Antarctic Science

Mobilization of fluidized sediment during sill emplacement, western Dronning Maud Land, East Antarctica

a1 British Antarctic Survey, NERC, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0ET, UK


Large mafic sills in the Ahlmannryggen region of western Dronning Maud Land were intruded into partially lithified sediments of the mid-Proterozoic Ritscherflya Supergroup. Clastic sedimentary dykes intruding the thick mafic sills have been identified, and show evidence for fluidization of the partially lithified sediments. Previous work had demonstrated in situ fluidization and localized anatectic melting. This study demonstrates mobilization of the fluidized sediments, with penetration at least 50 m into the fractured, intruding sill. Physical features within the clastic dykes (e.g. sediment balls, flame structures) suggest that the sediments were largely unconsolidated, or at most only partially lithified. The presence of a thin zone of anatectic melt along the dyke—sill contact suggests that the mafic sill was still hot (c. 700°C) at the time of sedimentary dyke injection.

(Received September 2 2002)
(Accepted May 20 2003)

Key Words: Ahlmannryggen; Borgmassivet Intrusions; clastic dyke; Ritscherflya Supergroup.