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Scientific drilling in the Arctic Ocean and the site survey challenge

Scientific drilling in the Arctic Ocean and the site survey challenge: Tectonic, paleoceanographic and climatic evolution of the Polar Basin. JEODI Workshop, Copenhagen, 2003. Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, Special publication.

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Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland
Ministry of the Environment
Scientific drilling in the Arctic Ocean and
the site survey challenge:
Tectonic, paleoceanographic and
climatic evolution of the Polar Basin
JEODI Workshop, Copenhagen, Denmark,
January, 2003
Kristoffersen, Y. and Mikkelsen, N. (Eds.)
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Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland
Ministry of the Environment
Scientific drilling in the Arctic Ocean and
the site survey challenge:
Tectonic, paleoceanographic and
climatic evolution of the Polar Basin
JEODI Workshop, Copenhagen, Denmark,
January, 2003
Kristoffersen, Y. and Mikkelsen, N. (Eds.)
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Reference to this report is
Y. Kristofferson and N. Mikkelsen (Eds.), 2004.
Scientific drilling in the Arctic Ocean and the site survey challenge:
Tectonic, paleoceanographic and climatic evolution of the Polar Basin.
JEODI Workshop, Copenhagen, 2003. Geological Survey of Denmark and
Greenland, Special publication.
ISBN: 87-7871-133-9
Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland
Øster Voldgade 10
DK-1350 Copenhagen K
Phone: +45 3814 2000
Fax: +45 3814 2050
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Theme 1: Birth of the Arctic Ocean Basin
Theme 2: Paleoceanography
Theme 3: Arctic Climate evolution
Sea ice concentrations
Ice dynamics and variability
Sea-ice thickness
Arctic Ocean weather
Seismic reflection
High resolution seismic reflection (> 1 kHz)
Seismic refraction
Heat flow
Sediment cores
Seismic refraction measurements
Heat flow measurements
Gravity and magnetic measurements
Sediment coring and dredging
Need for new technologies
Alpha-Mendeleev Ridge
Lomonosov Ridge
Gakkel Ridge
Chukchi Plateau - Northwind Ridge
Yermak ­ and Morris Jesup Plateaus
Shelf and upper slope (East): Laptev Sea, East Siberian Sea, Canadian/Alaska Arctic Margins54
Shelf and upper slope (West): Lincoln Sea, North Greenland margin, Fram Strait, Northern
Barents Sea
Scientific drilling on the Lomonosov Ridge (IODP)
Denmark/Greenland: Activities in the area north of Greenland related to UNCLOS §76
Russia: Plans of future Russian earth science activities in the central Arctic Ocean
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Sweden: The "Beringia 2005" expedition
Aurora Borealis ­ A European research platform
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The Joint European Ocean Drilling Initiative (JEODI) was established in 2002 as a two year
EU funded project to bring a distinctive European component to the new era of scientific ocean
drilling. This Thematic Network brought together all the major European member states in-
volved in scientific ocean drilling. JEODI has emphasized as one of the target areas: Arctic
Science, with drilling of the almost unexplored Arctic Ocean.
The JEODI Workshop "Preparing for Scientific Ocean Drilling in the Arctic: The Site Survey
Challenge" was held in Copenhagen, January 13-14, 2003, in order to discuss scientific drilling
in the Arctic Ocean. The workshop was organized by Naja Mikkelsen, Yngve Kristoffersen,
Jan Backman, Wilfried Jokat and Jørn Thiede and it brought together 50 Arctic scientists
(Europe and Russia 39, US and Canada 11), managers, operators and specialists. The focus of
the workshop was on the site survey challenge in the ice-covered waters of the Arctic Ocean.
Acquisition of adequate marine geophysical site survey data is a necessary pre-requisite for
planning and safely drilling and coring the Arctic's sediments and bedrock. The workshop was
sponsored by the Joint European Ocean Drilling Initiative (JEODI) under the EU 5
work Program and by the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland. The printing of the
workshop report was sponsored by JEODI and by the Nansen Arctic Drilling Program (NAD).
The workshop recommends that:
The scientific importance of Arctic deep-sea drilling for paleoceanographic, climatic and
tectonic goals is well understood, but the lack of adequate site survey data hampers the de-
velopment of mature drilling proposals. Potential drilling locations were discussed for all
major ridges (Gakkel Ridge, Lomonosov Ridge, Alpha - Mendeleev Ridge) as well as for
the continental margins and marginal plateaus. The workshop participants recommended a
decadal program of dedicated expeditions to the central Arctic with the goal of completing
site surveys for potential drill sites.
At present it is difficult to develop mature drilling proposals aimed for targets in the central
Arctic Ocean because adequate site survey data are by-and-large lacking; the exception
being the Lomonosov Ridge. The situation is far better for the Arctic continental margin
and marginal plateau areas. The workshop participants encouraged geophysical working
groups on the Yermak Plateau, the Chukchi Plateau - Northwind Ridge and Laptev Sea
continental margin to formulate and submit preliminary drilling proposals.
Whereas scientific expeditions to the Arctic Ocean have been organized for the past 25
years on mostly an ad hoc basis, they have lacked long term, international well-co-
ordinated planning procedures. To maximize the efficiency of costly site surveys, which
often require two-ship operations, this process must change into a detailed and well-co-
ordinated planning procedure where results may be reviewed at regular annual or biannual
intervals. The Arctic Science Summit Week (ASSU) will provide a suitable venue for such
There is a need for a decadal site survey program in the Arctic Ocean
The upcoming IPY in 2007-2008 offers a superb opportunity for operating a suite of expe-
ditions to the central Arctic Ocean to conduct systematic site surveys e.g. over selected
segments of the Alpha - Mendeleev Ridge Complex, employing suitable icebreakers from
the USA, Canada, Russia, Sweden, Finland and Germany and since 2003 ­ China.
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Recognizing that Arctic Ocean geoscientific data relevant for site surveys are presently
dispersed over many institutions and countries the workshop participants recommended the
establishment of a data base to collect all data in a unified and easily accessible format.
Site survey technology is under constant development; many of the available technologies
have to be adopted for use in the ice-covered Arctic waters. The workshop participants
recommended requesting from iSSP, iILP and iTAP the establishment of an IODP working
group focusing on the development of site survey strategies for the Arctic Ocean
Drilling technology for ice-covered deep-sea basins has yet to be tested. Proposals for drill
ships, capable to operate in the central Arctic were discussed and the workshop participants
encouraged further development of the plans.
There is a major need for communication within the Arctic geoscientific community. The
workshop participants recommended a follow-up workshop in two years time. The con-
tinuation of the communication can be organized by the existing NAD organization, which
maintains a newsletter (The Nansen Icebreaker).
The workshop participants recommended publication of the workshop results.
" Mare incognitum, The Arctic Ocean, is despite its critical role in global cli-
mate evolution, the only ocean basin whose history is virtually unknown. Inves-
tigating the Arctic Ocean is certain to yield scientific and technological benefits
to the Society." (COMPLEX, 1999)
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Scientific challenges of the Arctic Ocean
The most important geoscientific issues of the high Arctic Ocean may be grouped into the fol-
low three major themes. These themes (Figure 1.1) are briefly discussed in the following
Theme 1: Birth of the Arctic Ocean Basin
Tectonic evolution
Arctic Ridges: case studies of global lithosphere processes
Theme 2 : Paleoceanography
Physical and chemical changes of the watermass in the evolving deep Polar Basin
Arctic gateways
Theme 3 : Arctic climate evolution
Arctic environment during global warmth
Cenozoic climate change
Development of local and regional ice sheets
History of Arctic sea ice
Millennial scale climate changes
Fig. 1.1 Scientific challenges of the Arctic Ocean
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Theme 1: Birth of the Arctic Ocean Basin
Tectonic evolution
Tectonic movements of crustal blocks have caused many changes in the high Arctic environ-
ments since Mesozoic times. The present deep basins of the Arctic Ocean may have formed in
at least two stages (Fig. 1.2). We envision the Canada Basin evolved throughout the Late Ju-
rassic/Early Cretaceous by rifting of Arctic Alaska and Chukota away from the Canadian cra-
ton (Grantz et al., 1998; Green et al., 1986). Alternatively, the Canada Basin may represent a
part of the Pacific plate which extended into the Arctic in the Jurassic and later became cut off
and isolated by microplate accretion (Churkin and Trexler, 1980). From the Late Paleocene
and onwards the Eurasia Basin was created by extension of North Atlantic sea floor spreading
into the Arctic region between Svalbard and Greenland. The deep Polar Basin was landlocked
from its creation until the opening of the Fram Strait in the late Eocene/early Oligocene, when
a deep connection was established to the Atlantic Ocean. Shallow epicontinental connections
existed to the Atlantic via a western interior seaway in North America (Cenomanian-Early
Mastrichtian) and during the Late Cretaceous through Eocene to Tethys via the Turgai Strait in
western Siberia.
This first order evolutionary scenario is widely accepted, but is mainly drawn from geophysi-
cal and geological inferences and practically no "ground truth" represented by key geological
samples. The Sverdrup Basin of the Canadian Arctic Islands and the Arctic Alaska Basin of
northern Alaska, have similar tectonic histories and contain closely correlative and lithologi-
cally similar sedimentary sequences of Mississippian to Neocomian age (Grantz et.al., 1979;
Embry, 1990). In the central Canada Basin, an extinct spreading center is inferred from a linear
gravity low correlative with the symmetry axis of weak magnetic lineations (Vogt et al., 1982;
Laxon and McAdoo, 1994). The evolution of the Eurasia Basin is better understood because of
active sea floor spreading and better definition of magnetic lineations throughout the basin
(Vogt et al., 1979).
All deep sub-basins of the Arctic Ocean have a thick cover of sediments, and their tectonic
evolution may as a first step be deciphered from scientific drilling of the high-standing
physiographic elements such as the Northwind Ridge, Chukchi Plateau, and the Lomonosov
Ridge ­ all of which probably represent tectonic microplates of continental crust isolated by
plate tectonic processes. Coring of bedrock on the plateaus and ridges will determine the Ce-
nozoic, Mesozoic, and possibly Upper Paleozoic stratigraphy of these microplates and permit
their correlation with each other and with their origin on the Arctic continental margin. Such
ties would enable an improved plate tectonic reconstruction.
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Figure 1.2 Outline of the tectonic evolution of the Arctic Ocean (after Green et al.,1986)
Arctic ridges: case studies of global lithosphere processes
Gakkel Ridge
Total opening rates decrease from 1.33 cm/yr at the western end of Gakkel Ridge to 0.63 cm/yr
near the Laptev Shelf as defined by the Nuvel-1 global plate solution (DeMets et al., 1990),
and make this spreading center the slowest of the mid-ocean ridge system on the planet. Co-
linear seafloor spreading anomalies can be traced completely across the Eurasia Basin (Karasik
1968; Vogt et al.,1979). This implies that organized seafloor spreading is occurring even at
extremely low spreading rates, although melt production should theoretically decrease dra-
matically or perhaps shut off (Sparks et al, 1993).
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A more than 1000 km long segment of Gakkel Ridge was investigated by multibeam bathy-
metry and geological sampling during 2001 by icebreakers "Polarstern" and "Healy" in a dedi-
cated geological survey effort (Michael et al., 2003; Jokat et al., 2003). This part of the Gakkel
Ridge appears to contain three distinct magmatic-tectonic segments with a juxtaposition of
tectonic and volcanic products and processes throughout. A central segment (3º E -11º E) dis-
played little bathymetric evidence of volcanism and dredging recovered subordinate basalt.
