Offshore Areas of Canadian Arctic Islands—Geology Based on Geophysical Data1
Published:January 01, 1973
Surface geologic exposures in the Arctic Islands are excellent. However, the sparse subsurface information from boreholes is limited to only a few of the islands.
Geology of the inter-island areas is speculative. Preliminary interpretations based on erosion and isostatic readjustments after the melting of the continental ice sheet may have to be revised after a review of geophysical data which now are becoming available. Block faulting with associated horst and graben development has become a conservative structural interpretation, whereas consideration of rift and drift hypotheses has gained popularity.
Recently obtained reconnaissance data indicate the possibility that an entirely different geologic section exists offshore. This conclusion is based on regional geophysical data obtained by government and industry. Magnetic and gravity surveys have covered much of the Arctic Archipelago. Seismic profiles in marine areas of the southern Arctic Islands indicate a wide range of large structures; refraction probes are useful in defining the velocity, and thus the possible geologic age, of these sedimentary units.
Figures & Tables
Following the discovery of Prudhoe Bay oil field in 1968, much attention was turned to the Arctic in the search for giant hydrocarbon accumulations. The Soviets had already proved giant reserves in their West Siberian Basin, and exploration was moving ahead quickly in the Canadian Arctic. Plans were drawn up for an AAPG Symposium on Arctic Geology and held in February 1971. Papers were selected from the Symposium for this publication and cover seven topical groupings: Regional Arctic Geology of Canada, Regional Arctic Geology of the Nordic Countries, Regional Arctic Geology of the USSR, Regional Arctic Geology of Alaska, Comparisons in the North Atlantic Borders, Evolution of the Arctic Ocean Basin, and Economics of Petroleum Exploration and Production in the Arctic.