barnett-Moore, N., Hosseinpour, M., Bower, D.J., & Cannon, J. (2016). Ocean Basin Evolution and Global-Scale Plate Reorganization Events Since Pangea Breakup. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences 44 (1): 107–138. doi:10.1146/annurev-earth-060115-012211 Ocean Basin Evolution and Global-Scale Plate Reorganization Events … Read more…

Tectonophysics – Full-fit reconstruction of the South China Sea conjugate margins

Bai, Y., Wu, S., Liu, Z., Müller, R. D., Williams, S. E., Zahirovic, S., & Dong, D. (2015). Full-fit reconstruction of the South China Sea conjugate margins. Tectonophysics, 661, 121–135. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tecto.2015.08.028 Full-fit reconstruction of the South China Sea conjugate margins

Geophysical Research Letters – Mantle-induced subsidence and compression in SE Asia since the early Miocene

Yang, T., M. Gurnis, and S. Zahirovic (2016), Mantle–induced subsidence and compression in SE Asia since the early Miocene, Geophysical Research Letters, doi: 10.1002/2016GL068050.  Mantle-induced subsidence and compression in SE Asia since the early Miocene

Data Processing and Plotting Using 
Generic Mapping Tools (GMT) Course

GMT Course Image 2016

GMT Course Image 2016Course Overview
This course is designed to introduce students to different types of spatial data, data processing and interpolation functions and data plotting using GMT (Generic Mapping Tools). GMT is a set of public domain tools that will be used in conjunction with UNIX general processing tools (awk, grep) and basic shell programming. The examples presented in the course will focus on marine geophysical data, however many of the principles are applicable to other scientific data.

The learning outcomes for the course include:  … Read more…

Deep Carbon Modelling and Visualisation Project

The Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO) is a 10-year international research initiative to connect scientists from diverse fields and facilitate collaborative research and technology development in the field of deep carbon science. In order to address barriers to communicating the planetary carbon cycle to the public, a Modeling and Visualization workshop was held in May 2015 in Washington D.C. to bring … Read more…

Ocean basin evolution and global-scale plate reorganization events since Pangea breakup

Seafloor ages from Müller et al.

Seafloor ages from Müller et al.Citation
Müller, R.D., Seton, M., Zahirovic, S., Williams, S.E., Matthews, K.J., Wright, N.M., Shephard, G.E., Maloney, K.T., Barnett-Moore, N., Hosseinpour, M., Bower, D.J., Cannon, J., 2016. Ocean basin evolution and global-scale plate reorganization events since Pangea breakup, Annual Reviews of Earth and Planetary Sciences, in press.

Abstract
We present a revised global plate motion model with continuously closing plate boundaries ranging from the Triassic at 230 Ma to the present day, assess differences between alternative absolute plate motion models, and review global tectonic events. Relatively high mean absolute plate motion rates around 9–10 cm yr-1 between 140 and 120 Ma may be related to transient plate motion accelerations driven by the successive emplacement of a sequence of large igneous provinces during that time. … Read more…

Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO) proposal funded

Global plate reconstruction

A Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO) Proposal, designed to study the interaction of subduction zones with carbonate platforms through time in terms of CO2 cycles, submitted to the Smithsonian Institution and prepared to a large extent by Dr Sabin Zahirovic and EarthByte Research Assistant Jodie Pall, was successful, raising $US36k. The DCO actually doubled our proposed budget from … Read more…

Basin Hub members meeting – AAPG ICE 2015

BGH group photo at the AAPG ICE 2015 (2)

BGH group photo at the AAPG ICE 2015 (2)Basin Hub members met in Melbourne during the AAPG ICE meeting for a short meeting, which included an overview of the hub for members new to it, an update of the hub’s organisational structure and a review of recent achievements and the research program for the next 12 months.
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Opening of ARC Basin Genesis INDUSTRIAL TRANSFORMATION RESEARCH HUB

Basin GENESIS Hub opening group photo 19 August 2015

Basin GENESIS Hub opening group photo 19 August 2015The ARC Research Hub for Basin Geodynamics and Evolution of Sedimentary Systems (Basin GENESIS Hub) opened today at a reception held in the Charles Perkins Centre at the University of Sydney. The launch as attended by representatives from Universities, industry, Geoscience Australia, the ARC, the NCI and the Office of the NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer.

The Basin GENESIS Hub will use computer modelling to fine-tune our understanding of the nation’s sedimentary basins, which hold many of the natural resources we use in day-to-day life.

The research will be of fundamental importance to the geo-software industry used by exploration and mining companies, explains Hub Director Professor Dietmar Müller from the University of Sydney.  … Read more…

India – Eurasia collision paper makes "Most Downloaded" list

Sabin Zahirovic Magic Planet

Congratulations to Dr Ana Gibbons, Dr Sabin Zahirovic, Dr Joanne Whittaker and Dr Yatheesh Vadakkeyakath, whose paper “A tectonic model reconciling evidence for the collisions between India, Eurasia and intra-oceanic arcs of the central-eastern Tethys” is now the third-most downloaded paper on Gondwana Research over the last 90 days!

Most Downloaded Gondwana Research Articles

The paper already has 3 citations (not bad for a paper that just came out this month).

Citation
Gibbons, A. D., Zahirovic, S., Müller, R. D., Whittaker, J. M., & Yatheesh, V. (2015). A tectonic model reconciling evidence for the collisions between India, Eurasia and intra-oceanic arcs of the central-eastern Tethys. Gondwana Research. doi: 10.1016/j.gr.2015.01.001.

