Aeromagnetic Evidence for Origin of Arctic Ocean Basin1
Published:January 01, 1973
Abstract Aeromagnetic data have been used as a basis for making inferences about the geologic structure and evolution of the Arctic Ocean basin. The Alpha and Nan-sen ridges produce magnetic profiles which show axial symmetry and appear to correlate with profiles from the flanks of other well-documented ridges in the Greenland and Norwegian Seas. A quantitative attempt has been made to verify these correlations, which infer that the Alpha Cordillera became inactive 40 m.y. ago, when the locus of rifting shifted to the Nansen Ridge. The lack of magnetic disturbance associated with the Lomonosov Ridge is interpreted to indicate a section of the former Eurasian continental margin that was translated into the Arctic basin by sea-floor spreading along the Nansen Ridge axis. Within the Canada basin there is a thickening of sedimentary rocks from the Asian continental margin toward the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Thickness of the sedimentary sequence in the Makarov basin is estimated to be approximately 1 km—almost twice that of the younger Fram basin.
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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.