It is generally accepted that ice cores archive amount-weighted water stable isotope signals. In order to achieve an improved understanding of the nature of water stable isotope signals stored in ice cores annual δ18O and δ2H averages (i.e. amount-weighted) were calculated for two Antarctic meteorological stations, Vernadsky and Hal-ley Bay, using monthly precipitation amount and monthly net accumulation as weights, respectively. These were then compared with the annual mean δ18O δ2H and records of the nearest available ice cores. In addition, at the stations, both arithmetic means (i.e. time-weighted) and amount-weighted (precipitation amount and net accumulation used as weights) annual air temperature averages were calculated and then compared to amount weighted annual mean δ18O and δ2H using correlation- and regression analyses. The main hypothesis was that amount weighted annual mean water isotope and temperature records from the stations would be able to replicate the annual water isotope signal stored in ice cores to a higher degree. Results showed that (i) amount weighting is incapable of ameliorating the signal replication between the stations and the ice cores, while arithmetic means gave the stronger linear relationships; (ii) post depositional processes may have a more determining effect on the isotopic composition of the firn than expected; and (iii) mean annual air temperature provided the closest match to ice core derived annual water isotope records. This latter conveys a similar message to that of recent findings, in as much as ambient temperature, via equilibrium isotope fractionation, is imprinted into the uppermost snow layer by vapor exchange even between precipitation events. Together, these observations imply that ice core stable water isotope records can be a more continuous archive of near-surface temperature changes than hitherto believed.
Trace fossils Phymatoderma melvillensis isp. nov., Thalassinoides isp., ?Nereites isp. and Planolites isp. are reported from the glacio−marine sediments of the Cape Melville Formation (Lower Miocene) of King George Island, West Antarctica. Their occurrence and strong bioturbation of sediments point to an offshore or deeper (outer shelf or upper slope) en− vironment. Deep marine crab Antarctidromia inflata Förster, 1985, has been found in Thalassinoides isp. The tracemaker (?crustacean) of Phymatodermamelvillensis re−reworked pelletal sediments probably during times of food deficiency.
The Panorama Point Beds represent a subfacies of the Early to Middle Permian Radok Conglomerate, which is the oldest known sedimentary unit in the Prince Charles Mountains, MacRobertson Land, East Antarctica. This unit records clastic sedimentation in fresh−water depositional system during the early stages of development of the Lambert Graben, a major structural valley surrounded by crystalline highlands in the southern part of Gondwana. It contains common siderite precipitated through early diagenetic processes in the swamp, stagnant water, and stream−flow environments. There are two types of siderite in the Panorama Point Beds: (1) disseminated cement that occurs throughout the sedimentary suc− cession; and (2) concretions that occur at recurrent horizons in fine−grained sediments. The cement is composed of Fe−depleted siderite (less than 90mol%FeCO3)with an elevated con− tent of magnesium, and trace and rare earth elements. It has negative #2;13CVPDB values (−4.5 to −1.5‰). The concretions are dominated by Fe−rich siderite (more than 90mol% FeCO3),with positive 13CVPDB values (+1 to +8‰). There are no noticeable differences in the oxygen (18OVPDB between −20 and −15‰) and strontium (87Sr/86Sr between 0.7271 and 0.7281) iso− topic compositions between the siderite types. The cement and concretions developed in the nearsurface to subsurface environment dominated by suboxic and anoxic methanic degrada− tion of organic matter, respectively. The common presence of siderite in the Panorama Point Beds suggests that fresh−water environments of the Lambert Graben were covered by vegetation, starting from the early history of its development in the Early Permian.
Pyrite framboids occur in loose blocks of plant−bearing clastic rocks related to volcano−sedimentary succession of the Mount Wawel Formation (Eocene) in the Dragon and Wanda glaciers area at Admiralty Bay, King George Island, West Antarctica. They were investigated by means of optical and scanning electron microscopy, energy−dispersive spectroscopy, X−ray diffraction, and isotopic analysis of pyritic sulphur. The results suggest that the pyrite formed as a result of production of hydrogen sulphide by sulphate reducing bacteria in near surface sedimentary environments. Strongly negative #2;34SVCDT values of pyrite (−30 – −25 ‰) support its bacterial origin. Perfect shapes of framboids resulted from their growth in the open pore space of clastic sediments. The abundance of framboids at cer− tain sedimentary levels and the lack or negligible content of euhedral pyrite suggest pulses of high supersaturation with respect to iron monosulphides. The dominance of framboids of small sizes (8–16 μm) and their homogeneous distribution at these levels point to recurrent development of a laterally continuous anoxic sulphidic zone below the sediment surface. Sedimentary environments of the Mount Wawel Formation developed on islands of the young magmatic arc in the northern Antarctic Peninsula region. They embraced stagnant and flowing water masses and swamps located in valleys, depressions, and coastal areas that were covered by dense vegetation. Extensive deposition and diagenesis of plant detritus in these environments promoted anoxic conditions in the sediments, and a supply of marine and/or volcanogenic sulphate enabled its bacterial reduction, precipitation of iron mono− sulphides, and their transformation to pyrite framboids.
