Recent oceanographic data from the relatively unknown part of the North Polar Sea off the northwestern part of the North American continent suggest that this is part of a sedimentary province extending from the Canadian Archipelago to Novaya Zemlya.
Mud covers the slope and most of the shelf. On the shelf the sediments are poorly sorted and in many places contain large amounts of sand or stones. With increasing depth and distance from shore, the sediments become better sorted and average grain size decreases.
The muds of this region contain amounts of decomposable organic matter which are slightly smaller than the average for terrigenous muds elsewhere in the world. The sediments appear to be highly oxidized in spite of what may be a fairly rapid rate of deposition.
Sedimentation is strongly affected by the physical environment. Ice is an important factor in inhibiting wave action throughout most of the year and in transportation of sediment. Physical and chemical conditions in the water apparently permit oxidation of most oxidizable organic material in the water before it reaches the bottom. Thus the sediments are abnormally low in organic carbon, despite a high organic production during the growing season.