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Suspected meteorite fragments in marine sediments from East Antarctica

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 October 2018

Naresh C. Pant
Affiliation:
Centre for Advanced Studies, Department of Geology, University of Delhi, Delhi-11007, India
Francisco J. Jimenez-Espejo
Affiliation:
Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Yokosuka 237-0061, Japan
Cary P. Cook
Affiliation:
The Grantham Institute for Climate Change, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK Department of Geological Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
Paromita Biswas
Affiliation:
Centre for Advanced Studies, Department of Geology, University of Delhi, Delhi-11007, India
Robert Mckay
Affiliation:
Antarctic Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington, PO Box 600, Wellington 6140, New Zealand
Claudio Marchesi
Affiliation:
Departamento de Mineralogía y Petrología, UGR, 18002 Granada, Spain Instituto Andaluz de Ciencias de la Tierra, CSIC-UGR, 18100 Armilla, Granada, Spain
Motoo Ito
Affiliation:
Kochi Institute for Core Sample Research, JAMSTEC, Kochi 783-8502, Japan
Dewashish Upadhyay
Affiliation:
Department of Geology and Geophysics, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, 721302 Kharagpur, India
Junichiro Kuroda
Affiliation:
Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Yokosuka 237-0061, Japan
Kenji Shimizu
Affiliation:
Kochi Institute for Core Sample Research, JAMSTEC, Kochi 783-8502, Japan
Ryoko Senda
Affiliation:
Faculty of Social and Cultural Studies, Kyushu University, 744, Motooka Nishi-ku Fukuoka, 819-0395, Japan
Tina Van De Flierdt
Affiliation:
Department of Earth Science and Engineering, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK
Yoshinori Takano
Affiliation:
Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Yokosuka 237-0061, Japan
Katsuhiko Suzuki
Affiliation:
Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Yokosuka 237-0061, Japan
Carlota Escutia
Affiliation:
Instituto Andaluz de Ciencias de la Tierra, CSIC-UGR, 18100 Armilla, Granada, Spain
Prakash K. Shrivastava
Affiliation:
Geological Survey of India, Faridabad, India
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

Unusual mafic rock fragments deposited in Plio-Pleistocene-aged marine sediments were recorded at Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Site U1359, in Wilkes Land, East Antarctica. These fragments were identified from sediment layers deposited between c. 3 and 1.2 Ma, indicating a sustained supply during this time interval. Clinopyroxenes in these basalts are Al–Ti diopside–hedenbergite, uncommon in terrestrial magmatic rocks. A single strong peak in the Raman spectra of a phosphate-bearing mineral at 963 cm-1 supports the presence of merrillite. Although not conclusive, petrological traits and oxygen isotopic compositions also suggest that the fragments may be extra-terrestrial fragments affected by shock metamorphism. Nevertheless, it is concluded that the basaltic fragments incorporated in marine sediments at Site U1359 represent ice-rafted material supplied to the continental rise of East Antarctica, probably from the bedrocks near the proximal Ninnis Glacier. Further studies on Plio-Pleistocene sediments near Site U1359 are required to characterize the unusual mafic rocks described.

Type
Earth Sciences
Copyright
© Antarctic Science Ltd 2018 

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