Antarctic Stratigraphy and Structure

  1. A.P. Crary,
  2. L.M. Gould,
  3. E.O. Hulburt,
  4. Hugh Odishaw and
  5. Waldo E. Smith
  1. William E. Davies

Published Online: 18 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM001p0044

Antarctica in the International Geophysical Year: Based on a Symposium on the Antarctic

Antarctica in the International Geophysical Year: Based on a Symposium on the Antarctic

How to Cite

Davies, W. E. (1956) Antarctic Stratigraphy and Structure, in Antarctica in the International Geophysical Year: Based on a Symposium on the Antarctic (eds A.P. Crary, L.M. Gould, E.O. Hulburt, H. Odishaw and W. E. Smith), American Geophysical Union, Washington D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM001p0044

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 18 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1956

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875900018

Online ISBN: 9781118669204

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Keywords:

  • Beacon group;
  • Comparison of West and East Antarctica;
  • Jurassic sedimentary rocks;
  • Marie Byrd Land;
  • Mesozoic sedimentary rocks;
  • Pecten beds, Cockburn Island;
  • Princess Martha Coast

Summary

Antarctica is divisible geographically and geologically into two distinct regions. West Antarctica, that portion lying south of the Americas, consists of folded ranges and plateaus with sediments deposited in Mesozoic and Tertiary geosynclines. These sediments along with the intrusives that invade them are of the Andean type and are traceable from Antarctica through the subantarctic islands of the Scotia Arc to South America.

East Antarctica, lying south of Australia and Africa, is a continental shield. In this area is a Precambrian basement of schists, gneisses and intrusives overlain by a thick series of Paleozoic and Mesozoic sediments. The sediments are horizontal, and are thickest along the south and west sides of the Ross Sea. They have been intruded by numerous sills and dikes. Along the Antarctic coasts south of Australia and the Indian Ocean the basement rocks form most of the ice-free areas with the sediments apparently confined to the higher plateaus in the interior of the continent.

Along Palmer Peninsula in West Antarctica is a cordillera belt of multiple chains of folds which fan out into widely spaced arcs in the continental mass to the south. The shield in East Antarctica is bounded by a series of horst blocks along the Ross Sea and the Ross Ice Shelf. Inland from the horst is a high ice-covered plateau with the sediments gently dipping away from the horst.

Tertiary and recent volcanoes of the ‘Atlantic type’ lie along the edge of the Antarctic shield while those of the ‘circum-Pacific type’ are developed along the outer folds on the Palmer Peninsula in West Antarctica.