Late Paleozoic glacial deposits are widespread in Gondwana. In Antarctica the best outcrops occur in the Central Transantarctic Mountains, Ellsworth Mountains, Pensacola Mountains, and in Southern Victoria Land, whereas they are rare and very scattered in Northern Victoria Land, which represents a linkage sector with Tasmania and eastern Australia. The aim of the present research is to define the stratigraphic setting and the environmental interpretation of a poorly studied Lower Permian glacigenic succession located near Orr Glacier in the Lanterman Range in Northern Victoria Land. It has great importance because it represents the only significant glacigenic succession for this wide area, marking and defining time and modality of a glacial-postglacial transition during the early Permian, a critical time-interval in the paleoenvironmental evolution of southern Gondwana. This succession, named here as the Lanterman Formation, lies directly on to crystalline basement, and is overlain by a thick Permian fluvial succession (Takrouna Formation). The results provided by sedimentological facies analysis and palynological analysis, integrated with a limited petrographic characterization, show a correlation framework between two isolated successions, outlining their stratigraphic architecture and subdivided into a lower glacial portion and an upper postglacial portion. The former, Asselian in age, is dominated by diamictite, sandstone, mudstone with lonestones, and carbonate deposits, suggesting repeated advance and retreat of a terrestrial glacier, with facies associations indicating environmental changes from subglacial to glaciofluvial, to glaciolacustrine. The latter is dominated by lacustrine mudstone with decreasing lonestones upward, thin bedded sandstone, conglomerate and a thick fluvial sandstone and pebbly sandstone succession at the top, signalling the transition to a fluvial system through time. The overall dataset suggests that the late Paleozoic glacigenic deposits of Northern Victoria Land record the evolution from a setting characterized by a terrestrial small ice cap that underwent repeated advances and retreats due to climate cycles in a lacustrine setting, into a postglacial paleoenvironmental scenario with a wide fluvial system draining northwards from Victoria Land towards the Tasmanian Basin. The results contribute to increasing knowledge of the timing and modalities of the Late Paleozoic Ice Age in Gondwana, particularly for polar regions such as Antarctica.

Upper Paleozoic glacigenic deposits of Gondwana: Stratigraphy and paleoenvironmental significance of a tillite succession in Northern Victoria Land (Antarctica)

Olivetti, Valerio;
2017

Abstract

Late Paleozoic glacial deposits are widespread in Gondwana. In Antarctica the best outcrops occur in the Central Transantarctic Mountains, Ellsworth Mountains, Pensacola Mountains, and in Southern Victoria Land, whereas they are rare and very scattered in Northern Victoria Land, which represents a linkage sector with Tasmania and eastern Australia. The aim of the present research is to define the stratigraphic setting and the environmental interpretation of a poorly studied Lower Permian glacigenic succession located near Orr Glacier in the Lanterman Range in Northern Victoria Land. It has great importance because it represents the only significant glacigenic succession for this wide area, marking and defining time and modality of a glacial-postglacial transition during the early Permian, a critical time-interval in the paleoenvironmental evolution of southern Gondwana. This succession, named here as the Lanterman Formation, lies directly on to crystalline basement, and is overlain by a thick Permian fluvial succession (Takrouna Formation). The results provided by sedimentological facies analysis and palynological analysis, integrated with a limited petrographic characterization, show a correlation framework between two isolated successions, outlining their stratigraphic architecture and subdivided into a lower glacial portion and an upper postglacial portion. The former, Asselian in age, is dominated by diamictite, sandstone, mudstone with lonestones, and carbonate deposits, suggesting repeated advance and retreat of a terrestrial glacier, with facies associations indicating environmental changes from subglacial to glaciofluvial, to glaciolacustrine. The latter is dominated by lacustrine mudstone with decreasing lonestones upward, thin bedded sandstone, conglomerate and a thick fluvial sandstone and pebbly sandstone succession at the top, signalling the transition to a fluvial system through time. The overall dataset suggests that the late Paleozoic glacigenic deposits of Northern Victoria Land record the evolution from a setting characterized by a terrestrial small ice cap that underwent repeated advances and retreats due to climate cycles in a lacustrine setting, into a postglacial paleoenvironmental scenario with a wide fluvial system draining northwards from Victoria Land towards the Tasmanian Basin. The results contribute to increasing knowledge of the timing and modalities of the Late Paleozoic Ice Age in Gondwana, particularly for polar regions such as Antarctica.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/3265802
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