Abstract

New field and laboratory studies result in a redefinition of the three main lithostratigraphic units of the Thiel Mountains. These are (1) the Thiel Mountains porphyry, a massive hypersthene-bearing monzonite, faulted against (2) the Mount Walcott Formation, a sequence of shallow-water volcaniclastic sedimentary rocks and dacitic tuffs or flows, and (3) the Reed Ridge granites, coarse-grained biotite granite/granodiorite stocks that cut the porphyry. Genetic relations between the porphyry and both the sedimentary rocks and the granite are proposed. Evidence for a Phanerozoic age indicated by the presence of fossils in the sediments is reinforced by Rb-Sr whole-rock dating that has conclusively established a Late Cambrian or Early Ordovician age (502 ±5 Ma) for the entire sequence. The stratigraphic and tectonic consequences refute all evidence for magmatism in the Transantarctic Mountains associated with the Precambrian "Beardmore orogeny," the age and status of which are now in doubt.

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