The Cape Roberts Project: Volcanic Record, Geochemistry and 40Ar/39Ar Chronology
Kyle OPP 9527329 Abstract The Cape Roberts Project is an international drilling project to obtain a series of cores from the sedimentary strata beneath the sea floor off Cape Roberts in the Ross Sea. The project is a joint venture by scientists from the national Antarctic programs of Germany, Italy, New Zealand, the United Kingdom., Australia, and the United States. Drilling will continuously core a composite section of sediments over 1500 m thick which is expected to represent parts of the time period between 30 and more than 100 million years ago. The principle objectives of this component of the project will be to examine the record of igneous material in the drill core and provide high precision 40Ar/39Ar dates from tephra (volcanic ash) layers, disseminated ash, feldspars and epiclastic volcanic detrital grains to constrain depositional age and provenance of the sediments in the cores. This project will contribute to general geologic logging of the core and will characterize any igneous material using electron microprobe, x-ray fluorescence (XRF) and instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) analyses. The presence of alkalic volcanic detritus from the Cenozoic McMurdo Volcanics will constrain the initiation of this phase of volcanism and improve our understanding of the relationship between volcanism and tectonism. The influx of sediments eroded from Jurassic Kirkpatrick Basalts and Ferrar Dolerites will be used to time the unroofing and rates of uplift of the Transantarctic Mountains. Geochemical analyses of core samples will examine the geochemistry and provenance of the sediments.
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