The tectonothermal evolution of the Kirwanveggen-H.U. Sverdrupfjella areas, Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica

G. H. Grantham, C. Jackson, A. B. Moyes, P. B. Groenewald, P. D. Harris, G. Ferrar, J. R. Krynauw

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65 Citations (Scopus)


Three episodes of deformation spanning a period of ∼900 Ma are recognised. The first deformation at ∼ 1000 Ma involved progressive, yet distinct stages within a protracted, composite event involving recumbent folding, low-angle thrust faulting and locally, highly oblique, transpressive strike-slip shearing. These structures suggest tectonic transport from the south and southeast during D1. D2 at ∼500 Ma is variable in the different areas and involved thrust faults and folding with locally developed axial-planar foliations. The orientations of the fault planes and axial-planar structures suggest transport from the west and northwest in western Sverdrupfjella and from the southeast in Kirwanveggen. D3 involved normal faulting and jointing, adjacent and parallel to the Jutulstraumen Glacier in the west. The joints affect the alkaline complexes, some of which are Jurassic in age and consequently D3 is related to the breakup of Gondwana. Four phases of metamorphism, related to the deformation, are recognised. The dominant mineral assemblages M1-3 are typical of medium- to high-grade metamorphism. Discordant mafic intrusions provide evidence of a long history of metamorphism. Mafic nodules from the eastern part of the area contain high-pressure assemblages representing M1. Assemblages and textures indicate that M2 was related to isothermal decompression related to the uplift caused by thrust faulting during D1. The period between M2 and M3 appears to have involved annealing at mid-crustal levels. M3 mineral development is dominated by biotite which is oriented axial-planar to D2 folds. M4 assemblages are typically low-grade and involve hydrothermal alteration resulting in chloritisation and sausseritisation related to D3.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-229
Number of pages21
JournalPrecambrian Research
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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