During the Polish Antarctic Geodynamic Expeditions, 1979-91, a wide geophysical and geological programme was performed in the transition zone between the Drake and South Shetland microplates and the Antarctic Plate, in West Antarctica. In the Bransfield Strait area, and along passive continental margin of the Antarctic Peninsula, 20 deep seismic sounding profiles were made. The interpretation yielded two - dimensional models of the crust and lithosphere down to 80 km depth. In the coastal area between the Palmer Archipelago and the Adelaide Island, the Earth's crust has a typical continental structure. Its thickness varies from 36 to 42 km in the coastal area, decreasing to about 25-28 km toward Pacific Ocean. In the surrounding of Bransfield Strait, the Moho boundary depth ranges from 10 km beneath the South Shetland Trench to 40 km beneath Antarctic Peninsula. The crustal structure beneath the Bransfield Strait trough is highly anomalous. Presence of a high-velocity body, with longitudinal seismic wave velocities Vp > 7,0 km/s, was detected there in the 6-32 km depth range. This inhomogeneity was interpreted as an intrusion, coinciding with the Deception-Bridgeman volcanic line. In the transition zone from the Drake Passage to the South Shetland Islands, a seismic boundary in the lower lithosphere occurs at a depth ranging from 35 to 80 km. The dip of both the Moho and this boundary is approximately 25° towards the southeast, indicating the direction of subduction of the Drake Plate lithosphere under the Antarctic Plate. Basing on the results of four Polish Geodynamic Expeditions, the map of crustal thickness in West Antarctica is presented.
Carotenoids in six species of the lichens from Antarctica (Xanthoria eleguns, Caloplaca regalis, Usnea antarctica, U. fasciata, Himantormia lugubris and Ramalina terebrata) have been investigated by means of column and thin — layer chromatography. The following carotenoids were found: β-carotene, α- and β-cryptoxanthin, canthaxanthin. lycophyll, lycoxanthin, lutein, lutein epoxide, zeaxanthin, antheroxanthin, adonixanthin, diatoxanthin, rhodoxanthin, rhodoxanthm derivative, α-doradexanthin, astaxanthin, astaxanthin ester, mutatochrome, mutatoxanthin and cryptoflavin. Most frequently occurred β-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin, lutein epoxide, zeaxanthin and mutatoxanthin. The total carotenoid content ranged from 10.242 (Ramalina terebrata) to 18.700 mg/g dry weight (Himantormia lugubris) in October and from 4.765 (Ramalina terebrata) to 12.462 mg/g dry weight (Caloplaca regalis) in February.
There were tested microorganisms in differents soils at Admiralty Bay region. The physiological groups of microorganisms were restricted by the kind of organic matter. There were found in ornithogenic soils in higher number the following groups of microorganisms; proteolytic bacteria, uric acid and L-asparagine ammonifying bacteria, chitin degrading bacteria, lecithin degrading bacteria and calcium phosphate dissolving bacteria. The nitrifying bacteria were found in lower horizons of ornithogenic soils in higher number. The nitrogen fixing bacteria were found in mineral soils covered by plant associations, only. The spore-forming bacteria were detected in ornithogenic soils and in soil influenced by man.
The lithospheric transect South Shetland Islands (SSI) — Antarctic Peninsula (AP) includes: the Shetland Trench (subductional) and the adjacent portion of the SE Pacific oceanic crust; the South Shetland Microplate (younger magmatic arc superimposed on continental crust); the Bransfield Rift and Platform (younger back-arc basin); the Trinity Horst (older magmatic arc superimposed on continental crust); the Gustav Rift (Late Cenozoic) and James Ross Platform (older back-arc basin). Deep seismic sounding allowed to trace the Moho discontinuity at about 30 km under South Shetlands and at 38—42 km in the northern part of Antarctic Peninsula (Trinity Horst), under typical continental crust. Modified crust was recognized under Bransfield Strait. Geological interpretation based on deep seismic refraction and multichannel reflection soundings, and surface geological data, is presented.
