Borissova, Irina (2001): Kerguelen Plateau; a new look at its basins

ODP 120
ODP 183
ODP 183 1137
ODP 120 748
ODP 120 750

Borissova, Irina

Kerguelen Plateau; a new look at its basins
Aus Geo News
Australian Geological Survey Organisation, Canberra, A.C.T., Australia
The Southern Ocean contains one of the largest submarine plateaus in the world: the Kerguelen Plateau, located near the Antarctic margin. Two surveys to the southern part of this plateau and the Labuan Basin were made by AGSO in 1997. More than 4600 kilometers of high resolution deep seismic data were collected. Information on geological and geophysical information were integrated. Recent ODP drilling results were included. The Kerguelen Plateau uncovers an amazing history from the Cretaceous to the present. Edifices were built up by oceanic volcanic activity, edifices that eventually stood above sea level. The new volcanic islands were colonized by plates which started out as tree ferns followed by a climax community of podocarp forest caused by mild, wet climate of the mid-Cretaceous era. ODP drilling indicated that the plateau is underlain mostly by magmatic crust produced in the Barremian Cenomanian (119-95 Ma) by excessive volcanism apparently caused by large hotspots. A more significant involvement than previously thought of continental crust in the foundations of the plateau was indicated using geochemical evidence implicated by the existence of continental lithosphere under the southern part of the plateau. The basins of the Kerguelen Plateau could possibly be a source of petroleum. The thickness of sediment in the plateau may indicate hydrocarbon production, particularly in the Labuan Basin. Reasons exist for the presence of organic rich rocks, but reservoir quality remains a basic problem on a LIP. Neither direct nor indirect indicators of hydrocarbons exist from the deep water Labuan Basin. It is speculative that there is sufficient petroleum for production. However, one positive indicator has been noted seismically: a bottom-simulating reflector that may indicate the presence of gas hydrates. Because the Kerguelen Plateau is located in deep and remote waters that experience severe weather, and its location is near Antarctica, it is not clear that petroleum exploration would be feasible and is ranked poorly in terms of future hydrocarbon exploration around Antarctica.
Coverage:Geographic coordinates:
West:62.0000East: 80.0000

Oceanography; Antarctica; basins; Cenozoic; climate; continental crust; continental shelf; Cretaceous; crust; current research; deep-sea environment; depositional environment; drilling; eruptions; faults; geophysical surveys; high-resolution methods; hot spots; ice; igneous rocks; Kerguelen Plateau; landform evolution; lava flows; Leg 120; Leg 183; lithosphere; magmas; marine environment; marine geology; Mesozoic; metamorphic rocks; microfossils; Ocean Drilling Program; ODP Site 1137; ODP Site 748; ODP Site 750; petroleum; plate tectonics; plateaus; sedimentary rocks; sediments; seismicity; Southern Ocean; submarine environment; surveys; tectonics; volcanoes;