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Abstract

The Polish geological research on King George Island, South Shetland Islands (West Antarctica), during the two past decades (1977-1996) included: stratigraphy, radiometric dating, petrology and geochemistry, sedimentology and palaeoenvironmental studies, volcanology, tectonics, structural geology, Quaternary geology, paleobotany and palaeozoology. The major scientific achievements were: (1) the establishment of formal lithostratigraphic standards for radiometrically-dated Upper Cretaceous through Tertiary magmatic rock sequences and intercalated sediments; (2) the discovery of four Tertiary glaciations and three interglacials, spanning some 30 Ma from Early/Middle Eocene through Early Miocene; (3) the discovery and systematic elaboration of rich terrestrial and marine biota of Late Cretaceous through Early Miocene ages; (4) the reconstruction of changing Late Cretaceous and Tertiary terrestrial and marine palaeoenvironments in a mobile volcanic-arc setting; (5) the determination of age and structural evolution of the island's two Quaternary volcanoes; (6) the reconstruction of the Late Cretaceous through Recent evolution stages of the South Shetland magmatic arc and its backarc Bransfield Basin and Rift, based on tectonic and structural studies.
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Abstract

This report describes aims and preliminary results of geological fieldwork carried out by a joint Argentine-Polish party on Seymour (Marambio) and Cockburn islands. Antarctic Peninsula, during austral summer of 1987 88. Seymour Island exposes chiefly shallow-marine, fossiliferous siliciclastic sediments that form an upper, 2000 m thick part in the Mesozoic-Tertiary backarc basin-infill of the Antarctic Peninsula. The fieldwork centered on paleontology and sedimentology of the La Meseta Formation (upper Eocene- ?lower Oligocene), although some observations of older deposits were carried out also. Clupeoid fishes were discovered in the La Meseta Formation. This is the first record of such fish fossils on the Antarctic continent.
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