The potential for Cretaceous coal in Antarctica
Published:January 01, 1992
David I. M. Macdonald, Jane E. Francis, 1992. "The potential for Cretaceous coal in Antarctica", Controls on the Distribution and Quality of Cretaceous Coals, Peter J. McCabe, Judith Totman Parrish
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Cretaceous sediments in the Antarctic have yielded diverse fossil floras, and a few occurrences of thin coal have been described. Their presence illustrates that the climate was favorable for plant growth, despite Antarctica’s polar position, and there was good potential for organic matter accumulation.
We suggest that there is no a priori reason why Cretaceous coals should not have formed in Antarctica. It is probable that they have not been found because exposed upper Mesozoic sedimentary basins are in the Antarctic Peninsula region of West Antarctica, and were intimately related to a volcanic arc in Cretaceous times. High sedimentation rates in these active-margin basins probably led to clastic dilution of organic material. During the Cretaceous, coals were much more likely to have formed in basins along the East Antarctic passive margin.