Much work has been done in the last decade toward setting up a worldwide stratigraphic scale based on zonal subdivisions. The outlook for resolving the remaining problems regarding such a worldwide scale is optimistic for the warm-water belt; however, the cold-water Arctic and Antarctic areas present greater difficulties. The erroneous assumption is commonly made that sections in cold-water basins can be dated on the basis of concomitance of definite species of certain genera in subtropical sections. Little is known about rates of evolution for particular groups in various regions. Disagreement exists on the necessity of working out independent zonal scales for Arctic regions. Such scales obviously have merit; however, it might be wise to use a local zonal scale for geologic maps, where a single scale is required, in conjunction with a system of indices indicating the degree of precision with which a certain division is isolated.
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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.