Neogene tectonic and climatic evolution of the Western Ross Sea, Antarctica - Chronology of events from the AND-1B drill hole

Gary S. Wilson, Richard H. Levy, Tim R. Naish, Ross D. Powell, Fabio Florindo, Christian Ohneiser, Leonardo Sagnotti, Diane M. Winter, Rosemary Cody, Stuart Henrys, Jake Ross, Larry Krissek, Frank Niessen, Massimo Pompillio, Reed Scherer, Brent V. Alloway, Peter J. Barrett, Stefanie Brachfeld, Greg Browne, Lionel CarterEllen Cowan, James Crampton, Robert M. DeConto, Gavin Dunbar, Nelia Dunbar, Robert Dunbar, Hilmar von Eynatten, Catalina Gebhardt, Giovanna Giorgetti, Ian Graham, Mike Hannah, Dhiresh Hansaraj, David M. Harwood, Linda Hinnov, Richard D. Jarrard, Leah Joseph, Michelle Kominz, Gerhard Kuhn, Philip Kyle, Andreas Läufer, William C. McIntosh, Robert McKay, Paola Maffioli, Diana Magens, Christina Millan, Donata Monien, Roger Morin, Timothy Paulsen, Davide Persico, David Pollard, J. Ian Raine, Christina Riesselman, Sonia Sandroni, Doug Schmitt, Charlotte Sjunneskog, C. Percy Strong, Franco Talarico, Marco Taviani, Giuliana Villa, Stefan Vogel, Tom Wilch, Trevor Williams, Terry J. Wilson, Sherwood Wise

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Stratigraphic drilling from the McMurdo Ice Shelf in the 2006/2007 austral summer recovered a 1284.87m sedimentary succession from beneath the sea floor. Key age data for the core include magnetic polarity stratigraphy for the entire succession, diatom biostratigraphy for the upper 600m and 40Ar/39Ar ages for in-situ volcanic deposits as well as reworked volcanic clasts. A vertical seismic profile for the drill hole allows correlation between the drill hole and a regional seismic network and inference of age constraint by correlation with well-dated regional volcanic events through direct recognition of interlayered volcanic deposits as well as by inference from flexural loading of pre-existing strata. The combined age model implies relatively rapid (1m/2-5ky) accumulation of sediment punctuated by hiatuses, which account for approximately 50% of the record. Three of the longer hiatuses coincide with basin-wide seismic reflectors and, along with two thick volcanic intervals, they subdivide the succession into seven chronostratigraphic intervals with characteristic facies:1.The base of the cored succession (1275-1220mbsf) comprises middle Miocene volcaniclastic sandstone dated at approx 13.5Ma by several reworked volcanic clasts;2.A late-Miocene sub-polar orbitally controlled glacial-interglacial succession (1220-760mbsf) bounded by two unconformities correlated with basin-wide reflectors associated with early development of the terror rift;3.A late Miocene volcanigenic succession (760-596mbsf) terminating with a ~1my hiatus at 596.35mbsf which spans the Miocene-Pliocene boundary and is not recognised in regional seismic data;4.An early Pliocene obliquity-controlled alternating diamictite and diatomite glacial-interglacial succession (590-440mbsf), separated from;5.A late Pliocene obliquity-controlled alternating diamictite and diatomite glacial-interglacial succession (440-150mbsf) by a 750ky unconformity interpreted to represent a major sequence boundary at other locations;6.An early Pleistocene interbedded volcanic, diamictite and diatomite succession (150-80mbsf), and;7.A late Pleistocene glacigene succession (80-0mbsf) comprising diamictite dominated sedimentary cycles deposited in a polar environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-203
Number of pages15
JournalGlobal and Planetary Change
StatePublished - Oct 2012


  • Chronostratigraphy
  • Ice Sheet history
  • McMurdo Ice Shelf
  • Neogene
  • Stratigraphic Drilling
  • Tectonics


Dive into the research topics of 'Neogene tectonic and climatic evolution of the Western Ross Sea, Antarctica - Chronology of events from the AND-1B drill hole'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this