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    Geological insights from the newly discovered granite of Sif Island between Thwaites and Pine Island glaciers

    Marschalek, J.W. and Thomson, S.N. and Hillenbrand, C.-D. and Vermeesch, P. and Siddoway, C. and Carter, Andrew and Nichols, K. and Rood, D.H. and Venturelli, R.A. and Hammond, S.J. and Wellner, J. and van de Flierdt, T. (2024) Geological insights from the newly discovered granite of Sif Island between Thwaites and Pine Island glaciers. Antarctic Science , pp. 1-24. ISSN 0954-1020.

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    Large-scale geological structures have controlled the long-term development of the bed and thus the flow of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). However, complete ice cover has obscured the age and exact positions of faults and geological boundaries beneath Thwaites Glacier and Pine Island Glacier, two major WAIS outlets in the Amundsen Sea sector. Here, we characterize the only rock outcrop between these two glaciers, which was exposed by the retreat of slow-flowing coastal ice in the early 2010s to form the new Sif Island. The island comprises granite, zircon U-Pb dated to ~177–174 Ma and characterized by initial ɛNd, 87Sr/86Sr and ɛHf isotope compositions of -2.3, 0.7061 and -1.3, respectively. These characteristics resemble Thurston Island/Antarctic Peninsula crustal block rocks, strongly suggesting that the Sif Island granite belongs to this province and placing the crustal block's boundary with the Marie Byrd Land province under Thwaites Glacier or its eastern shear margin. Low-temperature thermochronological data reveal that the granite underwent rapid cooling following emplacement, rapidly cooled again at ~100–90 Ma and then remained close to the Earth's surface until present. These data help date vertical displacement across the major tectonic structure beneath Pine Island Glacier to the Late Cretaceous.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Natural Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2024 14:41
    Last Modified: 26 Apr 2024 14:26


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