The bathymetric and volcanic segmentation is linear and occurs in the absence of any ridge
offsets, suggesting that magmatic segmentation may be controlled by mantle processes. Objec-
tives for scientific drilling will be to obtain relatively fresh basement samples to establish the
depth and extent of mantle-seawater chemical and thermal interaction on the ridge.
Alpha- and Mendeleev ridges
The Alpha-Mendeleev Ridge complex is a 2000 km long, 250 to 800 km wide, broad rugged
structure which rises up to 2000 m above the adjacent abyssal plains (Fig. 1.3). The relation
between the two ridges is uncertain, but they are both associated with large amplitude magnetic
anomalies (> 1000 nT) in contrast to the lower amplitudes over the abyssal plains (Vogt et
al.,1982; Verhoef et al., 1996). Dredged rock samples include altered alkaline basalt (Van
Wagoner and Robinson, 1985) and material recovered by piston coring exhibits MORB affini-
ties (Muehe and Jokat, 1999; Jokat, 2003). The absence of earthquake activity, and heat flow
less than the average for the Canada Basin (Langseth et al., 1990), together with the presence
of Maastrichtian (65-70 Ma) fossils near the ridge crest (Clark, 1974), distinguishes the Alpha-
Mendeleev Ridge complex from active mid-ocean ridges and require formation by the Late
Cretaceous. The Alpha Ridge has a dimension, crustal thickness and crustal velocity structure
(Fig. 1.3) which is strikingly similar to the large oceanic plateaus of the Pacific (Jackson et al.,
1986 ). It may represent a large igneous province. The ridge is blanketed by more than 1 km
thick undisturbed sediments (Hall, 1973, 1979; Jokat et al., 1999) which also include carbon-
rich black muds (Clark et al., 1986). A major proportion of the organic material in the mud is
apparently of terrestrial origin which may have been derived from a vegetative cover on is-
lands when Alpha Ridge was emergent (Weber, 1990). Whether the black shales document
anoxic conditions in isolated local basins or the depositional environment under an oxygen
minimum in oceanic water masses remains an open question.
Scientific drilling and sampling of the sediment cover and basement rocks on the Alpha- and
Mendeleev Ridges will capture the history of Cretaceous volcanism and similarly provide the
history of the polar environment during the Cretacous i.e. the early "greenhouse" state of the
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Figure 1.3 Summary of the seismic velocity structure of the crust of basins and ridges in the
Arctic Ocean. (after Jackson and Johnson; 1985)
Lomonosov Ridge
The Lomonosov Ridge is more than 1500 km long and less than 150 km wide. If proven to be
a continental fragment (Jokat et al., 1992), it represents truly unique global information on the
relative strength of continental and oceanic lithosphere. The olivine rheology of the oceanic
lithosphere is estimated to be three times stronger than typical continental lithosphere which
includes a 35 km thick continental crust of predominantly quartz/plagioclase rheology (Vink et
al., 1984). Juxtaposed oceanic and continental lithosphere in a tensional stress field would be
weakest landward of the continental shelf edge and the Lomonosov Ridge may have formed as
a result of this mechanism. Scientific drilling of the sediments and the bedrock of the ridge
would establish the nature of the crust, and the history of vertical motion in relation to plate
kinematics. Additionally the sediments will reveal the Cenozoic climate history.
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Theme 2: Paleoceanography
Physical and Chemical changes of the evolving Polar Basin
The Arctic Ocean has since its formation passed through different physical and chemical
stages. These stages witness a transition of the Polar Basin from a stagnant and oxygen defi-
cient ocean through a temperate upwelling basin into cold and ventilated ocean, which today
has profound impact on the global ocean circulation. Only sporadic information is available
form the early period of the Arctic Ocean. Four short sediment cores document the initial
Mesozoic Arctic Ocean environment when the Amerasian basin was formed. The occurrence
of black shales representing the earliest phase of the formation of the Polar Basin is considered
to represent oxygen-deficient conditions in a closed basin about 80-85 million years ago (Clark
et al., 1986). These oxygen deficient conditions were followed by conditions more typical of a
temperate upwelling system some 80 ­50 million years ago as witnessed by the presence of
biogenic silicious oozes. The formation of the Eurasia basin around 56 millions years ago and
the opening of the Fram Strait about 40 million years ago initiated a shift from an environment
charaterized by abundant silica accumulation under estuarin conditions to a more ventilated
environment which also permitted flow of deeper waters across the bathymetric sills (Thiede
et al. 1990). A connection was established between the polar basin and the world oceans, and
the cold and ventilated Arctic Ocean became part of the global ocean system.
Arctic gateways
The Arctic Ocean existed as a closed basin for nearly one hundred million years before a deep
water connection to the North Atlantic was established through the Fram Strait. The first indi-
cation of an Arctic-Atlantic seaway is suggested by the occurrences in northern Alaska and
Ellesmere Land of late Paleocene mollusks and ostracodes previously known only in northern
Europe (Marincovich et al., 1990). Direct evidence on the evolution of the Fram Strait gateway
is non-existent, except that sediments from Site 909 in the deep central part of the Fram Strait
suggest no dramatic changes in bottom water activity during the Early Miocene through the
Pliocene (Myhre, et al., 1995). Scientific drilling of a 2 km thick sediment drift deposited by
inflowing Atlantic water along the northern flank of the Yermak Plateau would enable an un-
derstanding of the gateway evolution and provide a more rigorous reference for assessments of
the contribution of the Arctic tele-connection on the global thermohaline circulation through-
out the Cenozoic.
The Bering Strait separates North America from Eurasia. During the low-stands of the last ice
age it was periodically exposed, cutting off the input of water from the northern Pacific Ocean
and making the "peopling" of North America possible. Geophysical study of the history of the
Strait could set the stage for a drilling proposal. Understanding the history of exposure of the
Bering Strait would have important consequences for oceanography and archaeology.
Theme 3: Arctic Climate evolution
The Arctic environment during global warmth
Since the discovery in 1883, of tropical plants in Cenomanian fluvio-deltaic sediments from
west Greenland, it has been apparent that the Late Cretaceous climate of the northerly high
latitudes ­ at least during certain intervals ­ was far warmer than it is today (Nathorst, 1911).
The description by Kemper (1987) of glendonites (pseudomorphs of the low-temperature hy-
drated form of calcium carbonate, ikaiite) in lower Valanginian and upper Aptian sediments
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from the Sverdrup Basin in Arctic Canada (70°-80º palaeolatitude), however, implies that
Early Cretaceous seawater temperatures were at times close to freezing. Almost certainly these
cooler temperatures record global changes because, in the case of the late Aptian at least, coe-
val glendonites are also know from the Southern Hemisphere, being found in the Eromanga
Basin in Australia at a palaeolatitude of 65º (Frakes and Francis, 1988; De Lurio and Frakes,
1999). The implication of these isolated occurrences is that, even in a so-called `greenhouse'
period, the Arctic Cretaceous climate was not uniformly warm and equable but experienced
considerable variation. Other palaeontological data support the general contention that the mid-
to Late Cretaceous Arctic climate was generally rather mild: the presence of deciduous trees,
and leaves with characteristic morphologies at 80° - 85° N (Parrish and Spicer, 1988; Herman
and Spicer, 1996), the presence of crocodiles above 60º N (Markwick, 1998) and, most spe-
cifically, the discovery of champosaurs (warm-blooded reptiles) in the Turonian of the Sver-
drup Basin at 72° N palaeolatitude (Tarduno et al., 1998; Huber, 1998).
Cretaceous material has been cored from three locations on the Alpha Ridge: the cores Fl-437
and Fl-533 taken during the drift of the ice-island T-3 (1963-1974) and Core 6 of the Canadian
Expedition to Study the Alpha Ridge (CESAR) in 1983 (Fig. 4.2). One core (Fl-533) com-
prises organic-rich black mud whose TOC content rises to 15%, and the other contains two
laminated siliceous ooze rich in diatoms, ebrideans and silicoflagellates. Integration of the
various biostratigraphic indices from all three cores allows more than one interpretation: the
organic-rich and siliceous sediments could be coeval or represent successive episodes of pe-
lagic deposition. Both sediments can be interpreted as the product of fertile waters, probably
under the influence of active upwelling centers that may have varied with respect to their nutri-
ent concentrations and planktonic biota in time and space (Kitchell and Clark, 1982; Mudie et
al., 1986; Dell'Agnese and Clark, 1994; Firth and Clark, 1998). Strong seasonality is implied
by the laminated nature of the sediments, with layers rich in resting spores of diatoms alter-
nating with layers rich in their vegetative cells. There are no dropstones in these sediments and
thus no evidence for glacial activity.
The unlithified nature of the Cretaceous sediments of the Arctic makes them a unique resource
for investigating the evolution of siliceous and organic-walled plankton, as well as elucidating
palaeoceanographic and palaeotemperature change in the high latitudes during a `greenhouse'
period of the Earth's history. Given that the Arctic Ocean was connected to epicontinental seas
across Asia and North America (Fig. 1.4 ), and given that the Western Interior seaway was
locally characterized by reduced salinity (e.g. Wright, 1987; Cochran et al., 2003), the possi-
bility also exists that the waters of the Cretaceous Arctic were less than fully marine at times in
its history (Hay et al., 1993). Salinity stratification may have been a feature of this ocean
throughout much of the Cretaceous.
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Figure 1.4 Polar view of the Arctic Ocean during the Late Cretaceous (Turonian) showing
likely connections to epicontinental seas such as that of the Western Interior of North America.
(After Hay et al., 1993)
Cenozoic climate change
A major element in the evolution of Cenozoic environments has been the transformation from
warm Eocene oceans with low latitudinal and bathymetric thermal gradients into the more re-
cent modes of circulation characterized by strong thermal gradients, oceanic fronts, cold deep
oceans and cold high latitude surface waters. About 92% of all water in today's oceans is
colder than ~10°C. In the Eocene, 50 million years ago, all water in the oceans was warmer
than 10°C. Bottom temperatures during the early Eocene, the time of maximum Cenozoic
warmth, were on the order of 12°C, and large-scale continental ice sheets did not exist because
Earth's warm climate inhibited the growth of continental ice-sheets (Miller et al., 1987; Zachos
et al., 2001).
The transition to today's world, with Antarctica covered by a continental ice-cap and season-
ally variable but persistent sea-ice cover in the Arctic, is linked to both the change in climate
that increased latitudinal gradients and to oceanographic changes that connected surface and
deep-sea circulation between high and low latitude oceans. Thus, throughout the course of the
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Cenozoic, the climate on Earth has changed from one extreme (Paleogene greenhouse lacking
ice) to another (Neogene icehouse with bipolar glaciation).
It has long been recognized that our lack of knowledge about the role the Arctic played in the
maintenance and development of these climatic extremes is a major gap in our ability to under-
stand and model global environmental change (e.g., COMPLEX, 1999; IODP Science Plan,
Development of local and regional ice sheets
ODP Legs 151 and 162, as well as previous drilling legs, have revealed that there existed,
probably in Greenland, ice sheets which calved into the ocean and delivered ice rafted detritus
to the sea floor sediments from melting icebergs, as far back as the Middle/Late Miocene
boundary about 12 Ma (Fronval and Jansen, 1996; Wolf-Welling et al., 1996). Marked phases
of a more intense glaciation are recorded during the Late Miocene, but probably only reflecting
Greenland glaciation. We have no information on the early developments of the Northern
Hemisphere cryosphere from the circum-Arctic proper.
