Christian in SUI

Dr Christian Heine

Since 06-Jan-2014: Shell International E & P, Den Haag, NL

Email (replacing the "/at/" with the proper sign)



TectonicWaters Blog


For up-to date posts and news, please head over to my TectonicWaters blog at Wordpress.

Nature Communications paper on rift migration is published


Our paper on rift migration and continental margin asymmetry is now available online as open-access through Nature Communications: 10.1038/ncomms5014.

Animations for Geology paper


The following animations accompany our "No Saharan Atlantic ocean"paper in GEOLOGY. The first one is a plate kinematic reconstruction of the region in 1 M.yr. time steps. Further below, you can find the 30 M.yr long animation of the numerical model. Please refer to the paper and the supplementary material ( for the gory technical details and the data base.

Geology paper on Equatorial Atlantic paper now available


Our paper "Oblique rifting of the Equatorial Atlantic: Why there is no Saharan Atlantic ocean" in GEOLOGY in now available online through the DOI: 10.1130/G35082.1. An official pre-issue publication should follow this week.

Back to Europe


I've relocated back to Europe, now working for Shell International Exploration & Production in The Netherlands.

Equatorial Atlantic paper in press in Geology


Our paper "Oblique rifting of the Equatorial Atlantic: Why there is no Saharan Atlantic ocean" is accepted and in press in GEOLOGY. Check my publication page for updates and the PDF (Expected online publication date is Mid-January 2014)

Successful IODP proposal


I am proponent of a successful IODP proposal 807, led by S. Gallagher from Melbourne Uni, to investigate the history of the Indonesian throughflow and subsidence of the Northwest Australian margin. The cruise is scheduled for 2015 and the full proposal can be accessed on the IODP website:

South Atlantic rift kinematics paper published


The South Atlantic rift kinematics paper is finally published in Solid Earth as of today. Access the paper here

Uplift in SW Australia


Last year, my B.Sc. hons student Nicholas Barnett-Moore has investigated Australian river profiles and what they can tell us about vertical motions of the Australian crust. We have just submitted a paper on this which is available on arXiv under document number 1307.1741. The paper is submitted to Tectonophysics and we will make the associated data available online once we have received feedback from the review process.

South Atlanic Kinematics paper in open online discussion


My South Atlantic paper is now in open online discussion and review at EGU's open access journal Solid Earth Discussions. The direct link to the paper is here

South Atlantic Kinematics paper online


The South Atlantic rift kinematics paper is finally online, the submitted version is available on arXiv under document number 1301.2096. The paper is submitted to EGU's open access journal Solid Earth and will hopefully enter the open online discussion and review part of the journal at Solid Earth Discussionsby next week (starting Jan 14th.). The supplementary material, a PDF of plate tectonic reconstruction maps in 1 Myr time interval from 143 to 100 Ma are available from the Datahub South Atlantic Rift or alternatively as direct link from here.

Banda Arc subducted oceanic lithosphere paper published


Our paper on restoring the Banda Slab oceanic lithosphere and the consequences for the Bird's Head microcontinent and Jurassic/Early Cretaceous ocean basin geometry north of Australia is now on the arXiv under document number 1210.4958. Based on our restorations, we find that the Bird's Head Microcontinent in western Irian Jaya is authochthonous to the area and not rifted from the northern Australian margin. The work was originally published as full paper at the Eastern Australian Basin Symposium IV in Brisbane in September 2012.

GPlates Markup Language Paper published


Michael Chin's paper on " The GPlates Information Model and Markup Language" (X. Qin, R. D. Müller1, J. Cannon, T. C. W. Landgrebe, C. Heine, R. J. Watson, and M. Turner) is now published for open discussion in the open-access journal " Geoscientific Instrumentation, Methods and Data Systems" of the European Geosciences Union. This paper includes the new GROT rotation file format (see below) Inviting discussions...

GROT - the new GPlates rotation file standard


The new GPlates rotation file format *.GROT is available online, along with an updated document on the GPlates Shapefile Attribute Standards. See my GPlates pages for details. The paper describing the GPGIM -- to which these two documents are the supplementary material -- is submitted (Xiaodong Qin et al., Geoscientific Instrumentation, Methods and data Systems - GI).

