Geochronology of selected andesitic lavas from the King George Bay area (SE King George Island)

Magdalena Pańczyk, Jerzy Nawrocki


Volcanic rocks from the Lions Rump area, which are the basement for a sequence of glaciomarine sediments of the Polonez Cove Formation, and lava flows from the Turret Point–Three Sisters Point area were sampled for thermogeochronological and palaeomagnetic investigations. Generally, andesitic lavas from King George Bay area consist mainly of clinopyroxene (Ti-augite) orthopyroxene (hyperstene) and plagioclase phenocrysts. The groundmass comprises mostly plagioclase laths, clinopyroxene, titanomagnetite and rare orthopyroxene crystals. However, the modal content, size, shape and distribution of phenocrysts are variable and specific for each sample. The Ar-Ar plateaus ages calculated for lavas from the Lions Rump area are very homogenous and point to middle Eocene age (Lutetian, ~44.5 Ma). The similar and consistent ages for volcanic basement for that area excluded the thesis about separate tectonic evolution of the Warszawa and Kraków blocks at least since the middle Eocene. The lavas from Turret Point and Three Sister Point are younger and were emplaced during the late Eocene (Bartonian/Priabonian: 37.3 ±0.4 Ma and Priabonian: 35.35 ±0.15 Ma, respectively). The results of isotopic investigations are consistent with magnetic polarities of the rocks indicating that the samples from the Lions Rump area are coeval with the lower part of the C20 polarity chron whereas the sample from Turret Point can be correlated with the upper part of the C17 polarity chron


West Antarctica, King George Island, Eocene, 40Ar-39Ar dating, magnetostratigraphy, volcanic rocks

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