2002-2003 Science Planning Summary

Geology & Geophysics

Dr. Scott Borg
Program Manager


NSF/OPP 01-26106
Station: McMurdo Station
RPSC POC: Mike McClanahan
Research Site(s): Beacon Heights, Convoy Range, Victoria Land

Emplacement of the ferrar mafic igneous province: A pilot study of intrusive architecture and flow directions in Southern Victoria Land
Dr. Thomas H. Fleming
Southern Connecticut State University
Department of Earth Sciences
Dr. Stephen Marshak
University of Illinois, Urbana
Dr. Anne Grunow
Ohio State University

Deploying Team Members: Calhoun M Andrew . Charles J Day . Thomas H Fleming . Stephen Marshak . Jess C Priest . Alan G Whittington
Research Objectives: The breakup of the Gondwanaland supercontinent 180 million years ago was associated with a very large region of mafic igneous activity extending across Africa (Karoo), Antarctica (Ferrar), and Australia (Tasmanian). Models linking the 3,000 kilometer long Ferrar province of Antarctica to a mantle plume, a magma conduit or other sources make testable predictions about magma transport patterns.

This project is a pilot study on Ferrar rocks in southern Victoria Land using a variety of different field and laboratory techniques (structural mapping, geochemical correlation, anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility, mesoscopic analysis, and petrofabric analysis). Its goal id to evaluate these models and provide a greater understanding of the emplacement mechanisms and magma flow directions in the Ferrar province.

Field Season Overview:
Team members will travel via Twin Otter to a field camp in the Quartermain Mountains. From there, they will travel on foot, snowmobile and by helicopter to other areas in the upper Taylor Glacier Area. Their work includes making geological observations, surveying, coring, and collecting rock samples for analysis.

A second field camp will be established later in the season in the area of Shapeless Mountain with several helicopter supported day trips to the Convoy Range.