About 3 million years ago a marked phase of global cooling set in, leading to widespread ex-
pansion of ice sheets across the sub-Arctic regions in both Eurasia and North America 2.75
million years before present (Jansen et al., 2000; Kleiven et al., 2002). Before and at the incep-
tion of large scale glaciation around 3 million years ago, a relatively warm Arctic probably
prevailed, with forests growing along the shores of the Arctic Ocean where tundra and perma-
frost now prevail (Funder et al., 1985; Kniess et al., 2002). During glacial phases, the north-
ward heat transport to the Arctic was greatly diminished. Before this marked cooling, climates
were only cold enough to sustain glaciers on Greenland, indicating that the ocean was warmer
and sea-ice cover diminished compared to the present (Larsen et al., 1994; Fronval and Jansen,
1996). During most of the following time, the prevailing glacial situation indicates that peren-
nial sea ice cover and cold conditions existed over the Arctic, however, less freshwater influx
during glacials may have reduced surface ocean stratification and ice-free areas or polynyas
may have prevailed. The sea level lowering also left major portions of the shelf areas above sea
level, hence drastic changes in Arctic circulation must have occurred.
The next main change in the Arctic/Sub-Arctic climate system occurred approximately 1 mil-
lion years ago. After this time, glacial episodes became longer, with a distinct 100.000 year
cyclicity, and glaciation became more severe. However, the short milder interglacials became
warmer than before, due to stronger inflow of warm Atlantic surface waters to the Nordic Seas
(Berger and Jansen, 1994; Jansen et al., 2000). The long term effects of ice sheet erosion also
changed the communication between the Arctic and the Sub-Arctic. Erosion deepened the Bar-
ents region, which changed from a land area to an epicontinental sea, thus creating a new path
for water mass exchange with the Arctic during interglacials.
We need to know the boundary conditions which initiated the Northern Hemisphere Miocene
glaciation; where and when did glaciers and ice sheets nucleate around the Arctic? There was
a much later initiation of Eurasian Ice Sheets during the Late Pliocene, but information from
Siberia and Arctic Canada is scarce. When the timing is clarified, we can understand more
about possible triggering mechanisms, such as the closure of the Panama seaway, uplift of the
Tibet Plateau, CO
-trends, or perhaps impacts from the hydrological cycle on the oceanic heat
flux to the Arctic.
The Arctic ice sheets may have played a significant role in the transition to 100 kyr climatic
cycles. The Mid-Pleistocene climate shift (41 -> 100 kyr cycles) is characterized by increased
presence of marine-based ice sheets. We need to clarify the extent of these in the circum-
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Arctic, and whether the Arctic ice sheets always have been controlled by the obliquity/tilt cy-
cle, or has axial precession also played a role?
History of sea ice
The climatic development of the Arctic and sub-Arctic has been characterized by three main
system variables; a) changes in sea-ice cover, which have influenced albedo, air-sea exchange
and freshwater budgets; b) changes in the ice sheet dimensions, which have influenced albedo
and atmospheric flow. Also meltwater influx from diminishing ice sheets during deglacial
phases have influenced ocean circulation; c) thermohaline ocean circulation, which has had a
major impact on the northward heat flux to the region.
Lack of suitable material from the central Arctic prevents documentation of the long term his-
tory of the Arctic sea ice cover and ocean climate. We do not know when sea ice cover com-
menced, and much of its temporal and spatial variability is so far not documented. The evi-
dence at hand is interpolated from drilling open water areas outside of the perennial ice pack,
and detailed knowledge is only available for the last few glacial periods.
Many studies have implicated a strong positive feedback from the sea-ice cover as being the
key mechanism whereby small changes in the solar insulation originating from changes in the
orbital parameters lead to high amplitude climate responses (Imbrie et al., 1993; Koc and Jan-
sen, 1994). Arctic Ocean processes and feedback may therefore have been pivotal in bringing
the world into and out of the ice ages. Most of the comprehensive climate models predict al-
most complete disappearance of summer sea ice by the end of this century. Modeling of the
response of the climate system to continued increased greenhouse gas levels indicates that sea
ice cover disappears in all seasons in the next 175-200 years under current emission rates. If
the sea-ice should disappear we are faced with a situation which has analogues in the past,
from where important knowledge can be gained:
What were the climatic boundary conditions when the sea ice cover commenced (atmos-
pheric CO2 -levels, global and regional temperatures)?
When did it occur (seasonally and perennially)?
How variable has the sea-ice cover been under different climatic boundary conditions?
The Arctic sea-ice cover is to a large extent dependent on the low salinity surface layer and a
strong halocline underlying this layer. The time of emergence of the halocline is unknown, and
the processes that led to its inception are unknown. It is also unclear if the hydrological cycle is
a part of the process that led to glaciations via capping the surface (albedo feedback) and/or
reduced deep overturning.
Millennial scale climate changes
On top of the long term trends and orbital scale variability, there is ample evidence for high
amplitude millennial to century scale climate variability in the high latitude regions of the
Northern Hemisphere. These millennial scale events are recorded globally. High amplitude
shifts in temperature and precipitation occurred with startling speed, with shifts in annual mean
temperature on the order of 5-10°C happening over a decade or two (Dansgaard et al., 1993,
Alley et al., 2003; Koc et al., 1993; Haflidason et al.,1995). These abrupt climate changes oc-
curred repeatedly during glacials with a temporal spacing between 2000 and 1000 years. The
last of these large scale climate events were the Younger Dryas cooling about 12,000 years
ago, which was followed by two cold phases with less amplitude, the last of which happened
about 8200 years ago. Coolings in the regions surrounding the Arctic were associated with
widespread drought over Asia and Africa, as well as changes in the Pacific circulation. Mid-
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latitude regions were most affected, and the amplitudes of these climate shifts were reduced in
the high Arctic.
Model experiments have reinforced the hypothesis that changes in the strength of the thermo-
haline ocean circulation (THC), which transports heat from low to high latitudes, is a key fac-
tor behind these climate changes (see review by Rahmstorf, 2002). The rapid climate shifts
were accompanied by changes in the style of deep water formation in the Arctic/Sub-Arctic,
and by concomitant changes in the northward protrusion of warm water towards the Arctic
(Dokken and Jansen, 1999). Apparently the high amplitude climate shifts were caused by, or at
least strongly amplified by, freshwater release from calving and melting of continental ice
sheets in the circum-Arctic. But due to their global extent, it is still an open question whether
their root cause lies in processes in the tropics or south of the Equator, or in processes in the
circum-Arctic itself.
It is unclear when the millennial scale changes started to occur. We also do not know the de-
gree to which these affected the Arctic proper, which may have been rather insensitive to
changes. Only data from inside the Arctic Ocean can resolve this issue.
Ice surface in the summer
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The present Arctic ocean environment
The presence of perennial sea ice in the Arctic Ocean is maintained by a strong vertical strati-
fication in the upper 150 m of the water mass. Reduced vertical diffusion effectively insulates
the underlying warm Atlantic layer from the surface. The sea ice cover in turn acts to maintain
the ocean in a low-energy state by creating a high surface reflectance and limiting turbulent
heat exchanges between the ocean and the atmosphere, thereby contributing to the polar heat
sink (Nakamura and Oort, 1988). The deepest Arctic Ocean is, however, ventilated laterally
from its shelves, thus circumventing the strong upper-ocean stratification in the interior ocean
(Aagaard and Carmack, 1994).
Sea ice concentrations
The extent of sea ice cover varies with the annual cycle by a factor of two; a maximum extent
in March and a minimum in September (Fig. 2.1). The microwave radiation from the ice pene-
trates most clouds as well as the polar night, and reliable coarse resolution overviews of the ice
cover from satellite borne instruments have been available on a regular basis from 1978 and
daily from 1987.
Figure 2.2 shows the ice cover at the beginning of September from 1997-2002. The largest
variations during this period are seen in the Laptev and East Siberian Seas. First-year ice nor-
mally represents up to 40% of the Arctic Ocean ice cover, having a thickness that rarely ex-
ceeds 2 m (Barry et al., 1993). Away from the coastal regions, about 60% of the ice cover is
ice which has survived one or more melt seasons. This multi-year ice is typically 3-5 meters
thick. Linear stretches of open water, or areas of thin ice called "leads" are typically 10-1000
m wide. They are broadly correlated with large-scale wind fields and have similar space and
time scales (Milnes and Barry, 1989).
Fig. 2.1 Satellite microwave radiometer observations of the ice distribution in the Arctic in
February 2002 (left) and September 2002 (right) Blue colours are ice free water; green-
yellow-orange-red-purple corresponds to increasing concentration (areal coverage) of ice.
Figures from: http://www.seaice.dk/DCRS/latest-ice.html
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Fig. 2.2 Ice cover at the beginning of September. Blue is total ice cover, green-yellow-red cor-
responds to lower ice concentrations of ice and pink is ice free. From:
Ice dynamics and variability
The mean high in sea level pressure over the Arctic Ocean drives the sea ice motion in the an-
ticyclonic Beaufort Gyre and the Transpolar Drift (Fig. 2.3). Sea-ice dynamics can be de-
scribed by the momentum balance where the air and water stresses, the Coriolis force, and the
ice interaction are the dominant terms (Hibler, 1986). Ice interaction can be large during the
winter and near the coasts, but is considered a small term during the summer season and away
from the coasts. On time-scales longer than a year the contributions from winds and ocean
currents in driving sea ice motion are roughly equal, but the drift of sea ice on shorter time-
scales (1 yr) follows the wind (Thorndike and Colony, 1982). On short timescales, the ice
drifts with a speed of about 1% of, and about 5 degrees to the right of, the geostrophic winds
(hypothetical wind above the friction layer where the pressure gradient balances the Coriolis
force). About 70% of the day-to-day or monthly ice motion can be explained by the local
geostrophic wind (Thorndike and Colony, 1982). During periods of decelerating wind, ice mo-
tion can become current driven, manifested both as skin drag and form drag on the underside
of the ice. The ratio of ice "sail" height to "keel" depth may reach 1:5 for first year ice, making
form drag in the oceanic boundary layer of equal or greater importance than skin drag (Smith
and McLean, 1977 ).
Research based on synoptic observations of ice drift and surface pressure obtained by the In-
ternational Arctic Data Buoy Program since 1979 have demonstrated that sea-ice motion fol-
lows an annual cycle and also that the mean motion correlates with the Arctic Oscillation
(Thompson and Wallace, 1998; Rigor et al., 2002). The most striking feature of the annual
cycle is the weakened ice drift north of Svalbard and the Barents- and Kara Seas during the
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summer, together with a major change in drift direction north of the New Siberian Islands (Fig.
Fig. 2.3 Mean ice motion in the Arctic based on data from the International Arctic Data
Buoy Program (http://iabp.apo.washington.edu/) since 1979 shown in relation to average
atmospheric pressure at sea level. From Rigor et al. (2002)
The Arctic Oscillation (AO) can be interpreted as the surface signature of modulations of the
strength of the polar vortex aloft related to an exchange of atmospheric mass between the Arc-
tic Ocean and the surrounding zonal ring centered at 45°N (Proshutinsky and Johnson, 1997;
Rigor et al., 2002). Figure 2.4 shows the variation of the AO-index over the last two decades.
Ice drift velocities are generally slower during a high AO state (lower sealevel pressure over
the Arctic and stronger westerlies at subpolar latitudes). The center of the Beaufort Gyre move
several hundred kilometres closer to the Alaskan coast and the Transpolar Drift is shifted more
towards Canada with concurrent increased advection of ice from the Laptev Sea into the
Transpolar Drift (Fig. 2.5). On the average, it takes ice more than 6 years to drift from the
Beaufort Sea to the Fram Strait and one year from the North Pole. During high AO years, ice
drift from the Beaufort Sea to the Fram Strait takes more than a year longer, but ice travels
faster from the North Pole to the Fram Strait. This condition leads to increased divergence of
sea ice, which in turn promotes increased production of more thin sea-ice over the Eurasia Ba-
sin (Rigor et al., 2002).
