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Thorn, Vanessa C (2001): Distribution of phytolithes in CRP sediment cores from the Ross Sea, Antarctica. PANGAEA,, Supplement to: Thorn, VC (2001): Oligocene and early Miocene phytolits from CRP-2/2A and CRP-3, Victoria Land Basin, Antarctica. Terra Antartica, 8(4), 407-422, hdl:10013/epic.28231.d001

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Phytoliths (siliceous plant microfossils) have been recovered from Cenozoic sediments (c. 34 to 17 Ma) in the CRP-2/2A and CRP-3 drillholes cored off Cape Roberts, Victoria Land Basin, Antarctica. The phytolith assemblages are sparse, but well-preserved and dominated by spherical forms similar to those of modern trees or shrubs. Rare phytoliths comparable to modern grass forms are also present. However, due to the paucity of phytolith data, any interpretations made are necessarily tentative. The assemblages of CRP-2/2A and the upper c. 250 m of CRP-3 are interpreted as representing a predominantly woody vegetation, including Nothofagus and Libocedrus with local areas of grass in the more exposed locations. A cool climate is interpreted to have prevailed throughout both cores. However, beneath c. 250 metres below sea floor in CRP-3, the dominant woody vegetation is supplemented by pockets of Palmae, ?Proteaceae and 'warm' climate grasses. This association represents vegetation growth in sheltered, moist sites – possibly north-facing mid-slopes or the coastal fringe. It may also represent remnant vegetation that grew in moist, temperate conditions during the Middle to Late Eocene, previously interpreted from the Southern McMurdo Sound erratics and lower part of the CIROS-1 drillhole. The phytolith analysis compares well to the terrestrial palynomorph record from both cores and provides additional independent taxonomic and climatic interpretations.
Median Latitude: -77.005990 * Median Longitude: 163.719225 * South-bound Latitude: -77.006000 * West-bound Longitude: 163.719000 * North-bound Latitude: -77.005980 * East-bound Longitude: 163.719450
Date/Time Start: 1998-10-16T07:30:00 * Date/Time End: 1999-11-19T00:00:00
CRP-2A (14.2 km at 096° true from Cape Roberts) * Latitude: -77.005980 * Longitude: 163.719450 * Date/Time Start: 1998-10-16T07:30:00 * Date/Time End: 1998-11-25T14:20:00 * Elevation: -177.9 m * Recovery: 624 m * Location: off Cape Roberts, Ross Sea, Antarctica * Campaign: CRP-2 * Basis: Sampling/drilling from ice * Device: Core wireline system (CWS) * Comment: 921 m at 284° from CRP-1. Sea-ice thickness: 2.0 m (1 Oct) to 2.2 m (23 Nov). Sea riser embedded to 13.03 mbsf. Lateral ice movement: 9.87 m to east from 17 Oct to 23 Nov. HQ core to 199.31 mbsf. NQ core to 624.15 mbsf. 13.03 to 45.97 mbsf, 11.29 m (34%) partially following CRP-2. 45.07 to 624.15 mbsf, 548.67 m (95%) new hole. Deepest core-lithology: hard sandy siltstone. Deepest core-age: earliest Oligocene (ca. 33 Ma on diatoms, nannofossils and dinoflagellates)
CRP-3 * Latitude: -77.006000 * Longitude: 163.719000 * Date/Time Start: 1999-10-09T00:00:00 * Date/Time End: 1999-11-19T00:00:00 * Elevation: -295.0 m * Penetration: 939 m * Recovery: 936 m * Location: Ross Sea * Campaign: CRP-3 * Basis: Sampling/drilling from ice * Device: Core wireline system (CWS) * Comment: 11.76 km at 76° true from Cape Roberts, 2.04 km at 225° true from CRP-2. Fast ice thickness: 2.0 to 2.2 m. Sea rise embedded to 9.55 mbsf. Lateral ice movement from spudding 5.0 m to 82° true. HQ core to 345.85 mbsf. NQ core to 939.42 mbsf. Core recovery 97%. Phase 1 logging to 345 mbsf, Phase 2 logging to 773 mbsf, Phase 3 logging to 918 mbsf. Deepest Cenozoic lithology and depth: sandstone breccia from 822.87 to 823.11 mbsf. Age of oldest Cenozoic strata: earliest Oligocene or latest Eocene. Deepest core lithology and depth: light red-brown quartz-cemented quartz sandstone to 939.42 mbsf. Age of bedrock: (mid?) Devonian.
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