Dietmar Müller

Dietmar Müller
The University of Sydney · School of Geosciences

PhD Scripps Inst. Oceanography

About

517
Publications
374,313
Reads
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30,880
Citations
Citations since 2017
146 Research Items
17531 Citations
201720182019202020212022202305001,0001,5002,0002,5003,0003,500
201720182019202020212022202305001,0001,5002,0002,5003,0003,500
201720182019202020212022202305001,0001,5002,0002,5003,0003,500
201720182019202020212022202305001,0001,5002,0002,5003,0003,500
Introduction
Dietmar Müller (https://sydney.edu.au/science/people/dietmar.muller.php) leads the EarthByte Group (www.earthbyte.org), and the ARC Basin Genesis Hub (BGH) (www.earthbyte.org/the-basin-genesis-hub). One of the fundamental aims of the EarthByte Group and the BGH is geodata synthesis through space and time, assimilating the wealth of disparate geological and geophysical data into a four-dimensional Earth model, from global to basin scales, connecting solid Earth to surface processes.
Additional affiliations
October 1993 - present
The University of Sydney

Publications

Publications (517)
Article
Full-text available
GPlates is an open‐source, cross‐platform plate tectonic geographic information system, enabling the interactive manipulation of plate‐tectonic reconstructions and the visualization of geo‐data through geological time. GPlates allows the building of topological plate models representing the mosaic of evolving plate boundary networks through time, u...
Article
Full-text available
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 to climate. By coupling the deep-sea carbonate sedimentation history to a global tectonic model, we quantify this component within the framework of a continuously evolving seafloor. A long-term incr...
Article
Full-text available
Global deep‐time plate motion models have traditionally followed a classical rigid plate approach, even though plate deformation is known to be significant. Here we present a global Mesozoic–Cenozoic deforming plate motion model that captures the progressive extension of all continental margins since the initiation of rifting within Pangea at ~240...
Article
Full-text available
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 global open-...
Article
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...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the long-term evolution of Earth's plate–mantle system is reliant on absolute plate motion models in a mantle reference frame, but such models are both difficult to construct and controversial. We present a tectonic-rules-based optimization approach to construct a plate motion model in a mantle reference frame covering the last billio...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
There is a significant mismatch between the production rate of critical minerals required for a clean energy transition and the current production rate based on known deposits. Most of the identifiable surface or near-surface mineral deposits have been explored thus far, and it is necessary to focus efforts on locating mineral resources at larger d...
Article
Concealed deep beneath the oceans is a carbon conveyor belt, propelled by plate tectonics. Our understanding of its modern functioning is underpinned by direct observations, but its variability through time has been poorly quantified. Here we reconstruct oceanic plate carbon reservoirs and track the fate of subducted carbon using thermodynamic mode...
Article
The sedimentary rock record suggests that global sea levels may have fluctuated by hundreds of meters throughout Phanerozoic times. Long-term (10–80 Myr) sea level change can be inferred from paleogeographic reconstructions and stratigraphic methods can be used to estimate sea level change over 1–10 Myr in tectonically quiescent regions assumed to...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Geochemical data are among the critical data types used at different stages of mineral exploration to identify ore deposits and mineralization processes. Mapping geochemical anomalies related to target mineralization and integrating them with other data types are essential for determining potentially mineralized zones. In the past decades, a variet...
Article
Full-text available
Numerical models of groundwater flow play a critical role for water management scenarios under climate extremes. Large-scale models play a key role in determining long range flow pathways from continental interiors to the oceans, yet struggle to simulate the local flow patterns offered by small-scale models. We have developed a highly scalable nume...
Preprint
Understanding the long-term evolution of Earth's plate-mantle system is reliant on absolute plate motion models in a mantle reference frame, but such models are both difficult to construct and controversial. We present a tectonic rules-based optimisation approach to construct a plate motion model in a mantle reference frame covering the last billio...