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Fig. 2.4 Standardized monthly AO index (dots) and winter means of the monthly AO index
(circles) for 1979-98. - From Rigor et al. (2002)
Arctic ice dynamics demonstrate plate tectonics
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Fig. 2.5 Isochron maps showing the number of years required for a parcel of ice to exit from
the Arctic through the Fram Strait. (a) Field during the low-index phase of the AO index and
(b) field during high-index phase of AO. The dashed line delimits the area for which ice either
recirculates in the Beaufort gyre or is advected through the Fram Strait. From Rigor et al.
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Sea-ice thickness
The sea-ice thickness is determined by two main factors; firstly by a thermodynamic effect
controlled by fluxes of radiative, sensible and latent heat in the adjacent atmosphere and oce-
anic boundary layers, and secondly by a dynamic effect from traction on the top and the under-
side of the ice. Wind traction on the ice surface and current traction on the underside of the ice
causes mechanical compression and conversion from thin ice to thicker ice, as well as diver-
gence and opening of new leads with generation of new ice. The annual cycle of freezing and
melting begins with freezing of meltwater ponds on the ice and open-water leads as the air
temperature starts to drop rapidly in late August (Fig. 2.6) About 80% of the annual snowfall
(10-15 cm water equivalent) is deposited by early November (Untersteiner, 1990).The accre-
tion of ice continues until May, slowly under thick ice and more rapidly under thin ice.
The onset of melting corresponds to a mean air temperature near ­1.2° C (Doronin, 1970).
Development of melt ponds at 85° N starts on the average about July 1, and the melt season
continues until late August. The extent of ponds increases to about 25% of the surface area
(locally up to 45%) by mid-July. Through the annual cycle, ice is added to the bottom and
melted away at the top. The seasonal variation in ice draft due to melting and freezing proc-
esses is approximately 0.3 meter (Maykut and Untersteiner, 1971).
Fig. 2.6 Environmental conditions at the North Pole during 2003. From NOOA Arctic Theme
Page http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/gallery_np_weatherdata.html
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Figure 2.7 Mean ice drafts at crossings of early cruises with cruises in the 1990s. Early data
(1958--1976) are shown by open triangles and those from the 1990s by solid squares, both
seasonally adjusted to September 15. The small dots show the original data before the sea-
sonal adjustment. The crossings are grouped into six regions separated by the solid lines and
named appropriately. (b) Changes in mean draft at cruise crossings (dots) from the early data
to the 1990s. The change in the mean draft for all crossings in each region is shown by a
large diamond. The abscissa gives the number of each crossing . After Rothrock et al.(1999)
The mean ice-drafts in the different areas of the Arctic Ocean as summarized by Rothrock et
al. (1999) are shown in Figure 2.7. The ice is generally
Arctic Ocean and the Nansen Basin, but> 2 meters in the Beaufort Sea and over the Chukchi
Cap. Visual observations of ice ridging taken during U.S. Navy Birdseye flights covering most
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of the Arctic Ocean have been compiled and published (Weeks et al., 1971). In broad terms,
0.5-2 ridges per kilometer characterize the ice surface. Pressure ridges have keel draft to sail
height ratios of 3-4:1, with larger ratios for first year ice (Tucker, 1989). Keels are usually
wider than sails and cluster around 50-150 meters with mean total widths around 70 meters
(Wadhams, 1994). The mean draft of pressure ridges exceeding a 9 m threshold is 10-12 m for
most of the Arctic Ocean during summer. Their occurrence is 1-3/km.
Arctic Ocean weather
Summer cyclones and anticyclones in the Arctic, north of 65° N are generally more frequent,
but weaker than their winter counterparts (Serreze et al., 1993). The increase in cyclonic activ-
ity occurs between April and June and is associated with an increase in the extent of low-level
Arctic stratus clouds. Most cyclones follow a path along the periphery of the Arctic Ocean.
The primary difference from winter is that cyclones are distributed more widely throughout the
Arctic. The average surface pressure over the Arctic Ocean is positive, but during the summer
low pressures frequently move into the central basin. The melting of the pack-ice in the sum-
mer leads to the formation of persistent fog and low clouds. The amount of cloud during July
and August exceeds 90% and most of it is low-level stratiform clouds (70%) (Curry and Her-
man, 1985 ; Herman and Goody, 1976). Arctic stratus clouds tend to occur in well-defined
layers of 300-500 m thickness. The optimum time window for marine summer operations in
the Arctic Ocean is the period between the peak of the melt season in early August and the
rapidly falling temperatures in early September.
A day of low clouds, strong wind and fast ice drift in the Arctic Ocean
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Site survey requirements
The purpose of a site survey is to document that proposed drilling locations are suitable for the
proposed science objectives and suitable for drilling operations. The International Ocean
Drilling Program guide and requirements to site surveys are available at:
The mandate of the site survey panel as stated on the Site Survey Panel (SSP) website is to
evaluate the available site survey data to ensure that:
proposed sites can be adequately imaged from the supplied data
sites selected based on the data can answer the scientific questions which have been posed
sites are located where it is feasible for an IODP drilling platform to drill
sufficient data to support both the science and the drilling operations have been supplied.
The major change from ODP to IODP will be the availability of multiple drilling platforms
(riser, non-riser and `mission specific platforms (MSP)'). This will enable the new program to
drill targets which were outside the operational capabilities of the JOIDES Resolution. These
new multi-platform operations also need a new structure in the proposal evaluation system, and
major changes will be implemented during the transition from ODP to IODP.
The new recommendations for the site survey panel were formulated on the first meeting of the
interim Site Survey Panel in February, 2002. The important difference between the old and the
new proposal evaluation pathway is shown in Fig. 3.1. During the ODP phase, proposals
reached the SSP at a very late stage. Within the IODP, the SSP will evaluate the proposals
already at the pre-proposal stage. Specifically, the Site Survey Panel will:
provide guidelines and suggestions to the proponents who have been asked to submit full
review pre-proposal(s) especially regarding necessary site survey data types
provide guidelines and suggestions , i.e. provide contact between proponents and research
group(s) experienced in site survey data collection
identify any potential natural or man-made hazards at the drill sites at an early stage so that
the Pollution Prevention and Safety Panel may schedule a preview of the proposal at one of
their meetings.
Currently relevant site survey data for the Arctic Ocean are dispersed over a variety of research
institutions and countries. A network of institutions and relevant geophysical- and geological
data holders with experience in site survey data acquisition from the Arctic Ocean should be
established. This network should assemble and maintain a geophysical/geological database.
Another very important point could be the appointment of an IODP working group tasked with
development of site survey strategies for the Arctic Ocean. The current iSSP (interim Site Sur-
vey Panel which will become the SSP in the new IODP) is currently developing, together with
the iPPSP (interim Pollution Prevention and Safety Panel), a new target matrix system which
will be adapted to the different drill targets as well as to the different drilling platforms. In ad-
dition to the advice from the proposal watchdogs, this matrix system will provide the propo-
nents with the possibility to access a list of the data types needed for the site survey of their
proposals via the internet. As soon as site survey data are available these data should be sub-
mitted to the site survey database. This requires close co-operation and contact between the
SSP watchdog and proponents.
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ODP Proposal Pathway (Source: A Guide to the Ocea Drilling Program)
Simplified Proposal Pathway in IODP showing
(i)SSP advice/guidance along every proposal step.




Submitted for
external review
Submitted for
external review
JOI manages
external comments
JOI manages
external comments
SSEPs reviews
external comments
SSEPs reviews
external comments
produces prospectus
produces prospectus
SSP reviews proposals
SSP reviews proposals
SCICOM ranks
proposals, etc.
SCICOM ranks
proposals, etc.
Submitted for
external review
Submitted for
external review
JOI manages
external comments
JOI manages
external comments
SSEPs reviews
external comments
SSEPs reviews
external comments
produces prospectus
produces prospectus
SCICOM ranks
proposals, etc.
SCICOM ranks
proposals, etc.
Pre-proposal reviewed by
Pre-proposal reviewed by
Full proposal
(New and revised)
Full proposal
(New and revised)
Full proposal review
Full proposal review
Full proposal review
Full proposal review
Pre-proposal reviewed by
Pre-proposal reviewed by
Full proposal
(New and revised)
Full proposal
(New and revised)
Full proposal review
Full proposal review
Full proposal review
Full proposal review
Fig. 3.1 Simplified pathways in the ODP and IODP drilling proposal handling
The Site Survey Panel has developed recommendations for eight major "Target Types" (Table
3.1). Data requirements have been developed for each target type. Generally a collection of
geophysical and geological information is recommended for site characterization. Minimum
requirements for sites on topographically elevated features are 3.5 kHz echosounder. However,
in specific instances the Site Survey Panel will also require high-resolution or deep penetration
seismic data, seismic velocity data, a grid of intersecting seismic lines, refraction data, swath
bathymetry, side-looking sonar, photography or video imagery, results of rock sampling and
information on water currents and ice conditions.
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Data on Ice Conditions are for sites in high latitude areas
Data type
Drilling environment (target type)
High Resolution Seismic
Y, X*
Y, X*
X or 2
Y, X*
Y, X*
X* or 6
Deep Penetration
Seismic Reflection
X or 1
Y, X*
Y, X*
Y or 5a
Seismic Velocity
X* X*
Grid of Intersecting
Seismic Profiles
Y, X*
Y, X*
Y, X*
Y, X*
Refraction (surface
Y, X*
Y, X*
Y, X*
Y, X*
Y, X*
Y, X*
Y or 2
Refraction (near bottom
source and receiver)
3.5 kHz
Y, X*
X* or 1
Swath Bathymetry
Y, X*
Y, X*
Y, X*
Y, X*
Side-looking Sonar
(shallow towed)
Y, X*
Y, X*
Side-looking Sonar (near-
bottom towed)
Y, X*
Y, X*
Y, X*
Y, X*
Y, X*
Y, X*
Photography or Video
Y, X*
Heat Flow
Y, X*
Y, X*
Y, T
Y, X*
Y, X*
Y, X*
Sediment Cores
Y, R
Y, R
R, T
Y, X*, R
Rock Sampling
Y, X*
Y, X*
Water Current Data
Ice Conditions
OBS Microseismicity
X = Required
A = Paleo environment or Fan (APC/XCB)
X* = May be required for specific sites
B = Pasive Margin
Y = Recommended
C = Active Margin
Y* = May be recommended for specific sites
D = Open Ocean Crust (> 400 m sediment)
R = Required for re-entry sites
E = Open Ocean Crust (
T = Required for high temperature environments
F = Bare Rock Drilling
G = Topographically Elevated Feature
H = Tectonic Window
Table 3.1 Recommendations for data to be included in "Target Types"
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Inventory of geoscientific data in the Arctic
A new International Bathymetric Chart of the Arctic Ocean (Fig. 4.1) has been compiled and
comprises historical and modern data sets that were previously unavailable (Jakobsson et al.,
2000). It is a 2.5 x 2.5 km grid model which also encompass soundings from US and British
navy nuclear submarine cruises between 1958-1988, echosoundings of cruises of the SCICEX
program 1993-1999, and echosoundings from icebreakers and research vessels of Canada,
Germany, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States. The map is available at:
Fig. 4.1 Bathymetric map of the Arctic Ocean (IBCAO). Based on Jakobsson et al. (2000)
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The use of multibeam swath mapping systems on icebreakers Polarstern and Healy represents a
new era in charting the Polar Basin. A further breakthrough was the use of a multibeam system
on the U.S.Navy nuclear submarine Hawkbill in 1999 where swath data was acquired at a
speed of 16 knots. Presently, the western half of the Gakkel Ridge, a short segment of Lo-
monosov Ridge and part of Chukchi Plateau are mapped at a detail useful for geological proc-
ess studies.
