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Victoria University Antarctic Research Expedition Science and Logistics Reports 1973-74: VUWAE 18



  1. Sections of Aztec Siltstone at Mt. Metschel and in the Alligator Peak area which had been visited in 1970-71 (Askin et al, 1971; Barrett et al, 1971; Barrett and Kohn, 1971) were re-examined and sampled on a very detailed scale for further petrographic and page 12 chemical analysis. Careful observation was made of specific sedimentological phenomena, e.g. nodules, intraformational conglomerates, mudcracks, and ripple marks. The relationships between colour of beds and sedimentary features, e.g. burrows and vein networks, and the changes in bedding characteristics in both vertical and lateral directions were also studied. Units considered to be fossil soil horizons (Barrett et al, 1971; McPherson, 1973) were studied and photographed, and were sampled in both vertical and horizontal directions for changes in chemical composition indicative of former soil processes.
  2. Sections of Aztec Siltstone visited by previous VUWAE parties (Askin et al, 1972; Barrett and Webb, 1973) but not by the author, were examined in the same detail as the others. These were at Shapeless Mountain, Mt. Fleming, the Lashly Mountains, and Aztec Mountain.
  3. Further red beds from formations lower in the Taylor Group were examined and sampled at Rotunda. They were found to differ considerably from those of the Aztec Siltstone.
  4. suitable massive units of the Aztec Siltstone were selected for paleomagnetic sampling. Orientated drill sampling was attempted, but failed due to the highly fractured and friable nature of the siltstones. Bulk orientated samples were taken instead, but even these were difficult to remove in suitably large pieces.


Askin, R.A., Barrett, P.J., Kyle, P.R., Laird, M. 1972. Immediate Report of Victoria University of Wellington Antarctic Expedition 1971-72. Wellington, New Zealand. 37 pp.

Barrett, P.J., Kohn, B.P., Askin, R.A., and McPherson, J.G. 1971. Preliminary report on Beacon Supergroup Studies between the Hatherton and Mackay Glaciers, Antarctica. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, Vol. 14, No. 3, 1971.

Barrett, P.J. and Kohn, B.P., 1971. Immediate report of Victoria University of Wellington Antarctic Expedition 1970-71. Wellington, New Zealand. 33 pp.

Barrett, P.J. and Webb, P.N. 1973. Stratigraphic Sections of the Beacon Supergroup (Devonian and Older (?) to Jurassic) in South Victoria Land. Antarctic Data Series No. 3. Publication of Geology Department, Victoria University of Wellington.

McPherson, J.G. 1973. Stratigraphy and petrology of the Aztec Siltstone, south Victoria Land, Antarctica. Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science, 45th congress, Perth (Abstracts).