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Scientific support....

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Applied Geology Research Group,
School of the Environment,
University of Brighton.

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One of the aims of the British Army Antarctic Expedition is to explore the geology of the Danco Coast and adjacent islands. Staff from the University of Brighton's Applied Geology Research Group are advising and supporting these scientific investigations.



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The Danco Coast:
Distribution of Rock, Ice and Sea (USGS Atlas)





The University of Brighton Team:

  • Professor Rory Mortimore
  • Dr. Laurance Hopkinson
  • Dr. Normal Moles
  • Dr. Martin Smith
  • Dr. Kevin Stone

Why look at the geology of the Antarctic Peninsula?

brabant_geology1.jpg (22749 bytes)The rocks that make up the Antarctic Peninsula record nearly 200 million years of Earth history. Within this time period are events that include the break-up of continents, including the supercontinents Gondwanaland and Pangaea, and the formation of new oceans.The rocks of the peninsula are part of the Jurassic, Cretaceous and Tertiary rock successions of the Andean - Scotia Arc system. According to current theories Antarctica has only been in its present position for the last 60 million years, and fossils recovered from elsewhere on the continent show that it once used to have a tropical climate.


So how did it get to its present polar position?

Rock samples from the Dance Coast collected by BAAE can contribute to answering this question and understanding the processes involved, as well as providing new evidence to help understand many fundamental geological processes.

The distribution of tectonic plates through geological time.


The present day distribution of tectonic plates

Rock types likely to encounter the BAAE by on the Danco Coast.

brabant_geology2.jpg (11002 bytes)The Danco Coast has examples of a whole range of rock types. Sedimentary rocks include reworked volcaniclastic ash-fall tuffs (sometimes with fossil bands) and volcaniclastic basin (trench) filling turbidites. These may well have been metamorphosed to varying degrees. Igneous rocks include many primary volcanic rocks and a range of intrusive igneous rocks, which form the bulk of the Danco Coast.

The Photographs on this page show examples of rocks from nearby Brabant Island. Photographs Tim Hall ABIPP



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