Seismic reflection
The geographical distribution of seismic reflection data from the Arctic Ocean is displayed in
Figures 4.2 ­ 4.6 and the particulars of surveys and expeditions are tabulated in Table 4.1 and
4.2. In total some 20.000 km of seismic reflection data is available from the part of the Arctic
Ocean covered by perennial sea ice. About 75% of this inventory has been collected from
camps on sea ice or ice islands moving mainly in response to the surface wind field at an aver-
age rate of 3-5 km/day. The seismic data collected by Russian scientists from ice camps con-
stitutes about
11.000 km and is the result of 3.940 seismic crew-days (Gramberg et al., 1991). It is noted that
during almost 30 years of intermittent ice station operations, the inventory grew annually by
about 500 km of new seismic lines compared to about 300 km since the introduction of modern
icebreaker surveys.
The data coverage is scattered and the total inventory is equivalent to about 3 months produc-
tion by a single seismic vessel in the open ocean. Nevertheless, a feature like the Lomonosov
Ridge is traversed by five ice stations, and has six seismic traverses by icebreakers, a fairly
extensive coverage of swath bathymetry as well as high resolution chirp sonar. Also the wealth
of data captured during the AMORE 2001 expedition makes 2/3 of Gakkel Ridge among the
best surveyed spreading ridge segments in the world oceans.
Soviet ice station North Pole-1
Ice island T3 , 13 km long
on drifting ice sea, 1937-38
7 km wide and 30 m thick,
Seismic data acquisition, 1966-74
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Ice platform Area
Seismic equipment
Canada Basin,
Alpha Ridge
1962-1974 12 kHz
9 kJ sparker at 8 m 2 hydroph. 30 m
3.5 sec
4.000 km
East Siberian Sea
3-50 detonators fired in center of 1150
x 1150 m crossed array of 2 x 12
340 km
Arlis--II Canada
1963-1965 12 kHz
5 kJ sparker, single hydrophone
analog tape
1.0 sec.
Greenland Sea
0.45 kg primers at 10 min. interval 6
3.5 sec
Lomonosov Ridge
3-50 detonators fired in center of 1150
x 1150 m crossed array of 2 x 12
analog tape
476 km
Mendeleev Ridge-
Amundsen Basin
3-50 detonators fired in center of 1150
x 1150 m crossed array of 2 x 12
analog tape
3.400 km
Makarov Basin -
Lomonosov Ridge
3-50 detonators fired in center of 1150
x 1150 m crossed array of 2 x 12
analog tape
1280 km
East Siberian Sea,
Amundsen Basin
3-50 detonators fired in center of 1150
x 1150 m crossed array of 2 x 12
analog tape
1790 km
Lomonosov Ridge
3.5 kHz
10 inch³ airgun, single hydrophone
at 5 m
analog tape
1.2 sec
appr. 180 km
1 and 10 kg explosives five times a day
24 seismometers 90 m spacing in cross
200 stations
Gakkel Ridge
12 kHz
40 inch³ airgun, single hydrophone
analog tape
2 sec.
FRAM-III Nansen Basin
12 kHz
9 kJ sparker and single hydrophone
analog tape
200 km
FRAM-IV Nansen Basin
12 kHz
120 inch³ airgun 10 m below the ice,
20 channel sonobuoy array, 100 m
spacing, 50 m shot point distance
2 sec
200 km
Alpha Ridge
3.5 kHz
40 inch³ airgun, single hydrophone
analog tape
Mendeleev Ridge-
Canada Basin
3-50 detonators fired in center of 1150
x 1150 m crossed array of 2 x 12
analog tape
1450 km
Fram Strait
3-50 detonators fired in center of 1150
x 1150 m crossed array of 2 x 12
analog tape
1820 km
Canada Basin-
Northwind Ridge
3-50 detonators fired in center of 1150
x 1150 m crossed array of 2 x 12
analog tape
450 km
Total 15.648 km
Lomonosov Ridge
1.0 sec
62 km
Table 4.1 Ice station seismic reflection surveys
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Seismic equipment
Polarstern Lomonosov Ridge
2x180 inch³ airguns below 1 ton
weight at 7 m
+2 sec.
270 km
Eurasia Basin
Tuned array, 8 guns 1440 inch³, 12
channel, 300 m long streamer, 183
m offset
1.200 km
Lomonosov Ridge
12 kHz
2 x 80 inch³ below depressor at 0-7
m depth, 8 channels, 200 m active
length, 120 m offset
+2 sec.
700 km
Polarstern Alpha Ridge
Tuned array, 8 guns 1440 inch³ 32
channels, 200 m active length, 100
m offset
+2 sec.
330 km
Lomonosov Ridge
920 km
Polarstern Gakkel Ridge
Tuned array, 8 guns 1440 inch³,
geohone array on ice
0 km
Nansen Basin
Tuned array, 8 guns 1440 inch³, 48
channels, 300 m active length
+2 sec.
Amundsen Basin
Lomonosov Ridge
12 kHz
+2 sec.
100 km
Nansen Basin
12 kHz
700 km
Polar Star
Northwind Ridge
12 kHz
+ 5 sec.
155 km
Canada Basin
Polar Star
Northwind Ridge
12 kHz
6.5 sec.
500 km
Northwind Basin
Polar Star
Canada Basin,
Northwind Ridge
12 kHz
674 to 1303 inch³ tuned array of 6
air guns suspended below a 1270
kg weight and towed as much as 20
m below sea surface. 2-channel
hydrophone streamer with 150 m
active section.
6.5 sec.
1,900 km
Total 6.675 km
674 inch³ tuned array of 6 airguns
suspended below a 1270 kg weight
and towed as much as 20 m below
sea surface. Dual-channel
hydrophone streamer with 150 m
active section
195 inch³ airgun suspended below
a 1270 kg weight and towed up to
20 m below the sea surface. 2-
channel hydophone streamer with
150 m active section
2x250 inch³ G-guns below
depressor at 0-7 m depth 8
channels, 200 m active length, 100
m offset
Table 4.2 Icebreaker seismic reflection surveys
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Fig 4.2 Plot of seismic reflection data collected from Alpha Ridge and its vicinity: icebreaker
surveys (heavy red lines) , drifting ice stations (thin black lines, Russian; thin red lines, Cana-
dian and U.S.), and SCICEX high resolution chirp sonar surveys (thin blue lines). The seismic
data was acquired by "Polarstern" in 1991 and 1998, "Oden" in 1996, Arlis-II in 1964-65,
CESAR in 1983, T3 in 1966-74 and by Russian icestations NP-13, NP-21, NP-22, NP-23, NP-
24, NP-26 and NP-28. Locations of sediment cores shown by black dots and red large dots
represent cores which contained Cretaceous sediments. Sediment cores have been recovered
by "Polarstern" in 1991 and 1998, "Oden" in 1996, "Polar Sea" in 1994, CESAR in 1983
and T3 in 1966-74
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Fig. 4.3 Overview of seismic reflection data collected from Lomonosov Ridge and its vicinity:
icebreaker surveys (heavy red lines) , drifting ice stations (thin black lines, Russian; thin red
lines, Canadian and U.S.), and SCICEX high resolution chirp sonar and swath bathymetry
surveys (thin blue lines). The seismic data was acquired by "Polarstern" in 1991 and 1998,
"Oden" in 1996, Arlis-II in 1964-65, CESAR in 1983, LOREX in 1979, T3 in 1966-74 and by
Russian icestations NP-13, NP-21, NP-22, NP-23, NP-24, NP-26 and NP-28. Locations of
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sediment cores shown by black dots. Large red dots represent cores which contained Creta-
ceous sediments. Sediment cores have been recovered by "Polarstern" in 1991, 1995 and
1998, "Oden" in 1996, "Polar Sea" in 1994, CESAR in 1983 and T3 in 1966-74
Fig. 4.4 Map of Chukchi Plateau and Northwind Ridge with seismic reflection data collected
by icebreaker surveys (heavy red lines) and drifting ice stations (thin red lines, U.S; thin black
lines, Russian). Seismic reflection surveys by A. Grantz with "PolarStar" in 1988, 1992 and
1993, from T3 in 1966-69, and from Russian ice station NP-26 in 1983. Location of sediment
cores taken by A.Grantz in 1988, 1992, 1993, and 1994 and from ice station T3 are shown by
black dots
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Fig. 4.5 Plot of seismic reflection data collected from Morris Jesup Rise and its vicinity by
"Polarstern" (heavy red line) and drifting ice station Arlis II (thin red line) and Russian
North Pole 28 ( black line). Locations of sediment cores recovered by "Polarstern" in 1991
are indicated by black dots
Fig. 4.6 Yermak Plateau. Overview of seismic reflection data collected from Yermak Plateau
by vessels (heavy red lines) , and drifting ice stations (thin black lines, Russian; thin red lines,
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U.S.). A detailed SCICEX high resolution chirp sonar and swath bathymetry survey has been
carried out within the framed area. The seismic data was acquired by University of Bergen in
1976, 1977 and 1979, with "Oden" in 2001, by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate in 1990,
by "Polarstern" in 1991, and from ice stations Fram-3 and Fram-4 and North Pole 28. Loca-
tions of sediment cores recovered during the 1980 "Ymer" expedition are shown by black dots
and ODP Sites 910-912 by large brown dots
High resolution seismic reflection (> 1 kHz)
Low frequency echosounders ( 3.5 kHz) give sub-bottom penetration up to 100 m and are an
invaluable guide for choice of sediment coring and shallow drilling locations. 3.5 kHz echo-
sounders were used on the Canadian LOREX and CESAR expeditions while the 12 kHz beam
commonly used on other expeditions is heavily attenuated below the water-sediment interface
and rarely displays sub-bottom penetration, particularly in a turbidite environment. Modern
research vessels such as "Polarstern" and "Healy" have seismic high resolution systems which
provide sub-bottom penetration up to 50 m. The chirp sonar mounted on the the hull of U.S.
Navy nuclear submarine "Hawkbill" (Fig. 4.7) had similar depth penetration, and represented
a real break-through in terms of data coverage (Fig. 4.8).
Fig. 4.7 The concept for seabed mapping and charaterization from a nuclear submarine plat-
form as successfully carried out by U.S.N. Hawkbill in 1999 (Figure courtesy of Paul Bienhof)
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Fig. 4.8 SCICEX 1999 Cruise track with swath bathymetry and chirp sonar recording (red
line). Black dots along the basin transect from Alaska towards Franz Josef Land indicate lo-
cations where expendable probes for sea water conductivity, temperature and depth (X CTD)
were deployed. Approximate limit of 200 n.m. Exclusive Economic Zone indicated by dashed
black line. Figure from : http://boreas.coas.oregonstate.edu/scicex/scicexmaps/
Seismic refraction
The locations of seismic refraction measurements in the Arctic Ocean are shown in Fig. 4.9.
Most of these experiments were carried out with helicopter support from drifting ice stations
(Fig. 4.10). The lines are mostly 50 to 100 km long with shot spacing rarely less than 5 km.
The use of sonobuoys from icebreakers has made a vast improvement in spatial sampling out
to a maximum of 30 km offset. Close to one hundred sonobuoy measurements have been made
along traverses in the Nansen- and Amundsen Basins, while fifteen successful measurements
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have been obtained on Lomonosov Ridge and three on Alpha Ridge (Table 4.2). Seventy eight
measurements have been carried out in the Canada Basin and over the Northwind Ridge.
