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By Bill St. John

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Additional resources for Antarctica As an Exploration Frontier - Hydrocarbon Potential, Geology, and Hazards (AAPG Studies in Geology 31)

Example text

Typically, the inner shelf is the deepest part of the conti­ nental shelf (Figure 2), reflecting the combined effects of glacial erosion and isostasy. Glacial erosion is focused pri­ marily on the inner shelf and close to larger glacial drainage systems. , 1990) all reveal direct evi­ dence of glacial erosion of several hundred meters of strata from the continental margin. A seismic reflection profile from the Antarctic Peninsula shelf provides an example of the foredeepened topography and multiple glacial erosional surfaces typically found on the Antarctic shelf (Figure 2).

Since the shelf was deepened by glacial erosion during lowstands, it is unlikely that highstand deposits ever prograded beyond the relict shelf edge, so there was little deposition of terrigenous material in the deep basin during highstands. However, each successive major glacial advance eroded the shelf and redeposited shelf sediments as lowstand turbidites on the basin floor. Glacial Maximum/Lowstand Systems Tract The modern setting represents only a small portion of a complete sedimentary cycle.

1983). In general, there is little indication of surface faulting or gas seeps on the Antarctic sea floor, with the exception of Bransfield Basin. This basin comprises the only large basin subject to seismic activity (the smaller McMurdo Sound in the Ross Sea is the only other basin, Figure 1 ) . Seismic records from Bransfield Basin show features that imply gas seeps and/ or the occurrence of shallow gas (Figure 18). Reports of thermogenic gases and higher hydrocarbons recovered from the area support the seismic interpretation of gas-related features (Han, 1988).

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