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Abstract

The Blue Dyke and Jardine Peak are subvertical hypabyssal intrusions cutting a stratiform volcanic sequence in the Admiralty Bay area on King George Island (South Shetlands, Antarctica ). The rocks are porphyritic, crystal-rich basaltic andesites. Tiny zircon crystals were used for single grain SHRIMP U-Pb dating. The mean ages calculated for the zircon populations from both intrusions indicates Late Oligocene (Chattian) formations. Zircon grains from the Blue Dyke gave the mean age of 27.9±0.3 Ma, whereas those from the Jardine Peak are slightly younger displaying the mean age of 25.4 ± 0.4 Ma: a Late Oligocene (Chattian) crystallization age the inferred of both these intrusions. These are much younger than previous Eocene K-Ar and Ar-Ar ages for such rocks and suggest that formation of the King George Island intrusions can be related to tectonic processes that accompanied the opening of the Drake Passage.
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