This report describes aims and preliminary results of geological fieldwork carried out by a joint Argentine-Polish party on Seymour (Marambio) and Cockburn islands. Antarctic Peninsula, during austral summer of 1987 88. Seymour Island exposes chiefly shallow-marine, fossiliferous siliciclastic sediments that form an upper, 2000 m thick part in the Mesozoic-Tertiary backarc basin-infill of the Antarctic Peninsula. The fieldwork centered on paleontology and sedimentology of the La Meseta Formation (upper Eocene- ?lower Oligocene), although some observations of older deposits were carried out also. Clupeoid fishes were discovered in the La Meseta Formation. This is the first record of such fish fossils on the Antarctic continent.
During the Polish Antarctic Geodynamical Expeditions in 1979-91, deep seismic sounding measurements were performed in the transition zone between the Drake and South Shetland Microplates and the Antarctic Plate in West Antarctica. For the Bransfield Strait area, the seismic records of five land stations in South Shetland Islands and two stations at the Antarctic Peninsula were used. The interpretation yielded two—dimensional models of the crust and lithosphere down to 80 km depth. In the uppermost crust, the unconsolidated and poorly consolidated young sediments with velocities of 1.9 — 2.9 km/s cover the layers 4.0—4.2 and 5.6—5.9 km/s. The crustal structure beneath the trough of Bransfield Strait is highly anomalous. The presence of a high velocity body, with longitudinal seismic wave velocities vp > 7.0 km/s, was detected in the 6 — 30 km depth range. This inhomogeneity was interpreted as an intrusion, coinciding with the Deception—Bridgeman volcanic line. For the uppermost crust, a qualitative comparison was made between the results from the reflection profiles (GUN) and deep seismic sounding profiles (DSS). In the study area, the Moho boundary depth ranges from 10 km beneath the South Shetland Trench to 40 km under the Antarctic Peninsula. In the transition zone from the Drake Passage to the South Shetland Islands, a seismic boundary in the lower lithosphere occurs at a depth ranging from 35 to 80 km. The dip of both the Moho and this boundary is approximately 25°, and indicates the direction of subduction of the Drake Plate lithosphere under the Antarctic Plate. The results obtained were compared with earlier results of seismic, gravity and magnetic surveys in West Antarctica. A scheme of geotectonic division and a geodynamical model of the zone of subduction of the Drake Plate under the Antarctic Plate is compared with subduction zones in other areas of the circum-Pacific belt.
Measurements were made of sediment characteristics, benthic microbial activity and optimum temperature for sulfate reduction at Signy Island, South Orkney Islands, Antarctica . There was little evidence to support any seasonal variation in oxygen penetration of surface sediments. Oxygen penetrated to only 1.5 to 3 mm throughout the year, despite bioturbation from a dense amphipod population. The distribution of acid volatile sulfides increased with depth below 1 cm and above this, surface sediments were lighter in colour and contained fewer sulfides. The rates of sulfate reduction increased during winter under sea-ice cover, and remained high after ice break up. Seasonal water temperature was relatively constant between –1.8 and 0.5°C. Optimum temperature for anaerobic sediment respiration was investigated using different substrates and was found to be in the range 17–27°C, suggesting that sulfate reducing bacteria are psychrotolerant as they were inhibited by low temperatures.
Schistidium cupulare (Müll. Hal.) Ochyra, an obscure and poorly known species originally described from Îles Kerguelen as Grimmia cupularis Müll. Hal. and subsequently reported from a single station in the Antarctic, is re-assessed taxonomically. It is considered to be a distinct species of sect. Conferta, closely related to S. amblyophyllum (Müll. Hal.) Ochyra et Hertel, from which it differs in its distal- and mid-leaf areolation of short, isodiametric, quadrate to shortly rectangular cells; stouter costa, 50–75 μm wide in the distal and median part, semi-terete to subrectangular in cross-section and prominently convex on the dorsal surface, (2–)3-stratose above, 3(–4)-stratose below; leaf margins regularly 2–3-stratose in 1–3 rows of cells forming fleshy, bulging limbidia; presence of a distinct central strand; and finely roughened to nearly smooth peristome teeth. S. celatum (Cardot) B.G. Bell from South Georgia and Tierra del Fuego is considered to be conspecific with S. cupulare. Some details of the type specimens of both species are illustrated. The geographical range of S. cupulare is evaluated and it is considered to be an amphiatlantic subantarctic species. A new record of the species from Livingston Island in the Antarctic is provided and a key to species of Schistidium in Antarctica is given.