Fig. 4.9 Seismic refraction surveys in the Arctic (data compiled by R. Jackson and C. Deping).
For a complete inventory of seismic reflection lines see figure 4.2 to 4.6
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Fig. 4.10 Cartoon showing the procedure for seismic refraction experiment used by Jackson et
al. (1982)
Heat flow
The compilation of marine heat flow data from the deep Arctic Ocean by Langseth et al.
(1990) shows that a total of 444 successful measurements had been made. In addition, 21 new
measurements were made along and off-axis on Gakkel Ridge during the AMORE 2001 expe-
dition (Thiede et al., 2002).
Regional reconnaissance aeromagnetic mapping began in 1946 by Soviet agencies and in 1950
by the United States Navy. A joint compilation by scientists at VNIIOkeanologia and the US
Naval Research Laboratory of Russian aeromagnetic surveys carried out between 1961 and
1992, and U.S. surveys between 1972 and 1998 provides the most comprehensive representa-
tion of the spatial anomalies in the residual magnetic field over the Arctic Ocean (Fig. 4.11).
This follows a pioneering effort undertaken at the Geological Survey of Canada-Atlantic to
create a coherent magnetic anomaly data base for the Arctic region (Macnab et al., 1989; Ver-
hoef et al., 1996).
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Fig. 4.11 Magnetic anomaly map of the Arctic Ocean with bathymetry superimposed. From
Glebovsky et al. (2000)
Nansen carried out the first five determinations of the earth`s gravitational attraction in the
Arctic Ocean by pendulum measurements during the drift of "Fram" 1893-1896 across the
Eurasia Basin. Readings of gravity by a damped land-gravimeter at ice camps has been part of
the scientific program on all U.S. and Canadian ice stations. After 1979, the gravity data base
was augmented by use of helicopters out to over a hundred kilometer away from the ice camp.
Gravity have also been collected on Russian ice stations and during air craft landings on the
Airborne gravity surveying using kinematic GPS techniques have revolutionized the methods
of gravity data collection in the Arctic Ocean. The current database of airborne gravity is pri-
marily the result of surveys by the US Naval Research Laboratory (Brozena and Salman,
1996), and more local campaigns around Greenland, Svalbard and Ellesmere Island by Scandi-
navian, German and Canadian groups. Systematic airborne surveys have also been carried out
by Russian investigators. Gravity data have been collected from nuclear submarines on all the
six SCICEX cruises since 1993. The Arctic Gravity Project is an international effort to compile
the public domain free-air and Bouguer gravity data bases north of 64° N. The 5´x 5´ free-air
gravity map is shown in Fig. 4.12.
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Fig. 4.12 Free Air gravity anomaly map of the Arctic. From http://www.nima.mil/GandG/agp/
Sediment cores
The scientist O.B. Bøggild, who was entrusted with examination of the first four mud samples
ever recovered from the deep Polar Basin during Nansen`s drift with "Fram" published his
results ...."in the hope that a tolerably clear idea thereby be obtained of the lithology of the
bottom of the North Polar Sea " (Bøggild, 1906). Today, over1000 sediment cores have been
recovered by U.S and Canadian ice stations and 356 during expeditions with western ice
breakers (Table 4.3). Unfortunately, we do not have numbers for the Russian effort which may
have been larger. Logistics constrained the weight of coring equipment used on ice stations and
the longest core taken from T-3 was 5.5 m, while the average length was 3-3.5 m (Minicucci
and Clark, 1983; Clark et al., 1980). The weight of the 10 m long Ewing-Kullenberg piston
corer used on T-3 was 550 kilos. Coring devices weighing 1.200 kilos or more used from ice-
breakers have generally only yielded 5-8 m of recovered sediments, 12 cores are longer than
10 m. The longest core (16.92 m) was recovered from the Amundsen Basin by "Polarstern" in
1991 using the long piston coring facility of Atlantic Geoscience Centre, Canada (Futterer
et.al., 1992). Pre-Neogene sediments have accidentally been recovered in four cores from the
central part of Alpha Ridge (Mudie et al., 1986; Clark, 1974), lower Mesozoic non-marine
siltstone in one core from the flank of Lomonosov Ridge near the North Pole (Grantz et al.,
2001). The only target oriented sediment coring effort in the Arctic Ocean known to data
yielded late Paleozoic and Mesozoic rocks in a dozen cores from Northwind Ridge (Grantz et
al., 1998).
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Coring equipment
Number of
Core length
Oldest sediment
Canada Basin,
Alpha Ridge
1962-1974 12 kHz
Ewing-Kullenberg piston corer 10
m long, 75 mm diam. 550 kg
5.5 m
Upper Cretaceous
Lomonosov Ridge
3.5 kHz
Gravity corer, 2.4 m long, 67 mm
diam., 118 kg
0.2 - 1.7 m
Gakkel Ridge
12 kHz
Gravity corer 2.0 m long, 50 mm
diam., 30 kg
0.07 - 0.95 m
Nansen Basin
12 kHz
Piston corer, 12 m long, 100 mm
diam., 1,4 ton
Nansen Basin
12 kHz
Gravity corer
0.3 m
Nansen Basin
12 kHz
Gravity corer, 3.o m long, 37 mm
diam., 50 kg
0.5 m
Alpha Ridge
3.5 kHz
Piston corer, 6-9 m long, 67 mm
diam., 545 kg
0.2-1.7 m
Upper Cretaceous
Polar Star
Northwind Ridge
12 kHz
Piston corer, 87 mm diameter
cores, 1.3 ton weight stand
Up to 8.3 m
Upper Jurassic
Canada Basin
Box corer, approx. 30 by 40 cm
Up to 61 cm
Polar Star
Eastern Alaskan
12 kHz
Piston corer, 87 mm diameter
cores, 1.3 ton weight stand
2.0 to 6.2 m
Beaufort Sea slope
and rise
Box corer, approx. 30 by 40 cm
0.61 cm
Nansen Basin
Piston/gravity corer, 5.75 m long,
120 mm diam., 2 ton
5.7 m
Eurasia Basin /
Gravity corer, 10 m length, 120
mm diam., 1.5 ton
0.29 m
Lomonosov Ridge
Box corer, 12 m length, 300x300
mm square, 3.5 ton
1.58 - 9.76 m
Large piston corer, 21 m long,
105 mm diam., +3 ton
0.7 - 16.92 m
Polar Star
Northwind Ridge
12 kHz
Piston corer, 87 mm diameter
cores, 1.3 ton weight stand
0.68 to 8.7 m
Northwind Basin
Box corer, approx. 30 by 40 cm
Up to 61 cm
Polar Star
Northwind Ridge
12 kHz
Piston corer, 87 mm diameter
cores, 1.3 ton weight stand
0.88 to 8.19 m
Canada Basin
Box corer, approx. 30 by 40 cm
8 to 48 cm
Polar Star
12 kHz
Piston corer, 87 mm diameter
cores, 1.3 ton weight stand
0.28 to 8.56 m
Middle Jurassic or
Lower Cretaceous
Eurasia Basin via
Box corer, approx. 30 by 40 cm
North Pole
31 to 53 cm
Lomonosov Ridge
12 kHz
Piston corer, 88 mm core diam,
12 m long, 1 ton weight
0.46 - 9.0 m
Selcore hydrostatic corer, 100
mm diam., 1 ton
Alpha Ridge-
Gravity corer, 12 m length, 120
mm diam., 1.5 ton
6.5 m
Lomonosov Ridge
Box corer, 12 m length, 300x300
mm square, 3.5 ton
7.5 m
Gakkel Ridge
Gravity corer, 10 m length, 120
mm diam., 1.5 ton
0.69 - 6.6 m
Nansen Basin
Amundsen Basin
Total number of cores: 1058
Lomonosov Ridge
Gravity corer
0.2 - 1.8 m
Table 4.3 Sediment cores recovered by U.S. and Canadian ice stations and ice breakers
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Strategies for site surveys in the Arctic Ocean
Site surveys are a prerequisite for any scientific drilling activity to test models for the geologi-
cal history of the Arctic Ocean. We need the general geologic framework in place and a suite
of geophysical and geological data to optimize the location of potential drill sites. Pre-defined
geographical locations and planned survey patterns present a major challenge in the presence
of 2-3 m thick sea ice often drifting at several hundred m/hr.
Characterization of a potential drill site requires the following types of data:
Seismic reflection measurements
The need to define a regional and local stratigraphic framework makes seismic reflection
measurements (
carried out from drifting sea ice, or in single- or multi-ship icebreaker operations.
A sea ice platform for seismic data acquisition can exploit two important Arctic features;
the ambient noise in the water (Dyer, 1984) is well below the extrapolated curve of sea-
state "zero" noise level in the open ocean (Knudsen et al. ,1948).
the ice surface is well-suited for deployment of arrays.
Traditionally, a single hydrophone in the water or an array of surface seismometers summed
into one trace have been used on drifting ice stations. Extended surface arrays have been used
for isolated shots (Overton, 1984; Baggeroer and Duckworth, 1983), and in a single case (Fig.
5.1) for continuous multichannel seismic data acquisition (Kristoffersen and Husebye, 1985).
The signal to noise ratio is well above that for seismic data acquired by icebreakers. Periods of
bad data quality from ice stations in the past were most often due to radio interference and
other man-made noise.
Fig. 5.1 Array of modified sonobuoys used for seismic multi-channel seismic reflection meas-
urements on drifting sea ice. From Kristoffersen and Husebye (1985)
The ice surface moves as a coherent unit during the winter season and lends itself to deploy-
ment of large arrays. Optimal sun light and weather conditions limit use of sea ice as platform
to the spring weather window (late March ­ early June). A seismic array may be disrupted by
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ice dynamics and dictate data transmission from array elements by radio (Kristoffersen and
Husebye, 1985) rather than by surface cables (Baggeroer and Duckworth,1983) or a wireless
digital local area network (WLAN). True 3-D seismic surveys in the Arctic Ocean can pres-
ently only be carried out by experiments on the ice surface. Such data sets would circumvent
the problem of achieving a survey grid by a surface vessel and fully meet the SSP require-
ments. An infrastructure established every year in the vicinity of the North Pole for tourist op-
erations (www.polarcircle.com/gb/site/barneo) may be exploited as an advanced base for inde-
pendent science programs at a reasonable cost. In the future seismic 3-D surveys may be
achieved using nuclear submarines.
Conventional 2D-marine multichannel seismic surveys are carried out by icebreakers in the
Arctic Ocean (Jokat et al., 1995a). However, limitations with respect to control of source and
cable depth as well as higher ambient noise level strongly influence data quality. In 7/10 ­ 9/10
of ice, most frequently encountered in the central Polar Basin, the wake behind the vessel is
anywhere from a few meters to several hundred meters. Two icebreakers operating in tandem
provide more continuous progress and leave a better wake. However, practical average survey
speeds rarely exceed 3 knots (single vessel 2 knots) and diesel driven icebreakers are most
often constrained to follow leads of opportunity.
It is essential that towed equipment enter the water as close to the stern as possible. Ice caught
by towing lines may force either the source, the hydrophone cable or both to the surface and
cause damage or ultimately loss of equipment. The equipment is towed with signal cables and
air supply lines bundled in a heavy duty hose from deck level to the source depth (Fig. 5.2).
