Geology of the Wilkes Land Sub-basin and Stability of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet: Insights from rock magnetism at IODP Site U1361

Monday, 15 December 2014: 9:45 AM
Lisa Tauxe, Univ California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, United States, Saiko Sugisaki, University of Tokyo, Bunkyo-ku, Japan, Francisco Javier Jimenez-Espejo, JAMSTEC Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Kanagawa, Japan, Carys P Cook, University of Florida, Department of Geological Sciences, Ft Walton Beach, FL, United States, Tina van de Flierdt, Imperial College London, London, SW7, United Kingdom, Masao Iwai, Kochi University, Kochi, Japan and Carlota Escutia, I Andaluz de Ciencias Tierra, Armilla, Granada, Spain
IODP Expedition 318 drilled Site U1361 on the continental rise offshore of the Wilkes sub-glacial basin. The goal was to reconstruct the stability of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) during Neogene warm periods. Teasing out the paleoenvironmental implications is essential for understanding the evolution of the EAIS. Anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS) is sensitive to differential compaction and other rock magnetic parameters like isothermal remanence and anhysteretic remanence are very sensitive to changes in the terrestrial source region. In general, highly anisotropic layers correspond with laminated clay-rich units, while more isotropic layers are bioturbated and have less clay. Layers enriched in diatoms are associated with the latter, which also have higher Ba/Al ratios indicating higher productivity. Higher anisotropy layers have lower porosity and moisture contents and have fine grained magnetic mineralogy dominated by magnetic. Higher anisotropy layers are dominated by maghemite, supporting the suggestion by Cook et al. (2013) of different source regions during low and high productivity times. They tied the two facies to the coastal outcrops of the Lower Paleozoic granitic terranes and the Ferrar Large Igneous Province in the more inland Wilkes Subglacial Basin respectively. Here we present evidence for a third geological unit, one eroded at the boundaries between the high and low clay zones with a “hard” (hematite) dominated magnetic mineralogy. This unit likely outcrops in the Wilkes sub-glacial basin and could be hydrothermally altered Beacon sandstone similar to that detected by Craw and Findlay (1984) in Taylor Valley or the equivalent to the Elatina Formation in the Adelaide Geosyncline in Southern Australia (Schmidt and Williams, 2013).

Cook, C. P., van de Flierdt, T., Williams, T., Hemming, S. R., Iwai, M., Kobayashi, M., Jimenez-Espejo, F., Escutia, C., Gonzalez, J., Khim, B. K., McKay, R., Passchier, S., Bohaty, S., Riesselman, C. R., Tauxe, L., Sugisaki, S., Lopez Galindo, A., Patterson, M. O., Sangiorgi, F., Pierce, E. L., Brinkhuis, H., and Scientists, I. E., 2013, Nature Geoscience, v. 6, p. 765-769.

Craw, D., and Findlay, R. H., 1984, New Zealand Jour. Geol. Geophys., v. 27, p. 465-475.

Schmidt, P. W., and Williams, G. E., 2013, Global and Planetary Change, v. 110, p. 289-301.