The formation of Castle Rock, Hut Point Peninsular, Antarctica
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree LevelPostgraduate Certificate
Degree NamePostgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies
Castle Rock is situated on Hut Point Peninsula, Ross Island and stands as a steep sided, flat topped monolith 413m above sea level. This distinct shape predominately built from hyaloclastite sequences closely resembles those subglacial volcanoes of Iceland and the Antarctic Peninsula. This study looks into volcanic and sedimentary processes associated with Castle Rock formation in determining possible conditions and stages under which this subglacial eruption formed. It is found that glacier confinement plays a large role in building such a steep sided structure. Structural indicators show periods of rapid and stable glacial melting at each stage of volcanism. Temperature dependant hyaloclastites correlate with these trends and palagonite alteration can be a measure of the amount of available melt water at each stage. This type of formation can be seen as a primary source of information in understanding and characterising paleoenvironemnets in Antarctica.