Palaeogeographic and tectonic evolution of the Arctic region during the Palaeozoic
Lawrence A. Lawver, Lisa M. Gahagan, Ian Norton, 2011. "Palaeogeographic and tectonic evolution of the Arctic region during the Palaeozoic", Arctic Petroleum Geology, Anthony M. Spencer, Ashton F. Embry, Donald L. Gautier, Antonina V. Stoupakova, Kai Sørensen
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The Palaeozoic motion of the future Arctic continents is presented in the animation found in the accompanying CD-ROM. The animation shows snapshots of the motion of the tectonic blocks from 550 to 250 Ma in 3 million year steps. The locations of the blocks are controlled mainly by palaeomagnetic pole values for the blocks tied to known geological events, particularly the three main Arctic orogenies: the Scandian Caledonian which began in the Silurian, the Ellesmerian in the Late Devonian and the Uralian that began in the Late Pennsylvanian. Perhaps the most significant observation to come out of the animation is that the future Arctic continents were never very far from one another during the Palaeozoic. The maximum distance from Baltica to Laurentia may have reached 6000 km during the Middle Cambrian but the Arctic continents all surrounded the same eastern Iapetus Ocean and, by Silurian, they were quite close. Reliance on the ‘Y-loop’ palaeomagnetic data causes extremely rapid motion of Gondwana during the Silurian. Consequently the ‘X-path’ for that period is used. The palaeomagnetic poles for 422 and 406 Ma have been eliminated so that Gondwana motion is within the bounds of present day plate motion.
A Quicktime™ movie of palaeogeographic and tectonic evolution of the Arctic region during the Palaeozoic is available at http://www.geolsoc.org.uk/SUP18472.
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The vast Arctic region contains nine proven petroleum provinces with giant resources but over half of the sedimentary basins are completely undrilled, making the region the last major frontier for conventional oil and gas exploration. This book provides a comprehensive overview of the geology and the petroleum potential of the Arctic. Nine papers offer a circum-Arctic perspective on the Phanerozoic tectonic and palaeogeographic evolution, the currently recognized sedimentary basins, the gravity and magnetic fields and, perhaps most importantly, the petroleum resources and yet-to-find potential of the basins. The remaining 41 papers provide data-rich, geological and geophysical analyses and individual oil and gas assessments of specific basins throughout the Arctic. These detailed and well illustrated studies cover the continental areas of Laurentia, Baltica and Siberia and the Arctic Ocean. Of special interest are the 13 papers providing new data and interpretations on the extensive, little known, but promising, basins of Russia.
A DVD is provided inside the back of the book, that contains PDFs of all papers plus all related Supplementary Publications.