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Abstract

The Taylor Group, the lower division of the Beacon Supergroup, comprises mainly quartzose sandstones of Devonian age deposited after the development of the Kukri Erosion Surface across the Cambrian Ross orogen. Devonian sediments accumulated in a McMurdo Basin that now incorporates most of the Transantarctic Mountains, and a larger Ellsworth Basin that extends from West Antarctica into southern Africa. In southern Victoria Land (McMurdo Basin) the seven formations total around 1200 m in thickness. Sequence stratigraphy suggests five sedimentary cycles, the lower four of which may show shallow marine influence. Provenance studies indicate derivation solely from Ross Orogen sources. The Taylor Group in the central Transantarctic Mountains consists of two thin formations, only one of which is extensive. In the Ellsworth Basin, Taylor Group equivalents rest concordantly on thick piles of post-Ross Palaeozoic sediment. Shallow-water Devonian sediments in the Ohio Range contain a marine fauna linked with those of the Ellsworth Mountains, southern Africa, South America, New Zealand and Australia. A seaway probably existed along the Pacific edge of the East Antarctic craton, allowing these faunal links, and may also have communicated with the McMurdo Basin to drive the five sedimentary sequences.

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