Volcanic Stratigraphy of Hannah Point, Livingston Island, South Shetland Islands, Antarctica



The Upper Cretaceous volcanic succession of Hannah Point is the best exposure of the Antarctic Peninsula Volcanic Group on Livingston Island. The aim of the present paper is to contribute to the characterisation of the stratigraphy and petrography of this little studied succession, and briefly discuss some aspects of the eruptive style of its volcanism. The succession is about 470 m thick and is here subdivided into five lithostratigraphic units (A to E from base to top). Unit A, approximately 120 m thick, is mainly composed of polymict clast-supported volcaniclastic breccias and also includes a dacitic lava laye r. Interstratified in the breccias of this unit, there is a thin laminated devitrified layer which shows some degree of welding. Unit B, approximately 70 m thick, is almost entirely composed of volcaniclastic breccias, and includes a volcaniclastic conglomerate layer. Breccias in this unit can be subdivided into two distinct types; polymict clast-supported breccias, and monomict matrix-supported breccias rich in juvenile components and displaying incipient welding. Unit C, about 65 m thick, is mainly composed of basaltic lavas, which are interlayered with minor volcaniclastic breccias. Unit D, approximately 65 m thick, is lithologically similar to unit B, composed of an alternation of polymict clasts upported breccias and matrix-supported breccias, and includes a volcaniclastic conglomerate layer. Unit E, about 150 m thick, is mainly formed of thick andesitic lava layers. Minor basaltic dykes and a few normal faults cut the succession, and the contact between units A and B can be interpreted both as an unconformity or a fault. The matrix-supported breccias included in the succession of Hannah Point have high contents of juvenile components and incipient welding, which suggest that part of the succession is the result of pyroclastic fragmentation and emplacement from pyroclastic flows. In contrast, the polymict clast-supported breccias suggest reworking of previous deposits and deposition from cool mass flows. The lavas indicate effusive volcanic eruptions, and the absence of features indicative of subaqueous volcanism suggests that at least these portions of the succession were emplaced in a subaerial environment.

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