A deep seismic sounding experiment was performed during the expedition ARKTIS XV/2of the RV Polarstern and the Polish ship Eltanin in 1999 in the continent-ocean transitionzone of northwestern Svalbard, along the 430-km-long profile AWI-99200. The profile runsfrom the Molloy Deep in the vicinity of an active spreading axis in the northern Atlantic toNordaustlandet. Seismic energy (airgun andTNTshots)was recorded by seismic land (onshore)stations, OBSs and hydrophone systems, with airgun shots recorded up to 200 km onshore and50 km offshore. The data recorded along the entire profile provide an excellent database fora detailed seismic modelling of the crustal P-wave velocity field along the profile track. Aminimal depth of about 6 km to the Moho discontinuity was found east of the Molloy Deep.Here, the upper mantle exhibits a P-wave velocity of about 7.9 km s−1, and the crustal thicknessdoes not exceed 4 km. The continent-ocean transition zone to the east is characterized by acomplex seismic velocity structure. The Moho interface reaches a maximum depth of 28 kmbeneath the continental part of the profile, with a P-wave velocity in the upper mantle of8.15 km s−1. The continental crust consists of three layers with P-wave velocities of about5.5, 5.9-6.0 and 6.2-6.6 km s−1, respectively. In addition, we have found two reflectors in themantle lithosphere at depths of 14-42 and 40-50 km dipping NE. The evolution of the regionappears to be within a shear-rift tectonic setting. The continent-ocean transition zone is mostlydominated by extension, so the last stage of the development of this margin can be classifiedas rifting. The uplifted Moho boundary close to the Molloy Deep can be interpreted as thesouthwestern end of the Molloy Ridge.
Helmholtz Research Programs > MARCOPOLI (2004-2008) > MAR2-Palaeo Climate Mechanisms and Variability