Sabin Zahirovic

Sabin Zahirovic
The University of Sydney · School of Geosciences

PhD

About

97
Publications
85,246
Reads
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5,586
Citations
Citations since 2016
75 Research Items
5088 Citations
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Introduction
My research has focused on global and regional plate tectonic reconstructions, paleogeography, geodynamics, with more recent work on the links between plate tectonics and the planetary deep carbon cycle. Contact: sabin.zahirovic@sydney.edu.au
Additional affiliations
July 2015 - present
The University of Sydney
Position
  • PostDoc Position
December 2014 - July 2015
The University of Sydney
Position
  • Lecturer
January 2011 - present
The University of Sydney
Position
  • PhD Student

Publications

Publications (97)
Article
Full-text available
The Sundaland continental promontory, as the core of Southeast Asia, is one of the lowest lying continental regions, with half of the continental area presently inundated by a shallow sea. The role of mantle convection in driving long-wavelength topography and vertical motion of the lithosphere in this region has often been ignored when interpretin...
Preprint
The breakup of Pangea in the Jurassic saw the opening of major ocean basins at the expense of older Tethyan and Pacific oceanic plates. Although the Tethyan seafloor spreading history has been lost to subduction, proxy indicators from multiple generations of Tethyan ribbon terranes and the active margin geological histories of volcanism and ophioli...
Article
Full-text available
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 deba...
Article
Full-text available
The Eocene India-Eurasia collision is a first order tectonic event whose nature and chronology remains controversial. We test two end-member collision scenarios using coupled global plate motion-subduction models. The first, conventional model, invokes a continental collision soon after ~60 Ma between a maximum extent Greater India and an Andean-st...
Article
The Tibetan Plateau plays a central role in global atmospheric circulation, acts as a key biodiversity hotspot, and delivers fresh water for more than 20% of the global population. Projecting its future uplift and erosion trajectory over geological time can offer potential testable hypotheses into interactions between tectonic and surface processes...
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...
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
Abstract Plate tectonics, as the unifying theory in Earth sciences, controls the functioning of important planetary processes on geological timescales. Here, we present an open‐source workflow that interrogates community digital plate tectonic reconstructions, primarily in the context of the planetary deep carbon cycle. We present an updated plate...
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
Significance We report the discovery of anomalously high ³ He/ ⁴ He in “cold” geothermal fluids of central Panama, far from any active volcanoes. Combined with independent constraints from lava geochemistry, mantle source geochemical anomalies in Central America require a Galápagos plume contribution that is not derived from hotspot track recycling...
Article
Full-text available
Sundaland, the inundated shelf separating Java, Sumatra and Borneo from the Malay Peninsula, is of exceptional interest to biogeographers for its species richness and its position at the junction between the Australasian and Indomalay biogeographic provinces. Owing to its low elevation and relief, its physiography is contingent on relative sea-leve...
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
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...
Preprint
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...
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
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
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
Large and growing data resources on the spatial and temporal diversity and distribution of the more than 400 carbon-bearing mineral species reveal patterns of mineral evolution and ecology. Recent advances in analytical and visualization techniques leverage these data and are propelling mineralogy from a largely descriptive field into one of predic...
Chapter
As the unifying theory in Earth sciences, plate tectonics forms a crucial framework in understanding the geological record. Modern plate reconstructions are constructed in digital models that capture the kinematics of plate motions and the evolution of plate boundaries and can be linked to numerical models of mantle flow. These linked models provid...
Chapter
Full-text available
The provenance of Paleozoic and Mesozoic sedimentary sequences in Western Australia remains controversial. Better understanding of sediment provenance has implications for the characterisation of reservoir quality and potential correlation between known reservoirs and reservoirs yet to be discovered. Here, we compare U-Pb zircon chronology and Hf i...
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...
Article
Full-text available
Carbon is a key control on the surface chemistry and climate of Earth. Significant volumes of carbon are input to the oceans and atmosphere from deep Earth in the form of degassed CO2 and are returned to large carbon reservoirs in the mantle via subduction or burial. Different tectonic settings (e.g., volcanic arcs, mid-ocean ridges, and continenta...
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...
Article
Full-text available
The Shatsky and Hess Rises, the Mid-Pacific Mountains and the Line Islands large igneous provinces (LIPs) present different challenges to conventional plume models. Resolving the genesis of these LIPs is important not only for a more complete understanding of mantle plumes and plume-generated magmatism, but also for establishing the role of subduct...
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
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
Few modern sediment dispersal pathways predate the breakup of Pangea. This suggests that river lifespan can be controlled by continental assembly and dispersal cycles, with the longest-lived river systems present during supercontinent regimes. Based on the strikingly similar age spectra and Hf isotopic array extracted from Paleozoic to early Mesozo...
