Article: Fossil forests from the Lower Cretaceous of Alexander Island, Antarctica
Timothy H. Jefferson
Fossil forests and forest floors have been found in the Lower Cretaceous part of the Fossil Bluff Formation in south-east Alexander Island, Antarctica. These grew at an apparent palaeolatitude of 65° to 75° S., within the Cretaceous polar circle. Analyses of the well-preserved growth patterns have yielded important information about periodicity of growth, and the effect of rapid burial on trees. Increments of annual growth were very variable and growth rates were high. These growth characteristics are very different from those of modern high-latitude trees. They compare most closely with some species of living trees growing in warm temperate areas with a long growing season. The palaeoclimatic information is apparently inconsistent with the high palaeolatitudes proposed in most existing palaeocontinental reconstructions.