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Victoria University Antarctic Research Expedition Science and Logistics Reports 1980-81: VUWAE 25



Four scientific projects were submitted by Victoria University of Wellington Antarctic Research Centre to RDRC. These projects were approved and passed to Antarctic Division for logistic support where minor modifications were incorporated. The modified programmes are detailed below:

A. McMurdo Sound Sediment Studies - fauna and flora.

The purpose is to collect further sediment samples from the floor of McMurdo Sound in various places so that sediment type and faunal content can be related to present day geography. The coast at New Harbour will also be examined for the sediment and the modern flora. This project continues work on sediments in McMurdo Sound, carried out by VUWAE 23 in 1978, and begins a Ph.D. programme that will concentrate on the Sound's benthic fauna, in particular foraminifera. Foraminifera are sensitive to a wide range of pollutants and "baseline" information on their present distribution may well be useful to help assess environmental impact in the future.

A sea ice-based seismic refraction programme will also be undertaken "off shore" at Butter Point in conjunction with the sediment sampling party. The gravity anomaly found during the MSSTS drilling programme last season (1979-80) will be investigated by seismic refraction and correlated with previous shipboard seismic profiling in the area.

B. Beacon Studies.

The purpose is to sample key strata and rock types for magnetic measurements to determine ancient pole positions. Measurements of samples from the 1978-79 season show that meaningful results can come only from a few rock types, and more samples are now needed.

The Permian coal measure sequence in the Lashly Mountains will be investigated to correlate with the work done during the previous two seasons further north.

C. Basement Studies.

The area between the Miers and Garwood Valleys will be mapped to determine the relationship between basement intrusive and metamorphic rocks. Detailed studies will include the chemical and petrological investigation of the granitic intrusives and specifically the relationship between a granite pluton and the enclosing metamorphic rocks.

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D. Erebus Studies.

The purpose is to extend the information base for seismic audio and magnetic studies at Erebus Crater. Dr. Dibble will join an international team of scientists for the International Mount Erebus seismic Survey, which will this year begin a three year programme of carefully organised data collection and analysis.