Antarctic Science

Middle Jurassic air fall tuff in the sedimentary Latady Formation, eastern Ellsworth Land

a1 British Antarctic Survey, NERC, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0ET, UK
a2 NERC Isotope Geosciences Laboratory, British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham NG12 5GG, UK

Article author query
hunter m   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
riley t   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
millar i   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


Rhyolitic volcanism along the proto-Pacific margin of Gondwana occurred at intervals throughout the Jurassic. Silicic melt generation has been interpreted as a result of interaction between mantle plumes and subduction modified lower crust. The rhyolitic Mount Poster Formation of the southern Antarctic Peninsula is c. 184 Ma in age (V1), whereas silicic volcanism of the northern Antarctic Peninsula is c. 168 Ma (V2). A thin, (13.5 cm) reworked air fall tuff, interbedded with sandstone and mudstone of the Latady Formation in the southern Antarctic Peninsula has a REE pattern similar to V2 volcanic material but is isotopically similar to the extracaldera, low-Ti rhyolites of the V1 Mount Poster Formation. The tuff is interbedded with lithofacies that have been assigned a Callovian age (164–159 Ma) in the west of the area. Simple mixing between a MASH source and reworked Early Jurassic (184 Ma) V1 volcanic material during V2 volcanism in the area explains the apparent discrepancy between the faunal age and the isotopic characteristics of the ash fall. This supports a Middle Jurassic (168 Ma) age that also corresponds to a 167 ± 3 Ma age from Mt Rex on the periphery of the Mount Poster Formation, which was previously thought to be anomalous.

(Received August 8 2002)
(Accepted February 11 2004)

Key Words: Antarctic Peninsula; Gondwana; Mount Poster Formation; rhyolite; volcanic.