This book is intended for Earth scientists who want to do fieldwork in the Transantarctic Mountains or who are interested in the geology of this region. The Transantarctic Mountains are relevant even from a global perspective because most of the rocks of which they are composed formed at a time when Antarctica was an integral part of the supercontinent of Gondwana, which subsequently broke apart during the Mesozoic Era to form the continents of the southern hemisphere.
The first two chapters summarize the history of exploration of Antarctica leading up to the signing of the Antarctic Treaty (Chapter 1) and describe the present environmental conditions including the ozone hole (Chapter 2). The geology of the Transantarctic Mountains is described in the next five chapters: Basement rocks (Chapter 3), Beacon Supergroup (Chapter 4), Ferrar Supergroup (Chapter 5), Break-up of Gondwana (Chapter 6), and McMurdo Volcanics (Chapter 7). The descriptions of the present state and past history of the East Antarctic ice sheet (Chapter 8) is followed by presentations of the glacial geomorphology and aqueous geochemistry of the ice-free areas of the Transantarctic Mountains (Chapter 9).
The book concludes with a review of the occurrence and relevance of the tens of thousands of meteorite specimens that have been recovered on the bare ice of the ablation areas of the East Antarctic ice sheet adjacent to the Transantarctic Mountains (Chapter 10). The ten chapters are each self-contained and include extensive lists of references and tables of relevant data in the form of appendices.