Results and Perspectives of Marine Research off East Greenland and in the Northernmost Atlantic

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Jokat, W. (2005): Results and Perspectives of Marine Research off East Greenland and in the Northernmost Atlantic , InWaterTec2005 (31 Aug 2 Sept 2005) Session S-6 Frontier Exploration of Offshore Mineral and Energy Resources. .
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The East Greenland margin formed during subsequent rifting processes, which started around 55 Ma in the Greenland Basin. The last rift event, which created also the only deep water connection between the Arctic Ocean and the North Atlantic, happened in the Fram Strait. These events, although closely connected in time, have a different magmatic history. While the initial rifting was accompanied by voluminous emplacement of volcanic rocks on- and offshore, evidence for massive magmatism has not been found in the more northern basins.Recent deep seismic investigations in the Greenland Basin show that along the East Greenland margin, which formed during the initial stage of rifting, massive underplated bodies are present. A large negative magnetic anomaly, which strikes almost N-S close to the coast, seems to mark the western boundary at which the continental crust was strongly affected by the opening of the Greenland Sea. East of this magnetic anomaly the deep seismic data indicate that the crust in the continent-ocean boundary must be strongly intruded by magmatic material. Furthermore, the width of the continent-ocean transition is much wider than at the conjugate Vøring Plateau that bears considerable hydrocarbon deposits which are under intensive production.The next basin to the north, the Boreas Basin, seems to have a different structure. Seismic reflection profiles acquired from the margin slope into the deep basins suggest that this area was at least in part formed during ultra-slow spreading. The basement topography of the oceanic crust is very rough, and no clear spreading anomalies could be determined so far. However, little is known about the deeper structure of the Boreas Basin, its transition zone and the more western margins. The same is true for the region north of 78°N. Pack ice prevented so far any state of the art experiments to unravel e.g. the sedimentation and basin history. However, there are strong indications that an extensive salt province exists as far north as 81°N.Toward east, new seismic data gathered in 2002 and previous years will allow us to provide fundamental information on the sedimentation history of these basins. Existing ODP drill holes will be used to set up a rough seismic stratigraphy, and to set up a scenario for the basin evolution.Finally, the latest results on the tectonic history of the Fram Strait will be presented. Dense aeromagnetic surveys across this gateway provide new insights into the tectonic development of this region. An outlook will be given on the future plans in this area.

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