Two different approaches guide the choice of source depth; in the "survival mode" the source
is towed deeper than the keel and propeller wash (+20 m), and in the "suicide mode" the
source is meant to fly at regular survey depth between 5 and 10 m. The surface ghost reflec-
tions which interfere with the primary source pulse will cause a highly undesirable notch in the
source spectrum at 30 Hz and 60 Hz for a source as deep as +20 meter. A shallower source
will, on the other hand, be violently tossed around in the propeller wash during ice breaking.
Using two icebreakers in tandem allow operation of more elaborate sources such as a cluster of
eight air guns (24 liter) suspended from a frame behind e.g. "Polarstern" (Fig. 5.2, lower
panel). The ice prohibits use of depth controlling birds on the hydrophone cable and in 7/10-
9/10 of ice, the practical cable length is 200-300 meters. A moving icebreaker frequently
looses momentum particularly during single ship operation (average every 200 m during the
2001 Lomonosov Ridge site survey expedition). In this situation, the hydrophone cable may
sink unevenly and result in severe signal distortion between channels in a single shot.
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Fig. 5.2 Seismic source configurations used for seismic reflection measurements in the Arctic
Ocean. Upper left: system used in single ship operation by Grantz et al. (1993); upper right;
by Kristoffersen et al. (2001), and lower panel: air gun array used by Jokat et al. (1999) in a
nuclear icebreaker assisted operation.
The energy in the hydrophone cable noise was in 1991 15-20 microbar (rms) for Polarstern
operating alone and 5-10 microbars (rms) when the seismic data was acquired in the wake of
another icebreaker (Jokat et al., 1995a). For comparison, open ocean surveys experience back-
ground noise levels
Nevertheless, in spite of considerable problems such as low data fold, lack of source and
streamer control as well as ambient noise levels 3-5 times higher than normal, the quality of
seismic reflection data is surprisingly good and adequate for site characterization purposes. We
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note, that icebreakers are more flexible and collect the same amount of seismic data in an hour
as would be acquired from an ice station in a day, but the data quality is likely to be lower and
the cost is at least an order of magnitude larger.
Future seismic reflection surveys would be most efficiently carried out by a nuclear submarine
if the technology became available. Presently, high resolution chirp sonar surveys (penetration

tions (Fig. 5.3).
Fig. 5.3 Example of SCICEX chirp sonar profile across Lomonosov Ridge. Depth scale is 50
m between dashed horizontal lines. After Polyak et al. (2001)
Seismic refraction measurements
Spatial resolution is essential for meaningful investigations of crustal architecture. A moving
ship is the most practical environment for providing a repetitive source at increasing offsets.
The signals may be recorded by an array on the ice. This approach was successfully used by
"Polarstern" on the Gakkel Ridge during AMORE 2001 expedition (Thiede et.al., 2002).
Heat flow measurements
The temperature gradient in the sediments is measured by a 5-10 meter long lance with a series
of outboard distributed thermistors. It is conveniently carried out from a research vessel, but
may well be carried out from a small ice camp or by aircraft landings on the ice.
Gravity and magnetic measurements
Potential field measurements are most efficiently carried out by airborne surveys, and gravity
also from submarines. The magnetic signature of basement may be variable, but gravity is par-
ticularly useful for tracking the extension of basement features progressively buried by sedi-
ments below the abyssal plain as well as lateral sub-basement density variations.
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Sediment coring and dredging
The past efforts to obtain sediment cores from the deep polar basin show that
sediments were recovered using equipment weighing
more than 1 ton, and heavy (+3 tons) coring devices were needed to obtain cores longer than
10 meters (Table 4.3). Modern research icebreakers facilitate use of heavy coring devices.
What are most urgently needed are dedicated coring and dredging efforts at locations already
known as having the potential for extended stratigraphy, such as the steep Eurasia Basin facing
slopes of Lomonosov Ridge or slopes on the marginal plateaus as well as eroded areas and
slopes of basement highs on the Alpha Ridge (Clark and Grantz, 2002).
Need for new technologies
The workshop suggested a number of highly desirable developments to advance geoscience in
the high Arctic:
1. The most substantial progress would come from continuing science operations like SCI-
CEX using nuclear submarines. A capability should be developed for seismic reflection
measurements from this platform.
2. More robust towing arrangements for seismic surveys should be developed to allow for
maximum icebreaker propulsion power while collecting useful data.
Sediment coring equipment with better penetration and recovery is needed in marine geol-
ogy in general and for Arctic Ocean use in particular.
3D-seismic data would greatly improve site characterization and experiments using drifting
sea ice as platform should explore this.
Nansen's men pulling a sounding line
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Target areas
Alpha-Mendeleev Ridge
Primary science questions:
Did the Cretaceous planet Earth warm and cool relatively uniformly across a range of lati-
tudes, or were local factors dominant in governing temperature at specific locations?
What was the Arctic environment during periods of extreme global warmth?
Are Alpha- and Mendeleev ridges a result of Cretaceous plume activity or do they have
different origins?
Existing geophysical and geological data
The limited geoscientific data available from the Alpha- and Mendeleev Ridges include ice
station trajectories with seismic reflection measurements and a number of sediment cores (Fig.
4.2). Several short cores (
of Mesozoic sediments which have documented a warm Mesozoic ocean and upwelling con-
ditions, and proven immensely valuable data points in a latitudinal description of the global
Cretaceous paleoenvironment. A two-ship expedition with the Russian nuclear icebreaker
Arktika and RV Polarstern advanced to the flank of Alpha Ridge during the 1998 season and
obtained 320 km of multichannel seismic data, three sonobuoys and recovered six sediment
cores, 4.5 ­ 7.2 meters long (Jokat et al., 1999). A sample of altered tholeitic basalt was in-
cluded at the base in one of the cores and a tentative date of 83 Ma has been obtained (Jokat,
Need for additional data
Alpha Ridge is the most difficult of the major submarine features of the Arctic Ocean to access
by surface vessels. More seismic reflection measurements has highest priority in order to iden-
tify locations where an offset sediment sampling technique can be applied to obtain the best
possible stratigraphic range including basement rocks.
Define drilling sites and prioritise
Mesozoic sediments can probably be obtained anywhere on Alpha-Mendeleev Ridge, and lo-
cations can be defined by seismic data from ice stations as well as from the "Polarstern" 1998
cruise. However, the limited data available render a discussion of drilling sites premature at
this point.
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Lomonosov Ridge
Primary science questions
The Lomonosov Ridge represents the opportunity for a case study of lithosphere rheology.
We need to establish:
the nature of the crustal framework
ridge history during rifting and formation of Eurasia Basin
The significance of the ridge as a barrier for oceanic circulation.
establish history of water exchange through saddle points.
history of ridge interaction with deep draught ice
the evolution of the Late Cenozoic Arctic glaciation as documented in the conformable
surface sediment cover.
Existing Geophysical and Geologic Data
The available seismic reflection data base include six transects of good quality seismic reflec-
tion data and five ice station tracks across the ridge crest (Fig. 4.3). The 1999 SCICEX cruise
provided swath bathymetry, shallow penetration seismics (chirp sonar), and gravity at nominal
10 km line separation within the segments 83°-84° N and 86° 30` ­ 89° N. The 58 sediment
cores recovered from Lomonosov Ridge have all captured upper Pleistocene and younger
sediments with the notable exception of two cores raised from the steep Eurasia Basin slope of
the ridge. Core 94-PC27 (1520 m. water depth) sampled Lower Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous
nonmarine siltstone, while core 94-PC29 from a depth of 3010 m on the lower slope recovered
weakly consolidated anoxic Neogene siltstone with an average TOC of 4.1wt% (Grantz et al.,
Need for additional data
A sediment coring campaign, supported by seismic surveying of stratigraphic transects that
appear promising based on available data, must have highest priority in a geoscience program
on future expeditions. This include sampling transects up the steep Eurasia Basin flank of the
ridge, and sampling the stratigraphic windows into the prograding slope section exposed by
erosion in canyon walls on the Makarov Basin side.
Define drilling sites and priorities
Proposal 533 for scientific drilling on Lomonosov Ridge is highly ranked and has been ap-
proved by all iODP panels for drilling using a mission specific platform. Primary objectives
are Cenozoic paleoceanography and the nature of the ridge framework and its tectonic history.
Gakkel Ridge
Primary science questions
Extremely slow spreading rates (13 mm ­ 5 mm/yr. full rate) on the Gakkel Ridge imply the
lowest temperatures of magma extraction from the mantle and limits the depth region within
which partial melts can form to the deeper parts of the melting column. This permits in princi-
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ple the study of both nearly unmelted mantle and of basalts derived from extremely low tem-
peratures of partial melting.
We want to:
obtain relatively fresh basement samples from the sedimented central and eastern portion
of the ridge
establish the depth and extent of mantle-seawater chemical and thermal interaction on the
ridge by obtaining relatively fresh basalt samples
determine existence of unique vent biomass communities
Existing Geophysical and Geologic Data
The wide range of geological and geophysical investigations carried out during the 2001
AMORE expedition raised the state of knowledge of 2/3 of the Gakkel Ridge (3°-86° E) to the
highest level among the spreading centers in the world oceans. Two seismic reflection tran-
sects at 70° E show a sediment filled rift valley (Jokat and Micksch, 2004) where the basalt lies
some 7 km down, beneath 3-4 km of sediment.
Need for additional data
More geophysical data, particularly seismic refraction data is needed to establish the geophysi-
cal signatures of segmentation in melt production along the ridge, and to use this information
to interpret the significance of the high amplitude magnetic anomaly zone over the flanks of
the Gakkel Ridge (Feden et al., 1979).
Define drilling sites and priorities
Two preliminary drilling targets may the identified; one at the eastern end of the central area at
85° N, 94° E where the sediment infill may reach 500 m, and a second at 86° N, 50° E where
the sediment cover is thinner.
Chukchi Plateau - Northwind Ridge
Primary science questions
Three major science issues can be addressed by drilling on Chukchi Plateau (the plateau) and
Northwind Ridge (the ridge), which are microplates of continental crust isolated by plate tec-
tonic processes in the oceanic Amerasia Basin of the Arctic Ocean
Coring of the post-rift Hauterivian (mid-Lower Cretaceous to Quaternary) pelagic strata
that overlie the plateau and ridge has the potential to provide a record of the paleoenviron-
ment of the Northwind Ridge and Chukchi Plateau microplates and the Amerasia Basin for
at least much of its history.
Piston coring indicates that the mid-Pliocene to Quaternary glacial record is nearly com-
plete on the crest of Northwind Ridge. Longer and larger volume cores therefore promise
to provide important new insights into the history of sea ice development and glaciation in
and around the Amerasia Basin during the ice ages.
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Existing Geophysical and Geologic Data
Piston coring from the east face of Northwind Ridge (Grantz et al., 1998) has recovered either
continental shelf or slope strata of all Phanerozoic systems except the Silurian and Devonian.
Seismic reflection profiles show that these rocks extend beneath Northwind Ridge and at least
the southeast part of Chukchi Plateau (Fig. 6.1). Reconstructions of the Chukchi Borderland,
and the morphology of its high-standing physiographic elements strongly suggest that the en-
tire Chukchi Plateau is underlain by such rocks. Several seismic reflection profiles (2 or 12
channel) cross all or part Northwind Ridge from 74.5° N to 78.1° N and the eastern part of
Chukchi Plateau near 76° N (Fig. 4.4). At least the upper part of the ridge and plateau beneath
all of these profiles is underlain by seismic reflections typical of sedimentary rocks.
Piston coring (Phillips and Grantz, 1997) has also shown that the crest of Northwind Ridge is
underlain by an essentially complete section of mid-Pliocene to Holocene cyclical strata from
which the complete history of sea ice and glaciation in the Amerasia Basin can be interpreted.
