Workshop delves into research on Antarctic's Ross Orogen



The Transantarctic Mountains, one of Earth's large mountain belts, span over 3500 km between the Weddell Sea and northern Victoria Land near the Ross Sea (Figure 1). The modem Transantarctic Mountains represent an asymmetric rift-shoulder uplift of Cenozoic age, but they are underlain by an early Paleozoic mountain belt referred to as the Ross orogen. Compared with other well-studied Phanerozoic orogenic belts, geological investigation of the Transantarctic Mountains began in earnest only in the late 1950s with the International Geophysical Year program.

Despite limited access, great international progress has improved our understanding of the Transantarctic Mountains tectonic evolution, particularly with regard to Ross orogenesis. There is clearly a need for further Earth science research in the Transantarctic Mountains. To develop better models of Ross orogenesis, we must expand our knowledge in the critical areas of stratigraphy, geochronology, structural geology and kinematics, isotope geochemistry, petrology, and air-borne and over-ice geophysics.