Abstract

Metamorphosed supracrustal rocks in the central Ross Sea sector of the Transantarctic Mountains are of Neoproterozoic age and not Cambrian. They include pillow basalts with a mantle separation age of 700–800 Ma. In the Skelton Glacier area, these rocks experienced two strong phases of deformation that produced folds and associated foliations. Both rocks and structures are cut by a 551 ± 4 Ma unfoliated quartz syenite (late Neoproterozic). The deformation and limited geochemical data suggest an active Antarctic plate margin whose late Neoproterozoic history is markedly different from that of the temporally equivalent rift to drift transition recorded along the autochthonous western margin of Laurentia. If these two cratons were ever contiguous, separation occurred by c. 700–800 Ma.

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