PetroChron Antarctica: A geological database for interdisciplinary use

We present PetroChron Antarctica, a new relational database including petrological, geochemical and geochronological datasets along with computed rock properties from geological samples across Antarctica. The database contains whole-rock geochemistry with major/trace element and isotope analyses, geochronology from multiple isotopic systems and minerals for given samples, as well as an internally consistent rock classification based on chemical analysis and derived rock properties (i.e., chemical indices, density, p-velocity and heat production). A broad range of meta-information such as geographic location, petrology, mineralogy, age statistics and significance are also included and can be used to filter and assess the quality of the data. Currently, the database contains 11,559 entries representing 10,056 unique samples with varying amounts of geochemical and geochronological data. The distribution of rock types is dominated by mafic (36%) and felsic (33%) compositions, followed by intermediate (22%) and ultramafic (9%) compositions. Maps of age distribution and isotopic composition highlight major episodes of tectonic and thermal activity that define well known crustal heterogeneities across the continent, with the oldest rocks preserved in East Antarctica and more juvenile lithosphere characterizing West Antarctica. PetroChron Antarctica allows spatial and temporal variations in geology to be explored at the continental scale and integrated with other Earth-cryosphere-biosphere-ocean datasets. As such, it provides a powerful resource ready for diverse applications including plate tectonic reconstructions, geological/geophysical maps, geothermal heat flow models, lithospheric and glacial isostasy, geomorphology, ice sheet reconstructions, biodiversity evolution, and oceanography.


Publication status:
Authors: Sanchez, G., Halpin, J.A., Gard, M., Hasterok, D., Stål, T., Raimondo, T., Peters, S., Burton-Johnson, A. ORCIDORCID record for A. Burton-Johnson

On this site: Alex Burton-Johnson
16 December, 2021
Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems / 22
Link to published article: