By Daniela Liggett, Bryan Storey, Yvonne Cook, Veronika Meduna
This multi-disciplinary ebook will cater to scholars and people who are looking to have a extra severe glance behind the curtain of Antarctic technological know-how. This ebook will take a platforms method of delivering insights into Antarctic ecosystems and the geophysical setting. extra, the ebook will hyperlink those insights to a dialogue of present matters, akin to weather swap, bio prospecting, environmental administration and Antarctic politics. it will likely be written and edited by means of skilled Antarctic researchers and scientists from a variety of disciplines. educational references may be integrated if you happen to desire to delve deeper into the themes mentioned within the book.
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Additional resources for Exploring the Last Continent: An Introduction to Antarctica
Evidence of the geological processes acting on the continent is preserved in the many different types of rock in Antarctica. The rocks tell a complex tale of a continent that has experienced a wide range of climates, seen a variety of life forms and hosted mountain ranges that are now completely eroded away. Although exposed rocks are rare in Antarctica, their diversity provides enough information to chart the continent’s history from one of the oldest rocks found on Earth to the present day. 1 Reading Rocks When a search party discovered Captain Scott’s ﬁnal tent in November 1912, some 8 months after he and his four companions had perished on their return journey from the South Pole, they found meteorological logs, diaries, letters, rolls of ﬁlm and 16 kg of fossil-bearing rocks.
2: Igneous Rocks (Fig. 2) The word igneous comes from the Latin word ignis for ﬁre. Igneous rocks are derived from magma, molten rock that forms in the extreme heat in the inner Earth. The magma gradually makes its way towards the surface where it erupts from a ﬁssure or vent and forms a volcano. If it reaches the Earth’s surface, for example as a lava ﬂow, it cools quickly and forms an igneous rock with small crystals, such as basalt. If it doesn’t, it cools and hardens slowly, forming an igneous rock with large crystals, such as granite.
3) Metamorphic rocks are formed from any pre-existing rock that has been forced below Earth’s surface, where high temperatures and pressures caused it to change structure and composition. A combination of the original rock type and the temperature and pressure reached during metamorphism determines the ﬁnal metamorphic rock type and gives an indication of the tectonic environment. Schist and marble are examples of metamorphic rocks. Fig. 3 The granite gneiss at Haag Nunataks is typical of many of the metamorphic basement rocks in East Antarctica (© Bryan Storey) Rocks in Antarctica tell a tale of a continent that has experienced a wide range of climates, has seen a variety of life forms and has hosted mountain ranges that are now completely eroded away.