Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands: Volcanology (Chapter 3.1a)

Leat, Philip T.; Riley, Teal R. ORCID: 2021 Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands: Volcanology (Chapter 3.1a). In: Smellie, J.L.; Panter, K.S.; Geyer, A., (eds.) Volcanism in Antarctica: 200 million years of subduction, rifting and continental break-up. London, Geological Society of London, 185-212. (Geological Society Memoir, M55).

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)


The voluminous continental margin volcanic arc of the Antarctic Peninsula is one of the major tectonic features of West Antarctica. It extends from the Trinity Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands in the north to Alexander Island and Palmer Land in the south, a distance of c. 1300 km, and was related to east-directed subduction beneath the continental margin. Thicknesses of exposed volcanic rocks are up to c. 1.5 km, and the terrain is highly dissected by erosion and heavily glacierized. The arc was active from Late Jurassic or Early Cretaceous times until the Early Miocene, a period of climate cooling from subtropical to glacial. The migration of the volcanic axis was towards the trench over time along most of the length of the arc. Early volcanism was commonly submarine but most of the volcanism was subaerial. Basaltic–andesitic stratocones and large silicic composite volcanoes with calderas can be identified. Other rock associations include volcaniclastic fans, distal tuff accumulations, coastal wetlands and glacio-marine eruptions. Other groups of volcanic rocks of Jurassic age in Alexander Island comprise accreted oceanic basalts within an accretionary complex and volcanic rocks erupted within a rift basin along the continental margin that apparently predate subduction.

Item Type: Publication - Book Section
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISBN: 2041-4722
Date made live: 23 Feb 2021 12:27 +0 (UTC)

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Document Downloads

Downloads for past 30 days

Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...