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…

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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 Planetary … Read more…

Sabin Zahirovic features in Science Magazine

Congratulations to Sabin, who has made it to the News front page of the Science Magazine with a news article entitled ‘Earth’s tectonic plates skitter about‘ about a recently published paper in Earth and Planetary Science letters: Tectonic speed limits from plate kinematic reconstructions. Well done Sabin! Link to download the paper

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…

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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

The Basin GENESIS Hub

Basin GENESIS Hub logo

The ARC Research Hub for Basin Geo-dynamics and Evolution of Sedimentary Systems (Basin Genesis Hub, BGH) brings together a broad range of expertise for the development and application of cutting-edge numerical modelling tools with the aim of improving the understanding of the formation and evolution of basins. The coupling of the evolution of mantle flow, … Read more…

Gondwana breakup and the Western Tethys (regional view)

By popular demand, Sabin Zahirovic provides a few more GPlates animations of the breakup of Pangea and Gondwana since 200 million years ago. This animation is in a hemispherical view and is based on the model of Seton et al. (2012). All the files needed to make this animation are in the GPlates SampleData folder, … Read more…

New GPlates Portal available

GPlates Portal Figure

EarthByte have launched a new cloud-based GPlates Web Portal that was used by almost 40 000 users over the last long-weekend! It took GPlates software over ten years to get that many users, so this is a huge achievement and also makes GPlates accessible to a broader audience! The GPlates portal can be used to … Read more…

Post-Jurassic tectonic evolution of southeast Asia from Zahirovic et al. (2014)

Asia Zahirovic 20maCitation
Zahirovic, S., Seton, M., and Müller, R. D., (2014). The Cretaceous and Cenozoic tectonic evolution of Southeast Asia: Solid Earth (EGU).

Summary
Tectonic reconstructions of Southeast Asia have given rise to numerous controversies that include the accretionary history of Sundaland and the enigmatic tectonic origin of the Proto South China Sea. We assimilate a diversity of geological and geophysical observations into a new regional plate model, coupled to a global model, to address these debates.

Our approach takes into account terrane suturing and accretion histories, the location of subducted slabs imaged in mantle tomography in order to constrain the evolution of regional subduction zones, as well as plausible absolute and relative plate velocities and tectonic driving mechanisms. … Read more…

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Plate reconstructions of Southeast Asia

This animation is from our recent work on Southeast Asian plate reconstructions.Read the peer-reviewed paperCitationZahirovic, S., M. Seton, and R. Müller (2014), The Cretaceous and Cenozoic tectonic evolution of Southeast Asia, Solid Earth (EGU), 5, 227-273. doi: 10.5194/se-5-227-2014.View similar animations on our EarthByte YouTube channel

Solid Earth – The Cretaceous and Cenozoic tectonic evolution of Southeast Asia

Zahirovic, S., Seton, M., & Müller, R. D. (2014). The Cretaceous and Cenozoic tectonic evolution of Southeast Asia. Solid Earth, 5(1), 227-273. doi:10.5194/se-5-227-2014. The Cretaceous and Cenozoic tectonic evolution of Southeast Asia Download supplementary material – zip file

EarthByte welcomes Professor Sanzhong Li and PhD student Shan Yu

EarthByte would like to welcome Professor Sanzhong Li who is visiting for 2 months from the Ocean University of China. We also welcome Shan Yu, a PhD student at the Ocean University of China who will study at EarthByte for 1 year. She will be developing plate reconstructions of the Paleotethys in central China and … Read more…

Towards community-driven paleogeographic reconstructions: integrating open-access paleogeographic and paleobiology data with plate tectonics

PaleobioSummary
A variety of paleogeographic reconstructions have been published, with applications ranging from paleoclimate, ocean circulation and faunal radiation models to resource exploration; yet their uncertainties remain difficult to assess as they are generally presented as low-resolution static maps. We present a methodology for ground-truthing the digital Palaeogeographic Atlas of Australia by linking the GPlates plate reconstruction tool to the global Paleobiology Database and a Phanerozoic plate motion model.

We develop a spatio-temporal data mining workflow to validate the Phanerozoic Palaeogeographic Atlas of Australia with paleoenvironments derived from fossil data. … Read more…

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Biogeosciences – Towards community-driven paleogeographic reconstructions: integrating open-access paleogeographic and paleobiology data with plate tectonics

Wright, N., Zahirovic, S., Müller, R. D., & Seton, M. (2013). Towards community-driven paleogeographic reconstructions: integrating open-access paleogeographic and paleobiology data with plate tectonics. Biogeosciences, 10(3), 1529-1541. doi:10.5194/bg-10-1529-2013. Towards community-driven paleogeographic reconstructions: integrating open-access paleogeographic and paleobiology data with plate tectonics

Talented Student Program 2013

TSP Showcase 2013 Mod Group PhotoSemester 1 2013, University of Sydney – Australia

Theme: The magic and utility of the invisible world

Geo-theme: Windows into the deep Earth

In semester 1 2013 the EarthByte Group hosted a team of students from the Talented Student Program (TSP), targeted at the top performing first year students in the Faculty of Science at the University of Sydney. The students investigated windows into the deep Earth, that is, they unravelled the effect of ridge subduction events on mantle structure. … Read more…

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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…

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Southern Surveyor cruise takes the media by storm

Maria Seton and her team are back from the Southern Surveyor cruise in the Coral Sea, which was investigating the tectonic framework for the easternmost Coral Sea and northern extent of the Lord Howe hotspot for 25 days. The cruise has been featured on Radio Australia, which was then picked up by ABC News, Sydney … 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

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

Computers and Geosciences – Plate Reconstructions with Continuously Closing Plates

Gurnis, M., Turner, M., Zahirovic, S., DiCaprio, L., Spasojevic, S., Müller, R. D., … & Bower, D. J. (2012). Plate tectonic reconstructions with continuously closing plates. Computers & Geosciences, 38(1), 35-42. doi:10.1016/j.cageo.2011.04.014. We present a new algorithm for modeling a self-consistent set of global plate polygons. Each plate polygon is composed of a finite list … Read more…