Nematodes occurring in the Antarctic bony fishes are reviewed, and keys based on morphological features are presented. Five valid species: Ascarophis nototheniae Johnston et Mawson, 1945; Cystidicola beatriceinsleyae (Holloway et Klewer, 1969); Dichelyne fraseri (Baylis, 1929); Hysterothylacium aduncum (Rudolphi, 1802); Paranisakiopsis weddelliensis Rocka, 2002, and one unnamed form, Capillaria (Procapillaria) sp., have been reported from the Antarctic teleosts. Also, larval anisakids, in the adult stage parasites of marine mammals, birds and fishes, occur commonly in the Antarctic and Subantarctic bony fishes. They belong to Contracaecum spp., Anisakis spp., Pseudoterranova decipiens (Krabbe, 1878) and Hysterothylacium aduncum.
A sequence of glacial deposits up to 4 m thick unconformably overlies the Eocene La Meseta Formation on the Seymour Island plateau (meseta) and forms a lithostratigraphically distinct unit in the succession of the James Ross Basin, which is formally named here as the Weddell Sea Formation. The formation is thus far known only from Seymour Island. This is a terrestrial melt-out till which contains abundant erratics and also reworked Cretaceous–Tertiary micro- and macrofossils within a silty clay matrix. The terrestrial origin of this till is shown by glacial striations at the base of the unit. The largest erratics (up to 3 m in diameter) are composed of plutonic (granitoids) and metamorphic (gneiss and crystalline schist) rocks of the Antarctic Peninsula provenance. Smaller in size and much more numerous are erratics of volcanic rocks, represented by andesite, basalt and corresponding pyroclastics of the James Ross Island Volcanic Group. Less common are erratics of sedimentary rocks, sometimes bearing fossils derived from the underlying Tertiary and Cretaceous strata. A few erratics from the top of the studied sequence are conglomerates of the Cockburn Island Formation with a foraminifer fauna. These are the youngest clasts within the Weddell Sea Formation. The presence of the Pliocene index fossil Ammoelphidiella antarctica Conato et Segre, 1974 indicates a lower age limit of latest Pliocene or earliest Pleistocene age. The upper age limit of the formation has not been established. An encrusting, unilamellar, colony of the bryozoan Escharella Gray, 1848 has been found on the one of erratics from the Weddell Sea Formation. This is the first fossil record of this genus in Antarctica.
An isolated, deciduous incisor of an archaic whale found in the upper part of the La Meseta Formation (Telm7) is tentatively assigned to the Archaeoceti. The strata from which the tooth was recovered are of Late Eocene (Priabonian) age, and previous reports indicate that they contain the remains of Dorudontinae (Archaeoceti) and Llanocetidae (Mysticeti). The tooth is similar in shape, size and ornamentation to the milk teeth of Zygorhiza. The enamel is mostly prismatic, with prism sheats generally open, except for the outermost layer, which is aprismatic. The Schmelzmuster consists of radial and decussating enamel types. The decussating zone has distinct Hunter-Schreger bands (HSB), usually consisting of 1012 prisms. It is bordered by an external zone built of radial enamel extending for 22% of the enamel thickness and an internal, starting zone, with less developed HSB, occupying 9% of the enamel thickness. The interprismatic matrix is parallel to the prism direction. An archaeocete origin of the tooth is suggested by its enamel features, typical for the group. However, additional study of the Llanocetidae enamel structure is needed for final identification.
Until now Eocene chimeroid holocephalians of Antarctica have been known from only a few specimens attributed to two species from the Eocene of Seymour Island. New material collected by Polish and English field parties includes numerous tooth plates and fin spine fragments from the Eocene La Meseta Formation. We describe a new species, Callorhinchus stahli, based on two mandibular and a single fragmentary palatine tooth plate. In addition, the stratigraphic distribution and diversity of Eocene Antarctic chimeroids is discussed. The chimeroid Ischyodus shows the greatest stratigraphic distribution with its greatest abundance in the middle parts of the La Meseta Formation while Chimaera and Callorhinchus are restricted to the lower ones. Changes in the environment and habitat availability most probably triggered the distributional pattern and the disappearance of chimeroids.
A topographic map 1:12,500 scale of the SSSI No. 8 and the Arctowski Station region was prepared during the XXV Polish Polar Expedition (2000/2001) organized by the Department of Antarctic Biology, Polish Academy of Sciences. The map documents geomorphological changes which took place during the last 20 years. Several new place names have been introduced for the SSSI No. 8 area.