Article
Full-text available
The decline of the number of newly discovered mineral deposits and increase in demand for different minerals in recent years has led exploration geologists to look for more efficient and innovative methods for processing different data types at each stage of mineral exploration. As a primary step, various features, such as lithological units, alter...
Article
Full-text available
A drastic change in plate tectonics and mantle convection occurred around 50 Ma as exemplified by the prominent Hawaiian–Emperor Bend. Both an abrupt Pacific Plate motion change and a change in mantle plume dynamics have been proposed to account for the Hawaiian–Emperor Bend, but debates surround the relative contribution of the two mechanisms. Her...
Article
Full-text available
Seismic studies have revealed two Large Low-Shear Velocity Provinces (LLSVPs) in the lowermost mantle. Whether these structures remain stable over time or evolve through supercontinent cycles is debated. Here we analyze a recently published mantle flow model constrained by a synthetic plate motion model extending back to one billion years ago, to i...
Preprint
Full-text available
The fossil record of marine invertebrates has long fueled the debate on whether or not there are limits to global diversity in the sea1–4⁠. Ecological theory states that as diversity grows and ecological niches are filled, the strengthening of biological interactions imposes limits on diversity5–7⁠. However, the extent to which biological interacti...
Article
Full-text available
Earth’s plate-tectonic activity regulates the carbon cycle and, hence, climate, via volcanic outgassing and silicate-rock weathering. Mountain building, arc–continent collisions and clustering of continents in the tropics have all been invoked as controlling the weathering flux, with arcs also acting as a major contributor of carbon dioxide to the...
Article
Widespread flooding of the Australian continent during the Early Cretaceous, referred to as the Eromanga Sea, deposited extensive shallow marine sediments throughout the Great Artesian Basin. This event had been considered ‘out of sync’ with eustatic sea level and was instead solely attributed to dynamic subsidence associated with Australia’s passa...
Article
Full-text available
Porphyry copper (Cu) systems occur along magmatic belts derived in subduction zones. Our current understanding of their formation is restricted to observations from the overriding plate, resulting in a knowledge gap in terms of processes occurring in convergence zones through time. An association between key tectonic processes and the timing and lo...
Article
The driving mechanisms of Earth's climate system at a multi-Myr timescale have received considerable attention since the 1980's as they are deemed to control large-amplitude climatic variations that result in severe biogeochemical disruptions, major sea-level variations, and the evolution of Earth's land- and seascapes through geological time. The...
Article
Full-text available
The existence of mantle plumes was first proposed in the 1970s to explain intra-plate, hotspot volcanism, yet owing to difficulties in resolving mantle upwellings with geophysical images and discrepancies in interpretations of geochemical and geochronological data, the origin, dynamics and composition of plumes and their links to plate tectonics ar...
Article
Full-text available
Assessing the size of a former ocean of which only remnants are found in mountain belts is challenging but crucial to understanding subduction and exhumation processes. Here we present new constraints on the opening and width of the Piemont–Liguria (PL) Ocean, known as the Alpine Tethys together with the Valais Basin. We use a regional tectonic rec...
Article
Deep-sea carbonate deposition is a complex process that is encapsulated in the carbonate compensation depth (CCD)—a facies boundary separating calcareous sediments from non-carbonates. Knowing how the CCD has varied over time is important for understanding and predicting the distribution of seafloor sediments and assessing their role in the global...
Preprint
Full-text available
As a primary step in mineral exploration, a variety of features are mapped such as lithological units, alteration types, structures, and minerals. These features are extracted to aid decision-making in targeting ore deposits. Different types of remote sensing data including satellite optical and radar, airborne, and drone-based data make it possibl...
Article
Widespread igneous rocks were emplaced in the eastern 2331 (SCB) from the Jurassic to the Cretaceous period. These rocks include granitoids and rhyolites, and minor mafic and rare intermediate igneous rocks, of unclear geodynamic origins. We compiled 780 published igneous rock ages to age-code a 1:500, 000 digital geological map, which was then use...
