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


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  1. As site geologist at DVDP hole 3, P. Kyle was responsible with Dr. S.B. Treves (the Project Scientist) for logging and examining the core. DVDP 3 reached 381 m in depth and recovered 341.16 m of core. The rocks penetrated consisted of ten lava flow units and five pyroclastic units. The oldest unit, 214 m thick, is believed to be a hyaloclastite. The units were assigned to four rock types, which are from youngest to oldest: hawaiite, augite-kaersutite basalt, olivine-augite basalt and hyaloclastite. Detailed descriptions of the core and thin sections similar to that prepared for DVDP 1 and 2 (Treves and Kyle, 1973a) have been written up (Kyle and Treves, in press).
  2. Mt. Erebus was observed to be in a continuing state of activity similar to that reported last year (Giggenbach et al, 1973; Treves and Kyle, 1973b). Lava was observed flowing from a small vent into a partially frozen lava lake. Gas explosions in the crater were of a similar frequency but longer (6 - 25 seconds) in duration than those previously reported (Giggenbach et al, 1973).


Giggenbach, W.F., Kyle, P.R. and Lyon, G.L. 1973. Present volcanic activity on Mt. Erebus, Ross Island, Antarctica. Geology 1: 315-316.

Kyle, P.R. and Treves, S.B. 1974. Geology of DVDP 3, Hut Point Peninsula, Ross Island, Antarctica. Dry Valley Drilling Project Bulletin 3, in press.

Treves, S.B. and Kyle, P.R. 1973a. Geology of DVDP 1 and 2, Hut Point Peninsula, Ross Island, Antarctica. Dry Valley Drilling Project Bulletin 2: 11-82.

Treves, S.B. and Kyle, P.R. 1973b. Renewed volcanic activity of Mt. Erebus, Antarctica. Antarctic Jnl. Of U.S. VIII: 156.


The main objective of VUWAE 18B was to extend the study of the Mawson Breccia (Allis et al, 1973) both at Shapeless Mountain and at Allan Hills by:
(1)Detailed mapping of Shapeless Mountain;
(2)Mechanical analysis of randomly chosen square metres of breccia;
(3)Examination of the clastic dykes at Shapeless Mountain;
(4)Sampling for chemical analysis, dating, and palaeomagnetic study.

Because of unusually heavy snow cover, high winds, and sickness in the party, only five days were spent on geology at Shapeless, and none of the main objectives could be achieved. However, in the time page 11 spent at Vanda recuperating, alternative projects for Plume and Rowe were planned and these were worked on in January. At Plane Table sections were measured and sedimentary features described, while at Mount Jason ichnofossils were examined and described.


Allis, R., Crump J., Hunt, T., Keys, J., and Kyle, P. 1973. Immediate report of Victoria University of Wellington Antarctic Expedition 1972-73, Wellington, New Zealand. 39 pp.


  1. Detailed and systematic sampling of salt deposits and salt accumulations was performed in localities at: Shapeless Mountain, Lashly Mountains, Mt. Metschel, Alligator Peak, Beacon Valley and Rotunda.

    Further samples from various places in the Dry Valley region were collected by other members of the expedition and by members of other Events. Sincere thanks are extended to these people.

  2. The Salt Map of south Victoria Land (Keys, 1972; Allis et al, 1973) can be extended to these new localities which being geographically removed from the Dry Valley region will add a new dimension to the overall knowledge of salt distribution in the area.
  3. The Taylor Mineral Discharge (Keys et al, in prep.) was further examined and also several chemically similar mineral strata discovered on the Skelton Neve. A series of strata of similar form but containing different minerals were also discovered on the Skelton Neve and at Rotunda. Samples of the minerals and the ice host were taken for analysis and crystallographic study.


Allis, R., Crump, J., Hunt, T., Keys, J.R., Kyle, P.R. 1973. Immediate report of Victoria University of Wellington Antarctic Expedition 1972-73. Wellington, New Zealand. 39 pp.

Keys, J.R. 1972. A study of salt origin, distribution and weathering processes in the McMurdo Sound region, south Victoria Land, Antarctica. Unpublished MSc. Thesis, Victoria University of Wellington.

Keys, J.R., Johnston, J.H., Freeman, A.G. (in prep.). The origin and analysis of the Taylor Mineral Discharge, south Victoria Land, Antarctica.


  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).

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  1. Detailed sampling of Permian sandstones and siltstones for palynological study was carried out at Shapeless Mountain and the Lashly Mountains, which had both been previously visited and described by VUWAE parties (Barrett and Kohn, 1971; Askin et al, 1972). The microfloral assemblages from these samples will be compared with the Australian Permian palynological zonal scheme in order to set up a Permian-Triassic zonal scheme for the Victoria Group in south Victoria Land.
  2. Coal samples from the Permian coal-measures at Mt. Fleming and the Lashly Mountains were collected for analysis.
  3. The mode of occurrence of the coal beds and the nature of their associated sediments was studied in the above localities.
  4. Measurements of fossil plants (e.g. calamitid stems) were made at the above localities.


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