Cenozoic magmatic rocks related to the West Antarctic Rift System crop out right across Antarctica, in Victoria Land, Marie Byrd Land and into Ellsworth Land. Northern Victoria Land, located at the northwestern tip of the western rift shoulder, is unique in hosting the longest record of the rift-related igneous activity: plutonic rocks and cogenetic dyke swarms cover the time span from c. 50 to 20 Ma, and volcanic rocks are recorded from 15 Ma to the present. The origin of the entire igneous suite is debated; nevertheless, the combination of geochemical and isotopic data with the regional tectonic history supports a model with no role for a mantle plume. Amagmatic extension during the Cretaceous generated an autometasomatized mantle source that, during Eocene–present activity, produced magma by small degrees of melting induced by the transtensional activity of translithospheric fault systems. The emplacement of Eocene–Oligocene plutons and dyke swarms was focused along these fault systems. Conversely, the location of the mid-Miocene–present volcanoes is governed by lithospheric necking along the Ross Sea coast for the largest volcanic edifices; while inland, smaller central volcanoes and scoria cones are related to the establishment of magma chambers in thicker crust.

Northern Victoria Land: Petrology

Rocchi S.
Primo
;
Smellie J. L.
2021-01-01

Abstract

Cenozoic magmatic rocks related to the West Antarctic Rift System crop out right across Antarctica, in Victoria Land, Marie Byrd Land and into Ellsworth Land. Northern Victoria Land, located at the northwestern tip of the western rift shoulder, is unique in hosting the longest record of the rift-related igneous activity: plutonic rocks and cogenetic dyke swarms cover the time span from c. 50 to 20 Ma, and volcanic rocks are recorded from 15 Ma to the present. The origin of the entire igneous suite is debated; nevertheless, the combination of geochemical and isotopic data with the regional tectonic history supports a model with no role for a mantle plume. Amagmatic extension during the Cretaceous generated an autometasomatized mantle source that, during Eocene–present activity, produced magma by small degrees of melting induced by the transtensional activity of translithospheric fault systems. The emplacement of Eocene–Oligocene plutons and dyke swarms was focused along these fault systems. Conversely, the location of the mid-Miocene–present volcanoes is governed by lithospheric necking along the Ross Sea coast for the largest volcanic edifices; while inland, smaller central volcanoes and scoria cones are related to the establishment of magma chambers in thicker crust.
2021
Rocchi, S.; Smellie, J. L.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1119150
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