Rifting and Volcanism on the Antarctic Peninsula

Project Description
[from NSF Award Abstract - #8817126,

The Bransfield, Prince Gustav, and Larsen Rifts form a unique triple
volcanic rift system that straddles the northern tip of the antarctic
Peninsula parallel to the South Shetland Trench and Island Arc. The
Bransfield Rift has created the Bransfield Strait back-arc basin that
separates the South Shetland Island Arc from the northwest tip of the
Antarctic Peninsula. This project includes a detailed geochemical and
petrological study of the volcanism produced in the earliest stages of
the rifting of an arc and the creation of a back-arc basin. All three
of the rifts in this system have produced Late Tertiary-Recent alkali
basalts that provide a unique opportunity to sample the chemistry of a
subduction contaminated mantle wedge. By analyzing the geochemistry,
petrology and isotopic signature of the recent, simultaneous
volcanisms in these three rifts. This project will be able to
constrain the chemical and spatial extent of chemical contamination of
a mantle wedge by a subducting lithospheric slab.