The 1985 refraction survey based on Ice Island covered a northern transition zone along the Canadian polar margin north of Axel Heiberg Island. The refraction survey included a 60 km line along the inner shelf, a 180 km parallel line along the outer shelf, and a 60 km connecting line. Shotpoints offset from the line ends recorded upper mantle observations to a distance of 240 km.Along the inner shelf, the upper 700 m, with an interval velocity of 3.7 km/s, is interpreted as Tertiary–Cretaceous strata. The underlying 4 km thick layer has a starting velocity of 5 km/s and a gradient of 0.2 s−1. It is thought to consist of mainly deformed lower Paleozoic strata capped by upper Paleozoic – Triassic clastics and carbonates and (or) Cretaceous volcanics. Sequentially, the lower unit, with a starting velocity of 5.8 km/s, most likely consists of Proterozoic – lower Paleozoic rocks.Beneath the offshore line, up to 5 km of strata with a starting velocity of 2.2 km/s and a gradient of 0.5 s−1 probably represents Tertiary–Cretaceous elastics. The underlying material with a starting velocity of 4.5 km/s and a gradient of 0.1 s−1 is interpreted as a sedimentary succession of either Cretaceous–Tertiary elastics or upper Paleozoic to Cretaceous strata. Beneath this section, a probable Proterozoic – lower Paleozoic lower crustal layer with a starting velocity of 6.2 km/s extends to about 25 km. Apparent upper mantle velocities in the 8.0–8.2 km/s range are observed.Beneath the transitional onshore–offshore line, a Neogene sedimentary basin is interpreted as being floored by faulted blocks of probably deformed Proterozoic to lower Paleozoic rocks on the landward side and possibly Cretaceous to lower Tertiary rocks on the seaward side.