Article
Full-text available
Although global circulation models (GCMs) have been used for the reconstruction of precipitation for selected geological time slices, there is a lack of a coherent set of precipitation models for the Mesozoic-Cenozoic period (the last 250 million years). There has been dramatic climate change during this time period capturing a super-continent hoth...
Article
Full-text available
Traditional approaches to develop 3D geological models employ a mix of quantitative and qualitative scientific techniques, which do not fully provide quantification of uncertainty in the constructed models and fail to optimally weight geological field observations against constraints from geophysical data. Here, using the Bayesian Obsidian software...
Article
The South China Block has experienced multiple phases of tectonic deformation since the Middle Jurassic. Understanding this deformation history helps reveal the driving mechanisms responsible and sheds light on the associated magmatism and mineralization. Here, we construct deformable plate tectonic reconstructions for the South China Block from 17...
Article
Full-text available
Long-lived, widespread intraplate volcanism without age progression is one of the most controversial features of plate tectonics. Previously proposed edge-driven convection, asthenospheric shear, and lithospheric detachment fail to explain the ~5000-km-wide intraplate volcanic province from eastern Australia to Zealandia. We model the subducted sla...
Article
Recent progress in plate tectonic reconstructions has seen models move beyond the classical idea of continental drift by attempting to reconstruct the full evolving configuration of tectonic plates and plate boundaries. A particular problem for the Neoproterozoic and Cambrian is that many existing interpretations of geological and palaeomagnetic da...
Preprint
Full-text available
Earth’s plate tectonic activity regulates the carbon cycle, and hence, climate, via volcanic outgassing and silicate-rock weathering 1,2,3 . Mountain building, arc-continent collisions, and clustering of continents in the tropics have all been invoked as controlling the weathering flux 4,5,6 , with arcs also acting as a major contributor of carbon...
Preprint
A critical decision process in data acquisition for mineral and energy resource exploration is how to efficiently combine a variety of sensor types and to minimize total cost. We propose a probabilistic framework for multi-objective optimisation and inverse problems given an expensive cost function for allocating new measurements. This new method i...
Article
Full-text available
As anthropogenic forcing continues to rapidly modify worldwide climate, impacts on landscape changes will grow. Olivine weathering is a natural process that sequesters carbon out of the atmosphere, but is now being proposed as a strategy that can be artificially implemented to assist in the mitigation of anthropogenic carbon emissions. We use the l...
Article
A critical decision process in data acquisition for mineral and energy resource exploration is how to efficiently combine a variety of sensor types and to minimize total cost. We propose a probabilistic framework for multi-objective optimisation and inverse problems given an expensive cost function for allocating new measurements. This new method i...
Preprint
Full-text available
Assessing the size of a former ocean, of which only remnants are found in mountain belts, is challenging but crucial to understand subduction and exhumation processes. Here we present new constraints on the opening and width of the Piemont-Liguria (PL) Ocean, known as the Alpine Tethys together with the Valais Basin. We use a regional tectonic reco...
Article
Full-text available
The complex and computationally expensive nature of landscape evolution models poses significant challenges to the inference and optimization of unknown model parameters. Bayesian inference provides a methodology for estimation and uncertainty quantification of unknown model parameters. In our previous work, we developed parallel tempering Bayeslan...
Article
Full-text available
Reconstructions of past seafloor age make it possible to quantify how plate tectonic forces, surface heat flow, ocean basin volume and global sea-level have varied through geological time. However, past ocean basins that have now been subducted cannot be uniquely reconstructed, and a significant challenge is how to explore a wide range of possible...
Article
Long-term variations in eustatic sea level in an ice-free world, which existed through most of the Mesozoic and early Cenozoic eras, are partly driven by changes in the volume of ocean basins. Previous studies have determined ocean basin volume changes from plate tectonic reconstructions since the Mesozoic; however, these studies have not considere...
Article
Full-text available
Plate reconstructions since the breakup of Pangaea are mostly based on the preserved spreading history of ocean basins, within absolute reference frames that are constrained by a combination of age‐progressive hotspot tracks and palaeomagnetic data. The evolution of destructive plate margins is difficult to constrain from surface observations as mu...
