Antarctic Science

Latest Jurassic–earliest Cretaceous age for a fossil flora from the Latady Basin, Antarctic Peninsula

Morag A. Hunter a1, David J. Cantrill a2 and Michael J. Flowerdew a1
a1 British Antarctic Survey, NERC, Madingley Road, High Cross, Cambridge CB3 0ET, UK
a2 Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Palaeobotany, Box 50007, Stockholm, 104 05, Sweden

Article author query
hunter ma   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
cantrill dj   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
flowerdew mj   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


Dating Jurassic terrestrial floras in the Antarctic Peninsula has proved problematic and controversial. Here U–Pb series dating on detrital zircons from a conglomerate interbedded with fossil plant material provide a maximal depositional age of 144 ± 3 Ma for a presumed Jurassic flora. This is the first confirmed latest Jurassic-earliest Cretaceous flora from the Latady Basin, and represents some of the youngest sedimentation in this basin. The presence of terrestrial sedimentation at Cantrill Nunataks suggests emergence of the arc closer to the Latady Basin margin in the south compared to Larsen Basin in the north, probably as a result of the failure of the southern Weddell Sea to undergo rifting.

(Received March 15 2005)
(Accepted October 4 2005)

Key Words: absolute age; Antarctica; biostratigraphy; palaeobotany.