2012-2013 Science Planning Summaries
U.S. Antarctic Program - Science Support Section United States Antarctic Program United States Antarctic Program Logo National Science Foundation Logo
Exploring the significance of NA-alkaline magmatism in subduction systems, a case study from the Ross Orogen

Program Manager:
Dr. Alexandra Isern


ASC POC/Implementer:
Leslie Blank / Jessica Jenkins

Dr. John Cottle (Principal Investigator)
http://www.antarctica360.netExternal Non U.S. Government Site

University of California Santa Barbara
Department of Geological Sciences
Santa Barbara, California

Supporting Stations:  McMurdo Station
Research Locations:  Conway Range / Cape Selborne / Darwin Mountains

Project Description:
This project will map and study basement rocks exposed in the Royal Society Range (2011/2012 season) and the Darwin Glacier regions (2012/2013 season) of the TransAntarctic Mountains. The Royal Society Range lies approximately 90 kilometers east-southeast of McMurdo Station in the TransAntarctic Mountains while the Darwin Glacier area is 200 kilometers southwest of McMurdo Station, immediately north of the Byrd Glacier. Researchers hypothesize that these two areas represent the northern and southern boundaries of a geologically distinct segment within the southern Victoria Land sector of the 550-500 Ma Ross Orogen. This hypothesis will be tested in the field by conducting detailed geologic mapping and sample collecting. In subsequent laboratory work researchers will determine the ages and chemistry of the basement rocks. These two datasets combined will thus build up a more complete picture of the geologic evolution of this part of the Transantacrtic Mountains.

Field Season Overview:
Participants will deploy for eleven weeks in 2012-13 to conduct detailed geologic mapping and collect samples of exposed basement rock in two areas in the Transantarctic Mountains. This year the team will operate out of three small tent camps established by helicopter, approximately 300 kilometers southeast of McMurdo Station. Snow machines will provide overland travel in the study areas and helicopter support (day trips with close support) will provide access to outlying outcrops from the camp sites.

Deploying Team Members:

  • John Cottle (PI)
  • Graham Hagen-Peter (Team Leader)
  • Forrest Horton

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Curator: Esther L. Hill PhD, Antarctic Support Contract   |   NSF Official: Alexandra Isern, Office of Polar Programs