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40Ar–39Ar dating of volcanogenic products from the AND-2A core (ANDRILL Southern McMurdo Sound Project, Antarctica): correlations with the Erebus Volcanic Province and implications for the age model of the core


The AND-2A drillcore (Antarctic Drilling Program—ANDRILL) was successfully completed in late 2007 on the Antarctic continental margin (Southern McMurdo Sound, Ross Sea) with the aim of tracking ice proximal to shallow marine environmental fluctuations and to document the 20-Ma evolution of the Erebus Volcanic Province. Lava clasts and tephra layers from the AND-2A drillcore were investigated from a petrographic and stratigraphic point of view and analyzed by the 40Ar–39Ar laser technique in order to constrain the age model of the core and to gain information on the style and nature of sediment deposition in the Victoria Land Basin since Early Miocene. Ten out of 17 samples yielded statistically robust 40Ar–39Ar ages, indicating that the AND-2A drillcore recovered ≤230 m of Middle Miocene (∼128–358 m below sea floor, ∼11.5–16.0 Ma) and >780 m of Early Miocene (∼358–1093 m below sea floor, ∼16.0–20.1 Ma). Results also highlight a nearly continuous stratigraphic record from at least 358 m below sea floor down hole, characterized by a mean sedimentation rate of ∼19 cm/ka, possible oscillations of no more than a few hundreds of ka and a break within ∼17.5–18.1 Ma. Comparison with available data from volcanic deposits on land, suggests that volcanic rocks within the AND-2A core were supplied from the south, possibly with source areas closer to the drill site for the upper core levels, and from 358 m below sea floor down hole, with the “proto-Mount Morning” as the main source.

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The journal reviews of S. Hemming and W. LeMasurier and the editorial handling by M.A. Clynne are gratefully acknowledged. G.D.V. is indebted to W. McIntosh, who kindly provided the fluence monitor Fish Canyon sanidine. The ANDRILL Program is a multinational collaboration between the Antarctic programs of Germany, Italy, New Zealand, and USA. Antarctica New Zealand is the project operator and developed the drilling system in collaboration with Alex Pyne at Victoria University of Wellington and Webster Drilling and Exploration Ltd. Antarctica New Zealand supported the drilling team at Scott Base; Raytheon Polar Services Corporation supported the science team at McMurdo Station and the Crary Science and Engineering Centre. The ANDRILL Science Management Office at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln provided science planning and operational support. Scientific studies are jointly supported by the US National Science Foundation (NSF), NZ Foundation for Research, Science and Technology (FRST), the Italian Antarctic Research Program (PNRA), the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) for Polar and Marine Research. The Ar–Ar laserprobe facility was funded by the PNRA and the CO2 laser system by the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche.

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Correspondence to Gianfranco Di Vincenzo.

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Editorial responsibility: M.A. Clynne

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Di Vincenzo, G., Bracciali, L., Del Carlo, P. et al. 40Ar–39Ar dating of volcanogenic products from the AND-2A core (ANDRILL Southern McMurdo Sound Project, Antarctica): correlations with the Erebus Volcanic Province and implications for the age model of the core. Bull Volcanol 72, 487–505 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00445-009-0337-z

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  • 40Ar–39Ar geochronology
  • Erebus volcanic province
  • McMurdo Sound
  • Lava clasts
  • Sedimentation rate
  • Tephra layers
  • Victoria Land Basin