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Stratigraphy of the Pliocene Sørsdal Formation, Marine Plain, Vestfold Hills, East Antarctica


Quilty, PG and Lirio, JM and Jillett, D, Stratigraphy of the Pliocene Sorsdal Formation, Marine Plain, Vestfold Hills, East Antarctica, Antarctic Science, 12, (2) pp. 205-216. ISSN 0954-1020 (2000) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1017/S0954102000000262


The Sorsdal Formation and one member, Graveyard Sandstone Member constitute a sedimentary sequence covering approximately 10 km2 of Marine Plain, Vestfold Hills, East Antarctica. The new Formation consists dominantly of friable diatomaceous siltstone and sandstone with dark limestone lenses. It is in situ, essentially horizontal, 7.2 m thick in its type section and lies less than 25 m a.s.l. Graveyard Sandstone Member occurs near the top of the formation, is highly lithified sandy diamictite, 30-50 cm thick and widespread through the Marine Plain region. Using diatoms, the Formation is Early Pliocene in age (Fragilariopsis barronii; 4.5-4.1 Ma). The Graveyard Sandstone Member probably was deposited during the Gilbert Chron interval (lower Chron 2Ar or C3n.1r) of reversed magnetic polarity. The Sorsdal Formation contains fossil cetaceans and a diverse and well-preserved invertebrate fauna. Foraminifera are rare partly because of diagenesis, but include Ammoelphidiella antarctica. No evidence of coeval terrestrial vegetation has been recovered. The deposit accumulated in a series of small bays probably in an environment warmer than exists in the region today. There is no lithological evidence of glacial influence except in Graveyard Sandstone Member that may represent local glacial influence in a shallow marine to intertidal environment.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Geology
Research Field:Stratigraphy (incl. biostratigraphy, sequence stratigraphy and basin analysis)
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the earth sciences
UTAS Author:Quilty, PG (Dr Pat Quilty)
ID Code:20651
Year Published:2000
Web of Science® Times Cited:30
Deposited By:Earth Sciences
Deposited On:2000-08-01
Last Modified:2001-05-09

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