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India – Eurasia collision paper makes “Most Downloaded” list

Sabin Zahirovic Magic Planet

Congratulations to Dr Ana Gibbons, Dr Sabin Zahirovic, Dr Joanne Whittaker and Dr Yatheesh Vadakkeyakath, whose paper “A tectonic model reconciling evidence for the collisions between India, Eurasia and intra-oceanic arcs of the central-eastern Tethys” is now the third-most downloaded paper on Gondwana Research over the last 90 days!

Most Downloaded Gondwana Research Articles

The paper already has 3 citations (not bad for a paper that just came out this month).

Citation
Gibbons, A. D., Zahirovic, S., Müller, R. D., Whittaker, J. M., & Yatheesh, V. (2015). A tectonic model reconciling evidence for the collisions between India, Eurasia and intra-oceanic arcs of the central-eastern Tethys. Gondwana Research. doi: 10.1016/j.gr.2015.01.001.

Read more…

EarthByte's plate tectonic animation added to NOAA's SOS database

An EarthByte plate tectonic animation has recently been added to NOAA’s Science on a Sphere database. NOAA produces large interactive 3D spherical projection systems that are installed at museums, universities, schools and other institutes across the world (see Science On a Sphere map locations). The EarthByte animation is from the recent Gibbons et al. (2015) … Read more…

EarthByte’s plate tectonic animation added to NOAA’s SOS database

An EarthByte plate tectonic animation has recently been added to NOAA’s Science on a Sphere database. NOAA produces large interactive 3D spherical projection systems that are installed at museums, universities, schools and other institutes across the world (see Science On a Sphere map locations). The EarthByte animation is from the recent Gibbons et al. (2015) … Read more…

EarthByte helps the International Science School

Nikita and Jono at the International Science SchoolEarthByte helped run the 2015 geosciences workshop for the University of Sydney’s International Science School, with over 140 high school students engaging in activities from a wide range of research topics and teaching areas at the School of Geosciences. Thanks to all the brilliant EarthByte volunteers, including Mandi Thran, Nikita Golkin, Luke Hardiman, Jono Leonard and Carmen Braz.

 

See the School of Geoscience’s Facebook page for more info and photos from the day!  … Read more…

Gondwana Research – A tectonic model reconciling evidence for the collision between India, Eurasia and intra-oceanic arcs of the central-eastern Tethys

Gibbons, A. D., Zahirovic, S., Müller, R. D., Whittaker, J. M., & Yatheesh, V. (2015). A tectonic model reconciling evidence for the collisions between India, Eurasia and intra-oceanic arcs of the central-eastern Tethys. Gondwana Research. doi: 10.1016/j.gr.2015.01.001. A tectonic model reconciling evidence for the collisions between India, Eurasia and intra-oceanic arcs of the central-eastern Tethys

School of Geosciences Awards Evening winners

Tonight was the annual School of Geosciences Awards Evening held at the Macleay Museum. Congratulations to EarthByters Mike Tetley, Dr Sabin Zahirovic, Andrew Merdith, Sarah MacLeod, Carmen Braz, Luke Hardiman and Serena Yeung for receiving academic and School service awards! Dr Maral Hosseinpour was photographer for the evening and took some brilliant photos!

Sabin Zahirovic attends Deep Carbon Observatory workshop in Washington DC

Dr Sabin Zahirovic attended a Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO) workshop at the Smithsonian Institution’s Ripley Center in Washington DC this week. The workshop focused on visualising and modelling deep carbon, and also communicating findings to the scientific community and general public. Sabin gave a presentation and live demonstration of GPlates, highlighting how the software could … Read more…

Tectonic speed limits from plate kinematic reconstructions

Plate velocities summary figureCitation
Zahirovic, S., Müller, R. D., Seton, M., & Flament, N. (2015). Tectonic speed limits from plate kinematic reconstructions. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 418, 40-52. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2015.02.037.

Summary
The motion of plates and continents on the planet’s surface are a manifestation of long-term mantle convection and plate tectonics. Present-day plate velocities provide a snapshot of this ongoing process, and have been used to infer controlling factors on the speeds of plates and continents. However, present-day velocities do not capture plate behaviour over geologically representative periods of time. To address this shortcoming, we use a plate tectonic reconstruction approach to extract time-dependent plate velocities and geometries from which root mean square (RMS) velocities are computed, resulting in a median RMS plate speed of ~4 cm/yr over 200 Myr.  … Read more…

Global plate and continental velocities since Pangea breakup

This animation portrays the motion of continents (grey, yellow, orange and red) and oceanic plates (blue) since Pangea breakup from 200 million years ago. The model is a modified version of the Seton et al. Citation Zahirovic, S., R. Müller, M. Seton, and N. Flament (2015), Tectonic speed limits from plate kinematic reconstructions, Earth and … Read more…

A tectonic model reconciling evidence for the collisions between India, Eurasia and intra-oceanic arcs of the central-eastern Tethys

Gibbons etal AgeGrid Vels MagPicks v3 0175Citation
Gibbons, A., Zahirovic, S., Muller, R.D., Whittaker, J., and Yatheesh, V. 2015. A tectonic model reconciling evidence for the collisions between India, Eurasia and intra-oceanic arcs of the central-eastern Tethys. Gondwana Research FOCUS, doi: 10.1016/j.gr.2015.01.001.

Summary
Despite several decades of investigations, inferences on the timing and nature of collisions along the Mesozoic–Cenozoic Eurasian margin remain controversial. We assimilate geological and geophysical evidence into a plate tectonic model for the India–Eurasia collision that includes continuously– … Read more…

Earth and Planetary Science Letters – Tectonic speed limits from plate kinematic reconstructions

Zahirovic, S., Müller, R. D., Seton, M., & Flament, N. (2015). Tectonic speed limits from plate kinematic reconstructions. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 418, 40-52. doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2015.02.037. Tectonic speed limits from plate kinematic reconstructions