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Fluvial sedimentology and revised stratigraphy of the Triassic Flagstone Bench Formation, northern Prince Charles Mountains, East Antarctica

  • STEPHEN MCLOUGHLIN (a1) and ANDREW N. DRINNAN (a1)

Abstract

The Flagstone Bench Formation ranges in age from earliest Triassic to Norian (Late Triassic) and is exposed in the Beaver Lake area of the northern Prince Charles Mountains. This sandstone-dominated formation rests conformably on the Bainmedart Coal Measures and represents the upper part of the Permian–Triassic Amery Group. It is divisible into three members: the Ritchie, Jetty and McKelvey members (in ascending order). Nine sedimentary facies assignable to three facies associations (major channel, crevasse/fan and flood-basin deposits) are recognized within the formation. Ritchie Member sedimentation took place during a transition from consistently hygric to seasonally dry conditions and the unit comprises sandstone-dominated, sheet-like channel deposits interspersed with few, thin, mottled, haematite-rich flood-basin siltstones. Deposition took place under fluctuating discharge conditions chiefly within the channel tracts of axially (northwesterly/northeasterly) flowing, low-sinuosity braided rivers. The Jetty Member shows a gross upward-fining profile dominated in the lower part by poorly sorted pebbly sandstones and in the upper part by ferruginous mudcracked siltstones, mottled palaeosols, calcrete and thin massive sandstone sheets. This unit reflects deposition of easterly directed alluvial fans and extensive flood-basin silt under a semi-arid climatic regime. The Upper Triassic sandstone-dominated McKelvey Member shows a return to axial drainage along the Lambert Graben with sedimentation occurring primarily within low-sinuosity braided channel tracts under wetter climatic conditions.

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Fluvial sedimentology and revised stratigraphy of the Triassic Flagstone Bench Formation, northern Prince Charles Mountains, East Antarctica

  • STEPHEN MCLOUGHLIN (a1) and ANDREW N. DRINNAN (a1)

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