Polskie badania geologiczne w Zachodniej Antarktyce (1980-1981)

Krzysztof Birkenmajer



During the Vth Polish Antarctic Expedition (1980-1981) to H. Arctowski Station on King George Island, South Shetland Islands (Fig. 1), the Earth-sciences programme consisted of geological mapping and structural analysis (by K. Birkenmajer), sedimentological studies (by R. Gradziński and S. Porębski), palaeontological sampling and palaeoecological studies (by A. Gaździcki and R. Wrona), magnetometrie land survey (by A. Szymański), and engineering geology studies (by W. Danowski and K. Rolnicki). The remaining parts of King George Island, and an eastern part of Nelson Island have been geologically mapped to 1 : 50,000 scale (Figs 2, 3). Moreover geological maps in more detailed scales have also been made (e.g., Fig. 4).
One of the most interesting discoveries (10, 12, 16) was the recognition of glaciomarine character of a sediment pile at Cape Melville (previously considered to consist of Quaternary lavas and tuffs - 1, 2, 21). These sediments (Figs 4-6) formed during the Melville Glaciation (new denomination), older than the Pliocene Polonez Glaciation; they contain a rich marine fauna and flora, partly of Cretaceous (recycled fossils), and partly of Tertiary character (10-12, 16, 20, 24, 25).
Structural analysis and volcanologic studies (Figs 7-10) allowed to recognize main structural elements of the islands, and stressed the importance of strike-slip tectonics (14, 15). Sedimentological work centred on glacial and glaciomarine sediments of the Pliocene Polonez Glaciation. Palaeontological work included mainly sampling of marine fossils and land plants (Fig. 11).

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