A. Palaeozoic and Mesozoic evolution of the Antarctic Continent
2013. "A. Palaeozoic and Mesozoic evolution of the Antarctic Continent", Antarctic Palaeoenvironments and Earth-Surface Processes, M. J. Hambrey, P. F. Barker, P. J. Barrett, V. Bowman, B. Davies, J. L. Smellie, M. Tranter
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The development of the Transantarctic Mountains was initiated with the rifting of Rodinia and the formation of a late Neoproterozoic passive continental margin. In Cambrian time this rift setting evolved into an active margin with batholith emplacement into deformed and lightly metamorphosed upper Neoproterozoic–Cambrian strata, creating the Ross Orogen. Denudation and erosion of the Ross Orogen led to the formation of the pre-Devonian Kukri Erosion Surface on which Devonian quartzose sandstones accumulated in a continental setting. Palaeozoic magmatic arcs were intermittently active along the distal Panthalassan margin. Intra-cratonic basins developed in Permian time, one of which evolved into a foreland basin clearly related to a Permo-Triassic magmatic arc. The Palaeozoic–early Mesozoic arcs can be traced into both Australasia and South America. In Early Jurassic time the margin migrated outboard simultaneously with the advent of proximal silicic volcanism, emplacement of the Ferrar Large Igneous Province and Gondwana break-up. These events marked the onset of plate margin reorganization, and with it the early uplift of the Transantarctic Mountains. During Cretaceous and later time episodic uplift of the Transantarctic Mountains was accompanied by formation of a major crustal and lithospheric boundary marking the edge of the East Antarctic craton and the regions of crustal attenuation in the Ross (West Antarctic Rift System) and Weddell embayments.
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Antarctic Palaeoenvironments and Earth-Surface Processes
The volume highlights developments in our understanding of the palaeogeographical, palaeobiological, palaeoclimatic and cryospheric evolution of Antarctica. It focuses on the sedimentary record from the Devonian to the Quaternary Period. It features tectonic evolution and stratigraphy, as well as processes taking place adjacent to, beneath and beyond the ice-sheet margin, including the continental shelf.
The contributions in this volume include several invited review papers, as well as original research papers arising from the International Symposium on Antarctic Earth Sciences in Edinburgh, in July 2011. These papers demonstrate a remarkable diversity of Earth science interests in the Antarctic. Following international trends, there is particular emphasis on the Cenozoic Era, reflecting the increasing emphasis on the documentation and understanding of the past record of ice-sheet fluctuations. Furthermore, Antarctic Earth history is providing us with important information about potential future trends, as the impact of global warming is increasingly felt on the continent and its ocean.