Mapping the Surficial Geology of the Arctic Ocean: A Layer for the IBCAO

TitleMapping the Surficial Geology of the Arctic Ocean: A Layer for the IBCAO
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
AuthorsMosher, DC, Courtney, RC, Jakobsson, M, Gebhardt, C, Mayer, LA
Conference NameOffshore Technology Conference (OTC)
Conference DatesMarch 23 - 25
PublisherSociety of Petroleum Engineers
Conference LocationCopenhagen, Denmark

The purpose of this paper is to show early results of surficial geologic mapping of the Arctic Ocean. Analysis of subbottom profiler and multibeam bathymetric data in conjunction with the regional morphology rendered from the IBCAO data are used to map nine surficial geologic units in the Arctic Ocean. For a relatively small ocean basin, the Arctic Ocean reveals a plethora of margin and basin types reflecting both the complex tectonic origins of the basin and its diverse sedimentation history. Broad and narrow shelves were subjected to a complex ice-margin history in the Quaternary, and bear the sediment types and morphological features as a result. Some shelf areas are heavily influenced by rivers. Extensive deep water ridges and plateaus are isolated from coastal input and have a long history of hemipelagic deposition. The flanks of the basins demonstrate complex sedimentation patterns resulting from mass failures and ice-margin outflow. The deep basins of the Arctic Ocean are filled with turbidites resulting from these mass-flows and are interbedded with hemiplegic deposits.