Ashok K. Srivastava, Pravin S. Ingle, Harihar S. Lunge and Neloy Khare
Sediment samples have been collected from the Schirmacher Oasis and adjoining area in East Antarctica; these areas consist of polar ice, ice-free area, lakes and the coastal shelf area. The 37 samples have been analysed for their grain-size parameters and statistical relationships. The oasis is characterised by ongoing glacial processes, including deposition and erosion of the sediments by ice, meltwater and winds, thus influencing the sediments in various ways. Basic statistical grain-size parameters like graphic mean, standard deviation, skewness and kurtosis have been calculated for the four units. The sediments of all areas are almost all poorly to very poorly sorted, fine-skewed to near-symmetrical and platykurtic to leptokurtic in nature. Bivariate plots between the grain-size parameters have been interpreted. They do, apart from a few exceptions, not show any trend suggesting relationships between the sediments of the four landscape types. Both t- and F-tests have been applied on the samples, and the phi values and grain-size parameters have been analysed; these show that the group variances of the samples are not significant, but that the phi-values are significant.
A 47 cm long sediment core collected from an inland lake of the Vestfold Hills, East Antarctica has been examined to reconstruct the palaeolacustrine environmental changes. The core shows dates at two core intervals of 18-19 cm and 28-29 cm as 5050±98 yrs BP and 5560±96 yrs BP, respectively. The core exhibits a good amount of diatom population throughout the length. Prior to 5560±96 yrs BP, the core shows high abundance of diatom population (>10×107 g-1) along with sufficient salt crystal, which indicates the connection of this lake with the marine environment. From 5560±96 yrs BP to 5050±98 yrs BP the total number diatoms decreased substantially along with the decrease in salt crystal, which indicates the withdrawal of the marine influence from the lake during that period. From 5050±98 yrs BP to Recent, the low number of diatoms and the rare occurrence of salt crystal suggest that the lake remained mostly detached from the sea during the last 5000 yrs.