Deep Sea Drilling in the Antarctic: Focus on Late Miocene Glaciation and Applications of Smear-Slide Biostratigraphy
Sherwood W. Wise, Jr., 1981. "Deep Sea Drilling in the Antarctic: Focus on Late Miocene Glaciation and Applications of Smear-Slide Biostratigraphy", The Deep Sea Drilling Project: A Decade of Progress, John E. Warme, Robert G. Douglas, Edward L. Winterer
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Exploration of the Southern Ocean by Glomar Challenger began in the Pacific sector with a boldly executed set of holes along a cruise track extending into ice-laden waters adjacent to the Antarctic continent. These holes, along with additional sections drilled in subantarctic waters off New Zealand and Australia, established the basis for regional biostratigraphic zonations of the smaller-sized microfossil groups (coccoliths, diatoms, and siiicoflagellates). Because these microfossils could be examined readily in smear-slide preparations of raw sediments, a rapid age-dating technique evolved called smear-slide biostratigraphy. In addition, a preliminary history of Antarctic refrigeration leading to severe Late Tertiary continental glaciations was documented.
Exploration of the Atlantic sector, limited primarily by unfortunate weather conditions, provided additional evidence of severe Late Miocene glaciation and its role in shaping the circum-Antarctic current into a powerful geologic force. The successful drilling of critical reference sections on the Falkland Plateau also opened the area to efficient exploration by conventional piston cores sited using techniques of shipboard smear-slide biostratigraphy.
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At the present the Glomar Challenger has drilled over 500 holes over the world ocean, involving hundreds of scientists from dozens of countries. This volume is intended as a review of some of theimportant results from the most comprehensive, ambitious and successful earth-bound geologic project ever undertaken. The symposium upon which this volume originated was held April 4, 1979 at the SEPM/AAPG Annual Meeting in Houston. No comprehensive synthesis of all aspects of the DSDP has appeared, and the topic coverage in this volume is biased towards the sediments and fossils, and their significance for certain aspects of earth history – paleogeography, bathymetry, climatology, oceanography, ecology, environments – all in keeping with the audience of sedimentary geologists.