In order to reconstruct successively earlier configurations of lithosphère plates and their constituent parts, as related to the Barents shelf, a brief investigation of some possible past relations between Spitsbergen and the northwestern Eurasian plates, Greenland, the Canadian Arctic Islands, and the intervening seas and ocean basins is necessary.
Working backward in time, I have “reversed” the late Phanerozoic spreading of the Norwegian and Greenland Sea basins of the Atlantic Ocean and the Eurasia basin of the Arctic Ocean. The results are familiar reconstructions of Triassic-Permian paleogeology that show Spitsbergen adjacent to North Greenland and Ellesmere Island.
The restoration of Paleozoic displacements depends mainly on different interpretations of the Caledonian orogeny (especially the amount of closing and the amount of sinistral transcurrent movement involved). Relations between these structures, the North Greenland and Innuitian fold belts, the Lomonosov Ridge, and the Uralides, for instance, are critical.
Precambrian movements and the development of the North Atlantic geosyncline are related both to alternative models for a proto-Atlantic ocean basin and to late Precambrian diastrophism as variously inferred.
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.