The cruise leg MSM09/3 was conducted as a cooperative project between the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Resources (BGR), the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) and Dalhousie University. A geophysical survey covered areas of Baffin Bay and Davis Strait between Greenland and the Canadian Baffin Island. A component of the IPY 2007/08 Lead Project Plate Tectonics and Polar Gateways in the Earth System (PLATES & GATES), this project DAVIS GATE is aimed to develop a tectonic and sedimentary reconstruction of the opening process of this oceanic gateway. Baffin Bay and Davis Strait play an important role in the shallow water exchange from the Arctic to the Atlantic Ocean. The plate-tectonic evolution as well as the magmatic history of this region has been sparsely known and required a careful geophysical investigation in order to construct a set of gridded detailed paleo-topographic maps for a complete geodynamic reconstruction of this gateway. With a set of three seismic refraction/wide-angle reflection profiles, using ocean-bottom seismometers on 62 stations, as well as multi-channel reflection seismic recordings with a 3000-m long streamer, data were acquired from the sedimentary cover to the deep crust and even from parts of the uppermost mantle. Additional seismic data supplement these profiles and provide insights into the structures of the basement and dominant fault zones such as the Ungava fault system. A parallel running magnetic survey aimed to resolve the temporal evolution of the oceanic crust of Baffin Bay. The extension and subsidence of the continental and transitional crust in the Davis Strait and the evolution of oceanic crust in the Labrador Sea and Baffin Bay could be investigated with dataset to which continuously recorded gravity anomaly data and sub-bottom profiler data also contribute. This dataset provides the basis of geometrical and physical properties of the crust required for a realistic geodynamic model which will describe the break-up and the ocean basin evolution between Greenland and Canada in terms of detailed paleo-topography.
Helmholtz Research Programs > PACES I (2009-2013) > TOPIC 3: Lessons from the Past > WP 3.2: Tectonic, Climate and Biosphere Development from Greenhouse to Icehouse