Widespread Antarctic glaciation during the late Eocene

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doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2016.10.045
Author(s): Carter, Andrew; Riley, Teal R.; Hillenbrand, Claus-Dieter; Rittner, Martin
Author Affiliation(s): Primary:
Birkbeck, University of London, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, London, United Kingdom
British Antarctic Survey, United Kingdom
University College London, United Kingdom
Volume Title: Earth and Planetary Science Letters
Source: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Vol.458, p.49-57. Publisher: Elsevier, Amsterdam, Netherlands. ISSN: 0012-821X CODEN: EPSLA2
Note: In English. Includes appendix. 51 refs.; illus., incl. 2 tables, geol. sketch maps
Summary: Marine sedimentary rocks drilled on the southeastern margin of the South Orkney microcontinent in Antarctica (Ocean Drilling Program Leg 113 Site 696) were deposited between ∼36.5 Ma to 33.6 Ma, across the Eocene-Oligocene climate transition. The recovered rocks contain abundant grains exhibiting mechanical features diagnostic of iceberg-rafted debris. Sand provenance based on a multi-proxy approach that included petrographic analysis of over 275,000 grains, detrital zircon geochronology and apatite thermochronometry rule out local sources (Antarctic Peninsula or the South Orkney Islands) for the material. Instead the ice-transported grains show a clear provenance from the southern Weddell Sea region, extending from the Ellsworth-Whitmore Mountains of West Antarctica to the coastal region of Dronning Maud Land in East Antarctica. This study provides the first evidence for a continuity of widespread glacier calving along the coastline of the southern Weddell Sea embayment at least 2.5 million yrs before the prominent oxygen isotope event at 34-33.5 Ma that is considered to mark the onset of widespread glaciation of the Antarctic continent.
Year of Publication: 2017
Research Program: ODP Ocean Drilling Program
Key Words: 12 Stratigraphy, Historical Geology and Paleoecology; Antarctica; Apatite; Calving; Cenozoic; Clastic sediments; Ellsworth Land; Ellsworth Mountains; Eocene; Fission-track dating; Glaciation; Ice rafting; Leg 113; Nesosilicates; ODP Site 696; Ocean Drilling Program; Orthosilicates; Paleoclimatology; Paleogene; Paleogeography; Phosphates; Provenance; Queen Maud Land; Sand; Scotia Sea Islands; Sediments; Silicates; South Orkney Islands; Southern Ocean; Tertiary; Thermochronology; U/Pb; Upper Eocene; Weddell Sea; West Antarctica; Zircon; Zircon group
Coordinates: S615057 S615057 W0425558 W0425559
Record ID: 2017020193
Copyright Information: GeoRef, Copyright 2019 American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from CAPCAS, Elsevier Scientific Publishers, Amsterdam, Netherlands