Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Terra Antartica. Copyright 2001, 8(4), 615-620 Terra Antartica, Universite de Siena.


An 823 m thick glaciomarine Cenozoic section sitting unconformably on the Lower Devonian Beacon Supergroup was recovered in CRP –3. This paper reviews the chronostratigraphical constraints for the Cenozoic section. Between 3 and 480.27 mbsf 23 unconformity bounded cycles of sediment were recorded. Each unconformity is thought to represent a hiatus of uncertain duration. Four magnetozones have been recognised from the Cenozoic section. The record is complex with several “tiny wiggles” recorded throughout. Biostratigraphical or Sr ages, which could be used to link these magnetozones to the magnetic polarity time scale are restricted to the upper 190 m of sediment. Two diatom datums (Cavitatus jouseanus at 48.9 mbsf and Rhizosolenica antarctica at 68.60 mbsf), together with five Sr-isotope dates derived from molluscan fragments taken from between 10.88 and 190.29 mbsf indicate an early Oligocene (c. 31 Ma) age for this interval. The appearance of a new species of the bivalve ?Adamussium at about 325 mbsf, suggests that the Oligocene age can be extended down to this level. This confirms that the dominantly reversed magnetozone (R1), recorded down to about 340 mbsf, is Chron C12r. The ages imply high sedimentation rates and only minimal time gaps at the sequence boundaries. Below 340 mbsf there are no independent datums to guide the correlation of the magnetozones to the magnetic polarity time scale. However, the absence of in situ dinocysts attributable to Transantarctic Flora, if not a result of environmental control, limits the age of the base of the hole to between c. 33.5 and 35 Ma.