Dr. Fabio Capitanio - Honours Projects

Climatic and erosional controls on mountain belts and plateaux tectonic evolution

Supervisor(s): Fabio A. Capitanio
Field of study: Tectonics, geomorphology and computational geodynamics
Support offered: Training in geodynamics and Geomorphology modelling
Preferred Programme: Honours

The dynamics of actively deforming collisional belts and plateaux, as the Himalaya and Tibet, are influenced by climate. The climate-triggered variation in erosion are expected to have an impact on the rate of uplift, sediment output as well as localized rock uplift. The aim of this project is to understand the interplay between climate and tectonics and how this results into the tectonic evolution of mountain ranges, by means of a numerical modelling approach. A novel implementation of the numerical code Underworld including surface processes allows the deployment of cutting edge fully 3D tectonic models, granting for a high standard of scientific outcomes

For further information contact: Fabio A. Capitanio

Subduction controls on continental tectonics

Supervisor(s): Fabio A. Capitanio
Field of study: Tectonics, Geodynamics
Support offered: Training in geodynamic/tectonics modeling
Preferred Programme: Honours
The subduction of oceanic plates in the Earth’s mantle exerts a first-order control on the motions and deformations of the continents. Mountain chain as the Andean cordilleras, the Alps and the Himalayas as well as the Tibetan plateau are just some of the striking features found on upper plates at convergent margins. This project benefits of recent advancement in the field of numerical modelling where mountain building is the direct result of the subduction of oceanic plates in the whole mantle. The project focuses on cutting edge fully 3D numerical models, granting for a high standard of scientific outcomes

For further information contact: Fabio A. Capitanio

Structural and stratigraphic characterization of continental break-up: the Otway Basin vs the Gippsland Basin.

Supervisor(s): Fabio A. Capitanio, Jeffrey Stilwell and Mike Hall
Field of study: Tectonics, structural geology, stratigraphy
Support offered: Training in well log/seismic section interpretation
Preferred Programme: Honours

The Otway and Gippsland basins offer the unique opportunity to understand the stages of continental disassembly during a dynamic interval in Earth history. While the Otway rift system developed into a passive margin as the final phases of Gondwana break-up were well underway (i.e., Antarctica-Australia), the Gippsland rift was abandoned as tectonic deformation jumped further south. The project involves interpretation of a seismic line, or part of a seismic grid, and well logs to outline the structure and stratigraphy of a specific but important part of either basin. This would then be back-stripped in order to determine both the structural evolution and depositional history. These results would then be integrated into larger scale study of the tectonic evolution of the continental margin of southeast Australia. This analysis can be weighted according the student’s interest into a major structural or stratigraphic component; therefore, several projects can be offered.
For further information contact: Fabio A. Capitanio.

Deep melting during the structural evolution of The Newer Volcanics Province

Supervisor(s): Fabio Capitanio, Ray Cas, Jozua van Otterloo and Jackson van den Hove
Field of study: Tectonics, Volcanology
Support offered: Training in numerical modelling of tectonic processes
Preferred Programme: Honours

The goal of the project is to understand the relationship between lithospheric-scale stress field, faulting, and volcanism in the Newer Volcanics Province of Victoria. This area offers the opportunity to identify where trans-tensional windows may have developed during NVP volcanism, influenced by the N-S trending structural crustal
fabric of Palaeozoic basement faults, and WNW trending Otway basin faults. Could such a configuration facilitate decompression in the underlying mantle and trigger partial melting? Modelling will investigate the effect of pressure release during the lithospheric faulting and the impact on the P-T conditions for melting. The project
involves the compilation and critical analysis of available data to constrain the timing and depth of magma emplacement and provenance within the structural framework of the area. Then, analytical or numerical modelling approaches will be used to provide realistic scenarios for P-T conditions and link them to the field observations.
This analysis can be weighted according the student’s interest into a major volcanology or modelling component.

For further information contact: Fabio Capitanio or Ray Cas