Central volcanoes as sources for the Antarctic Peninsula Volcanic Group
From at least the Early Jurassic to the Miocene, eastward subduction of oceanic crust took place beneath the Antarctic Peninsula. Magmatism associated with the subduction generated a N-S linear belt of volcanic rocks known as the Antarctic Peninsula Volcanic Group (APVG), and which erosion has now exposed at about the plutonic/volcanic interface. Large central volcanoes from the APVG are described here for the first time. The structures are situated in north-west Palmer Land within the main Mesozoic magmatic arc. One centre, Zonda Towers, is recognized by the presence of a 160 m thick silicic ignimbrite, containing accidental lava blocks up to 25 m in diameter. This megabreccia is interpreted as a caldera-fill deposit which formed by land sliding of steep caldera walls during ignimbrite eruption and deposition. A larger centre, Mount Edgell-Wright Spires, is dominated by coarse-grained debris flow deposits and silicic ignimbrites which, with minor lavas and fine-grained tuffs, form a volcanic succession some 1.5 km thick. Basic intermediate and silicic sills c. 50 m thick intrude the succession. A central gabbro-granite intrusion is interpreted to be a high-level magma chamber of the Mount Edgell volcano.