Synopsis top ↑
The crust of central Dronning Maud Land is composed of late Mesoproterozoic metavolcanic and metasedimentary rock sequences which experienced Grenville deformation and metamorphism. Coevally, metaplutonic rocks formed to an unknown extent. These late Mesoproterozoic rocks were pervasively reactivated during the PanAfrican events, almost completely obliterating the Grenville structures. Additionally, during the Pan-African events (600-500 Ma) the metamorphic crust in central Dronning Maud Land was intruded by a huge amount of igneous rock as discordant plutons ranging in composition from anorthosite to granite/syenite, some of which may now be metaplutonic rocks.
The mountains and nunataks of central Dronning Maud Land (cDML) were discovered by the air-borne German Schwabenland expedition in 1939. R. Schirmacher in a "Dornier" fixed-wing aircraft in the early afternoon of February 3 flew over an area of many ponds (originally named Schirmacher Seenplatte [Schirmacher Lake District], now Schirmacheroase [Schirmacher Oasis]). In his flight book he wrote: "Stützpunkt für spätere Landexpedition?" (Base for a later ground-based expedition?). Starting with the International Geophysical Year in 1959, the region of cDML has been of interest for geological and geophysical field research during Soviet Antarctic expeditions or for round-year observation programs. East German (GDR) scientists joined the Soviet team in 1976 and a geological program was started in 1983. In Potsdam, at the end of the eighties (1988/89) the GDR Antarctic committee planned a geoscientific expedition to cDML (already using the acronym GeoMaud) for the beginning of the nineties. After German unification in 1990, East German scientific institutions were completely reorganized. However, in contrast to other scientific projects, the East German polar research program was preserved. The East German geologists could join the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR, Hannover), which began conducting geological expeditions in the 1980s. The BGR research program was modified to include the planned GeoMaud program. During a planning meeting of the German Polar Research community at the end of 1991, BGR announced plans for the GeoMaud expedition during the 1995/96 season. Hence, the expedition was conducted under much better logistic conditions than would have been previously. The program objectives covered a wide spectrum of geoscientific disciplines. Most of the objectives were successfully fulfilled. Only, the planned offshore-onshore deep seismic soundings could not conducted due to heavy ice conditions. However, a multichannel seismic survey was conducted across Astrid Ridge off cDML.
The results presented in this volume fill gaps in the knowledge of the geological structure and history of cDML and thus find interest in the Antarctic research community.