Article
Full-text available
There are a significant number of image processing methods that have been developed during the past decades for detecting anomalous areas, such as hydrothermal alteration zones, using satellite images. Among these methods, dimensionality reduction or transformation techniques are known to be a robust type of methods, which are helpful, as they redu...
Article
Full-text available
Anomalous topographic swells and Cenozoic volcanism in east Africa have been associated with mantle plumes. Several models involving one or more fixed plumes beneath the northeastward migrating African plate have been suggested to explain the space-time distribution of magmatism in east Africa. We devise paleogeographically constrained global model...
Article
Full-text available
Accurately mapping plate boundary types and locations through time is essential for understanding the evolution of the plate-mantle system and the exchange of material between the solid Earth and surface environments. However, the complexity of the Earth system and the cryptic nature of the geological record make it difficult to discriminate tecton...
Data
https://github.com/intelligent-exploration/3S
Article
Full-text available
The extraction of tectonic lineaments from digital satellite data is a fundamental application in remote sensing. The location of tectonic lineaments such as faults and dykes are of interest for a range of applications, particularly because of their association with hydrothermal mineralization. Although a wide range of applications have utilized co...
Article
Subduction is a fundamental mechanism of material exchange between the planetary interior and the surface. Despite its significance, our current understanding of fluctuating subducting plate area and slab volume flux has been limited to a range of proxy estimates. Here we present a new detailed quantification of subduction zone parameters from the...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Today the eastern highlands of Australia are significantly more elevated than western Australia, but the continent's geodynamic evolution suggests that the opposite was the case during Cretaceous times, when the Eromanga Sea dominated the eastern Australian landscape. Previous geodynamic and surface processes models have been used to simulate the e...
Poster
Full-text available
The ATOM low-complexity community Earth System software is designed to enable the con-struction of simple and inexpensive models for atmosphere and ocean circulation through geological time without the need for high-performance computing. ATOM solves the Low-Reynolds-Number 3-dimensional Navier-Stokes equations including transport equations for wat...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Badlands is a basin and landscape evolution forward model for simulating the evolution of surface topography, sediment transport and sedimentation at a large range of spatial and time scales. Here we use the Bayesian paradigm to find the best-fit parameters driving basin evolution models using Badlands. Inference in a Bayesian framework is obtained...
Preprint
Full-text available
Subduction is a fundamental mechanism of material exchange between the planetary interior and the surface. Despite its significance, our current understanding of fluctuating subducting plate area and slab volume flux has been limited to a range of proxy estimates. Here we present a new detailed quantification of subduction zone parameters from the...
Article
Full-text available
The absolute motion of tectonic plates since Pangea can be derived from observations of hotspot trails, paleomagnetism or seismic tomography. However, fitting observations is typically carried out in isolation without consideration for the fit to unused data or whether the resulting plate motions are geodynamically plausible. Through the joint eval...
Article
Global sea level change can be inferred from sequence stratigraphic and continental flooding data. These methods reconstruct sea level from peri-cratonic and cratonic basins that are assumed to be tectonically stable and sometimes called reference districts, and from spatio-temporal correlations across basins. However, it has been understood that l...
Article
Full-text available
Tectonic plates lost to the deep mantle carry a record of ancient surface tectonic processes. A method for retrieving such records has been developed that could clarify the links between tectonics and mountain building. The link between tectonics and the rise of the Andes.
Article
Full-text available
Traditional approaches to develop 3D geological models employ a mix of quantitative and qualitative scientific techniques, which do not fully provide quantification of uncertainty in the constructed models and fail to optimally weight geological field observations against constraints from geophysical data. Here, we demonstrate a Bayesian methodolog...
Conference Paper
Forward and adjoint plate-mantle models currently represent the primary means of understanding the evolution of the plate-mantle system over time periods significantly longer than 100 Myr. These plate motion- and subduction-driven models depend on kinematic models as surface boundary constraints and are widely used for understanding plume-plate, as...