Magnetotelluric investigation of the Vestfold Hills and Rauer Group, East Antarctica

J. R. Peacock*, K. Selway

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Vestfold Hills and Rauer Group in East Antarctica have contrasting Archean to Neoproterozoic geological histories and are believed to be juxtaposed along a suture zone that now lies beneath the Sorsdal Glacier. Exact location and age of this suture zone are unknown, as is its relationship to regional deformation associated with the amalgamation of East Gondwana. To image the suture zone, magnetotelluric (MT) data were collected in Prydz Bay, East Antarctica, mainly along a profile crossing the Sorsdal Glacier and regions inland of the Vestfold Hills and Rauer Group islands. Time-frequency analysis of the MT time series yielded three important observations: (1) Wind speeds in excess of similar to 8 m/s reduce coherence between electric and magnetic fields due to charged wind-blown particles of ice and snow. (2) Estimation of the MT transfer function is best between 1000 and 1400 UT when ionospheric Hall currents enhance the magnetic source field. (3) Nonplanar source field effects were minimal but detectable and removed from estimation of the MT transfer function. Inversions of MT data in 2-D and 3-D produce similar resistivity models, where structures in the preferred 3-D resistivity model correlate strongly with regional magnetic data. The electrically conductive Rauer Group is separated from the less conductive Vestfold Hills by a resistive zone under the Sorsdal Glacier, which is interpreted to be caused by oxidation during suturing. Though a suture zone has been imaged, no time constrains on suturing can be made from the MT data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2258-2273
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Volume121
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Antarctica
  • magnetotellurics
  • Rauer Group
  • suture
  • Vestfold Hills

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