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Abstract

Four Geodynamical Expeditions of the Polish Academy of Sciences carried through wide research seismic program in West Antarctica in 1979-1991. Three of these expeditions operated in the Bransfield Strait. The experiment of deep refraction and wide-angle reflection in West Antarctica focused on deep structure of the lithosphere, mainly of the Earth's crust. The network of deep seismic soundings (DSS) profiles covered all the Bransfield Strait. Five land stations on the South Shetland Islands, three stations on the Antarctic Peninsula and nine ocean bottom seismographs (OBS) recorded seismic waves, generated by explosions in a sea. The Bransfield Rift and the Bransfield Platform form a marginal basin against a volcanic arc of the South Shetland Islands. The paper presents new results of 2-D seismic modeling for network of five selected profiles. Four of them, ranging in lenght from 150 to 190 km, crossed main structures of the Bransfield Strait and the fifth, which connected the other ones and was 310 km long, ran along the Bransfield Rift. Two or three seismic models were presented for each profile. Finally, mutually corrected and controlled 2-D models of described profiles were constructed. They all presented spatial complex structure of the Earth's crust in a young rift of the Bransfield Strait, including extent of its main element i.e. anomalous high velocity body (HVB) (Vp > 7.4 km/s), detected in 10-30 km depth range except profile DSS-4 (southwest part of the Bransfield Strait). This inhomogeneity is interpreted as intrusion of the upper mantle (?asthenosphere) during stretching of the continental crust. The Moho discontinuity was found at depth 30-35 km, with velocities equal to about 8.1 km/s.
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Abstract

During the Polish Geodynamic Expeditions to West Antarctica, 1984-1991, led by A. Guterch, the scientific research of the geological group (leader K. Birkenmajer) included stratigraphic, sedimentological, petrological, tectonic, volcanological and Quaternary geology studies. They were caried out mainly in the area of Antarctic Peninsula, Palmer Archipelago and South Shetland Islands (the results from King George Island have been reviewed separately, in 1996). The major scientific archievements are: (1) introduction of formal lithostrati-graphical standards, recognition of tectonic structure, and sedimentological characteristics of the Trinity Peninsula Group (?Upper Permian-Triassic) metasediments (Antarctic Peninsula: Hope Bay and Paradise Harbour; Livingston Island: Hurd Peninsula); (2) elaboration of Late Mesozoic-TTertiary magmatic successions (Antarctic Peninsula Volcanic Group and Andean Intrusive Suite) on northern Antarctic Peninsula (Hope Bay; Arctowski Peninsula; Paradise Harbour - Gerlache Strait); (3) together with geophysical group: elaboration of lithospheric transect from South Shetland Islands to Antarctic Peninsula; (4) elaboration of Late Cenozoic evolution stages of the Bransfield Basin and Rift, as based on geological and palaeontological record; (5) introduction of a revised volcanostratigraphic standard, and reconstruction of evolution stages, of the Deception Island volcano (South Shetland Islands); (6) reconstruction of the Holocene history in some areas of Antarctic Peninsula (Hope Bay) and South Shetland Islands (King George Island). The results of palaeontological and sedimentological research on Seymour and Cockburn islands (NE Antarctic Peninsula) were presented separately.
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