a1 British Antarctic Survey, Natural Envsironment Research Council, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0ET, UK
a2 Swedish Museum of Natural History, Box 50007, Stockholm 104 05, Sweden
Silicic volcanism at c. 168 Ma has been identified previously on the Antarctic Peninsula, and the Mapple Formation, which includes those volcanic rocks, has been defined and documented from one area of the east coast of Graham Land. Based on age and geochemical criteria, correlations have been made to the extensive Chon Aike Province of South America, which has been demonstrated to be one of the largest silicic volcanic provinces in the world. Rhyolitic and intermediate composition volcanic successions from six separate localities on the east coast of the Antarctic Peninsula are described here and are confirmed as correlatives of the Mapple Formation, based on newly acquired geochronology and field observations. They are dominantly rhyolitic crystal tuffs and/or ignimbrites with ages in the interval 162–168 Ma, overlapping with the age of the Mapple Formation (167–171 Ma) at the type locality. Andesitic agglomerates are also described, which are included in the same event and demonstrate the occurrence of rare intermediate volcanism, which is also seen in the Chon Aike Province. A new group, the Graham Land Volcanic Group, is defined here, and criteria are established which allow the separation of some volcanic successions out of the previously defined Antarctic Peninsula Volcanic Group, which takes no account of tectonic setting, eruption age or geochemistry.
(Received June 30 2009)
(Accepted September 30 2009)
(Online publication January 07 2010)