Facelift for rotation file data


I am proposing a new standard for rotation files which are commonly used in plate tectonic software such as GPlates. The new format is supposed to be self-contained and the information model is conceived in analogy to the GMT OGR format with attribute:value pairs for metadata. See my GPlates pages for details

[UPDATE] EGU 2012: Tectonic reconstructions with deforming plates [GD3.3/TS1.5]


Our session Tectonic reconstructions with deforming plates (GD3.3/TS1.5) at next year's EGU General Assmmebly in Vienna will have the following keynote speakers:

Abstract submission deadline is 17.Jan 2012.

EGU 2012: Tectonic reconstructions with deforming plates [GD3.3/TS1.5]


Together with Nico Flament and Douwe van Hinsbergen I will be convening session GD3.3/TS1.5 at next year's EGU General Assmmebly in Vienna. Abstract submission deadline is 17.Jan 2012. Below the session abstract:

Quantitative plate kinematic reconstructions have classically been restricted to oceanic basins with continental deformation not being accounted for in a systematic and quantitative way. Advances in computing infrastructure, software and modelling tools available to the geoscience community now allow for a much tighter integration of observations of continental crust and lithosphere deformation across multiple magnitudes of scale with plate kinematic and, ultimately, geodynamic models to better understand the evolution of plate boundaries in space and time. This interdisciplinary session intends to bring together structural geologists, seismologists, paleomagnetists, plate tectonic and geodynamic modelers to exchange views and present ongoing work on how continental deformation can be integrated quantitatively in regional to global plate kinematic models and assimilated into geodynamic models. The session aims to explore the spatio-temporal and depth-dependent complexity of deformation in the continental lithosphere, from plate boundary formation during extension, through to accretion and collision of continental blocks and destruction of well-defined plate boundaries during orogenesis. We invite contributions dealing with:

  • testing and validating plate kinematic models with field observations from compressional or extensional domains such as fold and thrust belts or rift basins.
  • linking global or regional plate kinematic models to numerical models of lithosphere deformation.
  • assimilating depth-dependent deformation of lithosphere into regional and/or global plate kinematic or geodynamic models.
  • Contributions attempting to reconstruct multiphase and/or intensely deformed continental regions.

Shapefile attributes for plate tectonics


Please find a proposal for a standard set of shapefile attributes used in plate tectonic applications here. The document proposes the use of a common set of attributes to be included with shapefiles for plate tectonic applications. The agreement on a community standard of attributes attached to shapefiles containing plate tectonic data should facilitate the exchange of files and allow for a basic tracking of modifications without the need of a complex centralised versioning system. Top

Geophysical Field Prac photos online


Photos of the Geophysical Field Prac in Vic Park of this year's GEOS3104 are online - check out the gallery here Top

Multi-scale basin dynamics Session at Fragile Earth Conference in Munich 04.-09. Sep 2011


I will be convening a session entitled "Multi-scale basin dynamics" in Theme 2 (Regional Geological Processes) together with Prof. Dr. Ralf Littke (Aachen University) at the Fragile Earth joint Geol. Soc. America/German Geosocieties conference in Munich. In addition, Dietmar Müller, Paul Wessel and myself will be convening a workshop on "Free software for plate reconstructions, geospatial data manipulation and map-making: GPlates, QGIS and GMT v5" Top

4 Research internships available through DAAD


I have 4 research assistantships available through the DAAD RISE worldwide program (Research internships in Science and Engineering), both for projects related to ongoing work in the EarthByte group on regional tectonics models as well as related to the ARC Linkage project with Shell and Total. German students can apply for these through this DAAD webpage.

Reconstructed Paleotopography grids for download


Reconstructed paleo-topography grids of Australia are available for download. The data are based on my Tectonophysics paper (Heine et al., Tectonophysics, 2010) and released under the Creative Commons Attribution license. Please read the paper for details on how the paleotopography is reconstructed. Files are available as GMT netCDF and ArcGIS ASCII grids on my data download page. Email me if you have questions and re the licensing terms for commercial use.

Ruhr-Uni GPlates Course


Course material for the Ruhr-Uni GPlates course can be found here.

Changes to website

Our school webserver was "centralised". This means my old webpage including my blog was nuked and the University of Sydney does not offer simple webpage outside the corporate CMS anymore (this would be too simple). The site is migrated to the EarthByte website for now.

Back in academia


I have left Statoil and am back in academia. I will be working as Australian Postdoctoral fellow in an ARC Linkage project on dynamic topography - see here. Top