The South Chukchi Sedimentary Basin (Chukchi Sea, Russian Arctic): Age, Structural Pattern, and Hydrocarbon Potential
Vladimir E. Verzhbitsky, Sergey D. Sokolov, Marianna I. Tuchkova, Erling M. Frantzen, Alice Little, Leopold I. Lobkovsky, 2013. "The South Chukchi Sedimentary Basin (Chukchi Sea, Russian Arctic): Age, Structural Pattern, and Hydrocarbon Potential", Tectonics and Sedimentation: Implications for Petroleum Systems, Dengliang Gao
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The South Chukchi Basin separates the late Mesozoic Chukotka Fold Belt from the Wrangel Arch and represents the northwestern continuation of the Hope Basin of the United States sector of the Chukchi Sea, which is filled with middle Eocene–Quaternary nonmarine, marine, and lacustrine rocks. The main stages of South Chukchi Basin development in the Cenozoic are comparable to those of the Hope Basin, although the analysis of onshore data from Chukotka and Wrangel Island points to the beginning of sedimentation during the Aptian–Albian–Late Cretaceous. In the South Chukchi Basin, the sediment thickness seldom exceeds 3 to 4 km (1.9–2.5 mi)but can locally reach 5to 6 km(3.1–3.7 mi).The geometry of the faults indicates an extensional and/or transtensional setting for the South Chukchi Basin, although folds, reverse and thrust faults, pop-up and positive flower structures also occur, pointing to the local development of compressional and transpressional stress. Low-angle thrust faults predating the Aptian(?)–Paleogene extension (most likely of Late Jurassic–Neocomian age) are recognized at the base of the South Chukchi Basin. This could support the idea that the extension in the basin was driven by gravitational collapse of the Wrangel-Herald-Lisburne fold and thrust belt in the post-Neocomian. Based on the interpretation of new seismic data and analysis of published material, we believe that the hydrocarbon potential of the South Chukchi Basin may be significantly higher than what has been previously suggested.