Aeromagnetic and Radio Echo Ice-Sounding Measurements Show Much Greater Area of the Dufek Intrusion, Antarctica

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Science  29 Aug 1980:
Vol. 209, Issue 4460, pp. 1014-1017
DOI: 10.1126/science.209.4460.1014

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A combined aeromagnetic and radio echo ice-sounding survey made in 1978 in Antarctica over the Dufek layered mafic intrusion suggests a minimum area of the intrusion of about 50,000 square kilometers, making it comparable in size with the Bushveld Complex of Africa. Comparisons of the magnetic and subglacial topographic profiles illustrate the usefulness of this combination of methods in studying bedrock geology beneath ice-covered areas. Magnetic anomalies range in peak-to-through amplitude from about 50 nanoteslas over the lowermost exposed portion of the section in the Dufek Massif to about 3600 nanoteslas over the uppermost part of the section in the Forrestal Range. Theoretical magnetic anomalies, computed from a model based on the subice topography fitted to the highest amplitude observed magnetic anomalies, required normal and reversed magnetizations ranging from 10-3 to 10-2 electromagnetic units per cubic centimeter. This result is interpreted as indicating that the Dufek intrusion cooled through the Curie isotherm during one or more reversals of the earth's magnetic field.