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
One of the world’s most notable intraplate volcanic regions lies on the eastern Australian plate and includes two age-progressive trails offshore (Tasmantid and Lord Howe seamount chains) and the world’s longest continental hotspot trail (Cosgrove Track). While most studies agree that these chains formed by the rapid northward motion of the Austral...
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...
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
800-2400 km long transcontinental paleovalleys straddle the modern landscape of Western Australia (WA). These valleys formed following emergence of the Canning Basin at the end of the Lower Cretaceous, and reached their greatest development during Eocene time. They owe their preservation to limited erosion/burial and to an overall drying climate si...
Article
Full-text available
Rapid convergence between the Indo-Australian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific plates in the Cenozoic has resulted in a complex tectonic evolution of Australia’s northern margin. A lack of available geologic data leads to large uncertainties, such as the timing of the Sepik collision with the New Guinea margin, currently constrained to sometime betwee...
Article
Full-text available
The recently released GPlates 2.0 software (www.gplates.org) provides a framework for building plate motion models including distributed extension and compression, driven by the motions of the surrounding rigid plate interiors, with constraints assimilated from well and seismic data. Here we present a regional deforming plate model for Australia an...
Article
Full-text available
The drainage of New Guinea has evolved rapidly since Pliocene time. Relief growth initiated in accreted oceanic terranes in the north and migrated into the Australian margin interior over time. The present-day drainage retains inherited elements of an ancient fluvial system that routed sediments from these northern terranes through the Central High...
Article
Surface process dynamics play an important role in sedimentary basin evolution. It affects hydrologic and carbon cycling, which are particularly difficult to simulate because of their complex interactions and the large range of spatial and temporal scales on which they operate. By considering uplift/subsidence, sea level change and climate change,...
Article
Full-text available
In October-November 2012 a geophysical mapping and dredging campaign in the eastern Coral Sea was conducted on the RV Southern Surveyor during voyage ss2012_v06 (ECOSATI). Part of this campaign was focussed in northernmost Zealandia where volcanic seamounts and uplifted portions of the Lord Howe Rise were targeted to determine the age and location...
Article
Regional scale flooding of New Guinea has occurred episodically since the Jurassic. The most recent flooding event during the Miocene occurred despite falling long-term eustatic sea levels. Recent work has suggested dynamic topography, the long-wavelength low-amplitude topographic response to mantle flow, as a factor in the emergence and flooding o...
Article
Full-text available
A recent hypothesis contends that abyssal hill topography on the seafloor is linked to changes in sea level, and therefore to changes in the Earth’s climate driven by Milankovitch cycles. If true, then the implications are substantial: mapping the topography of the seafloor with sonar could be used as a way to investigate past climate change. This...
Article
Full-text available
The CO2 liberated along subduction zones through intrusive/extrusive magmatic activity and the resulting active and diffuse outgassing influences global atmospheric CO2. However, when melts derived from subduc- tion zones intersect buried carbonate platforms, decarbonation reactions may cause the contribution to atmospheric CO2 to be far greater th...
Article
Full-text available
The CO2 liberated along subduction zones through intrusive/extrusive magmatic activity and the resulting active and diffuse outgassing influences global atmospheric CO2. However, when melts derived from subduction zones intersect buried carbonate platforms, decarbonation reactions may cause the contribution to atmospheric CO2 to be far greater than...
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
A slab-like high seismic velocity anomaly (referred as SEIS) has been inferred beneath the central- southern Indian Ocean in a recent tomographic inversion. Although subduction has previously been suggested regionally by surface observations, the new inversion is consistent with a north-dipping slab extending from the upper mantle to the core mantl...
Article
Full-text available
Full text: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1674987118301373 (open access) Abstract: Detailed global plate motion models that provide a continuous description of plate boundaries through time are an effective tool for exploring processes both at and below the Earth’s surface. A new generation of numerical models of mantle dyna...
Article
Although many sources of atmospheric CO2 have been estimated, the major sinks are poorly understood in a deep-time context. Here we combine plate reconstructions, the eruption ages and outlines of Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs), and the atmospheric CO2 proxy record to investigate how their eruptions and weathering within the equatorial humid zone i...
Poster
Full-text available
This poster was presented at the 2018 EGU conference. For more detail, please find the paper through the link: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/323702555_Palaeolatitudinal_distribution_of_lithologic_indicators_of_climate_in_a_palaeogeographic_framework
Article
Full-text available
Whether the latitudinal distribution of climate-sensitive lithologies is stable through greenhouse and icehouse regimes remains unclear. Previous studies suggest that the palaeolatitudinal distribution of palaeoclimate indicators, including coals, evaporites, reefs and carbonates, has remained broadly similar since the Permian period, leading to th...