Need for additional geo-data
Intersecting crossing pairs of standard (low to medium frequency) and of high resolution seis-
mic reflection profiles are needed at two prospective drill sites on both Northwind Ridge and
Chukchi Plateau. In addition, pairs of crossing high-resolution profiles are required at least
one intermediate prospective drill site on both the ridge and the plateau. Only two standard
profiles may be required on Northwind Ridge if existing profiles are utilized. The profiles
should cross at right angles and be at least 30 km long.
Proposed drill sites
Bedrock drill sites: Existing reflection profiles on Northwind Ridge suggest that the Cenozoic
and Cretaceous section beneath the southern part of the ridge is significantly thicker than be-
neath the northern part. We therefore suggest a drill site on the ridge crest near 74.5° N to
sample the thickest post-rift (Hauterivian to Cenozoic record) and a drill site on the ridge crest
near lat. 77 ° or 78° N to sample the Mesozoic and upper Paleozoic pre-rift record. On the as-
sumption that the situation on the Chukchi Plateau may be similar, we suggest that bedrock
drill sites on the plateau be located near lat. 76.5° N and 78° N. If only one pair of sites can be
drilled, we suggest Chukchi Plateau be given priority over Northwind Ridge because piston
cores have already roughly defined the stratigraphy of the ridge.
Quaternary and Pliocene drill sites
These sites should include both of the proposed bedrock drilling sites on Northwind Ridge and
Chukchi Plateau and an intermediate site about half way in between on both the ridge and the
plateau. At least three sites are required on each ridge or plateau because piston cores from
Northwind Ridge indicate that the thickness of the Late Pliocene and Quaternary deposits thins
northwards. It will therefore be important to adequately define the thickness gradient and asso-
ciated lateral changes in sedimentary character to achieve a full understanding of these deposits
and the synglacial paleoenvironment of the Amerasia Basin. If a choice has to be made, drill
sites on Chukchi Plateau should have priority over sites on Northwind Ridge because at least a
piston core record of the mid-Pliocene to Quaternary stratigraphy and paleoclimate on North-
wind Ridge already exists (Phillips and Grantz, 1997). However, continuously drilled large
diameter core sections will probably significantly improve our understanding of the synglacial
record on Northwind Ridge.
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Possible pre-proposals for IODP
No IODP pre-proposals are contemplated because a proposal to acquire both seismic reflection
and refraction data from Northwind Ridge and Chukchi Plateau, and bedrock piston cores from
Chukchi Plateau, was submitted to the U.S. National Science Foundation by the Institute for
Geophysics of the University of Texas in February, 2003.
Fig. 6.1 . Seismic reflection profile 93-01 showing the structure and inferred stratigraphy
and location of piston cores that sampled bedrock on the adjacent part of Northwind Escarp-
ment. Qls-submarine slide; QT-Quaternary and Tertiary; K-Cretaceous; Tr-Triassic; pTr-
pre-Triassic. (Figure courtesy of A. Grantz)
Yermak ­ and Morris Jesup Plateaus
Primary science questions
Yermak- and Morris Jesup Plateaus are conjugate features with respect to the Gakkel Ridge
and are located at the gateway for water mass exchanges between the North Atlantic and a
landlocked polar basin.
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Sites in this area will be optimal for the following science issues:
monitoring Atlantic inflow through the Cenozoic;
definition of events when thick glacier ice was present in the Arctic Ocean.
capture the signal of earliest glacial input to the Arctic Ocean
document the paleoenvironment and timing of volcanic build-up of the plateaus.
Drilling a more than 2 km thick sediment drift along the north flank of Yermak Plateau (Jokat
et al., 1995b) would yield an unprecedented Cenozoic record of inflow of Atlantic water which
up until ca. 1 Ma. was concentrated through the gateway. Erosion of the sediment cover in the
Barents- and Kara seas has subsequently facilitated flow through the Barents Sea (Dimakis et
al., 1998). Drilling the north trending sedimentary wedge, deposited along the western pe-
rimeter of the the Yermak Plateau from erosion upstream by deep draft icebergs, would pro-
vide a log of the episodes where thick glacier ice exited the Arctic Ocean. A similar approach
may be applied for similar not yet discovered features on Morris Jesup Rise. Morris Jesup Rise
would lie in the exit path of thick glacier ice originating from discharge areas around the mar-
gins of the Amerasia Basin.
Existing geophysical and geological data
The northern flank of Yermak Plateau is covered by SCICEX swath bathymetry and side-scan
sonar (Fig. 4.6), but only two seismic reflection traverses have defined the large sediment drift
deposit. Sites 910-912 were drilled on the southern Yermak Plateau during Leg 151, but did
not penetrate the entire glacial section at 505 mbsf. (Myhre et al., 1995). Several seismic re-
flection lines are available in the area south of 81° 30`N which presented frequent open water
conditions during good ice years in the late 1970's. Piston and gravity cores on Yermak Pla-
teau have only recovered upper Quaternary sediments.
The northern tip of Morris Jesup Rise was traversed by ice station Arlis-II in 1965 and had a
short visit by Polarstern in 1991 with collection of seismic reflection data and a sediment core
(Fig. 4.5). The over 7 m long core documents continuos sediment deposition at least since MIS
14 (Evans and Kaminski, 1998).
Need for additional data
Additional seismic reflection data across the sediment drift along the northern flank of Yermak
Plateau are critical to formulation of a drilling proposal. The crestal region of the sediment drift
show evidence of migration with exposure of deeper strata accessible by the conventional pis-
ton coring technique.
Our present almost complete lack of geophysical data from Morris Jesup Rise make it difficult
to realize the scientific potential of the area (Fig. 4.5).
Shelf and upper slope (East): Laptev Sea, East Siberian Sea, Canadian/Alaska
Arctic Margins
Primary science questions
The margins of the Arctic Ocean have the thinnest pack-ice and probably the shortest intervals
of low productivity in the past. Therefore the continental slopes in certain areas are promising
areas for high marine sedimentation rates and presence of biogenic proxies. Conditions exists
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for gas hydrates to occur associated with permafrost on circum-arctic continental shelves.
Submergence of the arctic shelves during interglacials would have produced progressive
warming of the shelf sediments with gas hydrate destabilization and methane release. We need
information on the character, stability and possibly the resource potential of these deposits as
well as their potential for instigating climate change.
Laptev Sea and East-Siberian Sea:
obtain a record of the marine extent of former ice sheets in the area and the history of sea
ice cover especially during glacial extremes.
investigate thermal and hydrogeological processes that control methane release from de-
stabilized permafrost-associated gas hydrate accumulations
study the structural and tectonic processes associated with propagation of an oceanic
spreading center into continental lithosphere
study the intersection of the modern active Gakkel Ridge with the Laptev shelf and slope.
Canada/Alaska margins:
obtain a record of the extent of former continental and marine based ice sheets in the area
investigate the history of sea ice and paleooceanographic conditions that accompanied the
cyclical alternation of glacial and interglacial environments in the Arctic Ocean
investigate thermal and hydrogeological processes that control methane release from de-
stabilized permafrost-associated gas hydrate accumulations
investigate the history of the Bering Landbridge and the influx of Pacific waters through
the Bering Strait.
investigate the structural relationship between crustal blocks in the Northwind
Ridge/Chukchi Borderland region.
Existing geophysical and geological data
Multichannel seismic reflection data have been obtained on the Laptev Shelf and upper slope
by the Marine Geophysical Expedition (MAGE) of Murmansk (Sekretov, 2002), and on the
East Siberian slope by Bundesanstalt und Rohstoffe (BGR), Hannover (Roeser at al., 1995)
under the Russian-German Cooperation: Laptev Sea System. Sediment coring and Parasound
profiling have been carried out by Polarstern (Kassens et. al., 1995) as well as shallow drilling
on the shelf.
Need for additional data
Medium resolution seismic reflection data are needed to identify piston coring or shallow
drilling targets in selected areas of the Canadian/Alaska margin. 1.) The Upper Cretaceous to
Holocene pelagic and tuffaceous sedimentary cover (which is locally at least as thick as 1200
m) that overlies Alpha Ridge adjacent to the Canadian margin. 2.) The pelagic section of
similar age inferred to overlie southern Northwind Ridge adjacent to the Chukchi Shelf. 3.
Isolated knolls deeper than 700 or 800 m on the Canadian/Alaska continental slopes. 4.) The
outer shelf and upper slope of the Mackenzie Delta system.
The numerous seismic reflection profiles and offshore wells that exist in this region will pro-
vide important guidance as to the existence and location of useful core and shallow drill sites
in the offshore Mackenzie Delta.
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Shelf and upper slope (West): Lincoln Sea, North Greenland margin, Fram Strait,
Northern Barents Sea
Primary science questions
The continental slope of the Lincoln Sea and Northeast Greenland margins is the source area
for a large submarine fan which extends along the base of the Lomonosov Ridge to the North
Pole in the Amundsen Basin (Kristoffersen et al., 2004). In the Fram Strait, the inflow of At-
lantic water through the gateway has left a legacy represented by a large sediment drift along
the north slope of Yermak Plateau. Key science issues are:
the earliest glaciation of northern Greenland;
the history of Atlantic inflow to the Arctic Ocean
the sea ice conditions north of Svalbard and the Barents-Kara margin through the Quater-
nary glacial cycles
Existing geophysical and geological data
The transpolar drift of sea ice is constrained by the northern landmasses on approach to the
Fram Strait gateway. This leads to ice convergence and heavy sea ice conditions on the Lin-
coln Sea- and North Greenland shelf and continental slopes. So far prevented acquisition of
any seismic reflection data in this region beyond the transit by ice station Arlis II in 1965 and a
brief visit by Polarstern on the northern Morris Jesup Plateau in 1991 (Fig. 4.5). The availabil-
ity of data in the Yermak Plateau area is described under section 6.5 above. Six seismic tran-
sects (1470 km) arcoss the margin north of Svalbard east of Yermak Plateau were acquired by
Polarstern in 1999, and one by Oden in 2001. The stratigraphic section on the lower continen-
tal slope in this region appears to comprise several slump deposits.
Need for additional data
New data is definitely needed for the Lincoln Sea/ North Greenland sector of the Arctic Ocean.
Particular effort should be to obtain data across the adjacent shallow region of the Lomonosov
Ridge which holds a clue to the question about past occurrences of thick glacial ice in the Arc-
tic Ocean.
Define drilling sites and prioritize
The highest priority for scientific drilling must be the large sediment drift/deposits along the
north flank of Yermak Plateau.
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Planned activities in the Arctic Ocean
Scientific drilling on the Lomonosov Ridge (IODP)
A proposal for scientific drilling on the Lomonosov Ridge was submitted to ODP in the spring
of 1999. In June 2003, the interim Pollution Prevention and Safety Panel granted the final ap-
proval to drill a suite of the proposed sites to meet all the paleoceanographic and tectonic ob-
jectives put forward in the proposal.
The background was given by the work of an Arctic Detailed Planning Group (ADPG), estab-
lished by JOIDES in 2000. The ADPG report formulated the scientific rationale and outlined
the general scheme of such a coring operation to take place in the summer of 2004. This will
be possible only with a coordinated effort involving a number of icebreakers to assist during
the transit and the actual coring phase.
The single issue which will make the difference between failure and success is the ice condi-
tion. Maximum efforts will be devoted to understanding, foreseeing and possibly controlling
the ice conditions. The fleet of vessels involved in the operation needs to meet a number of
criteria consistent with the analysis of ice and weather conditions. The positioning capability of
the coring platform is of utmost importance.
Breaking ice in the summer season
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Fig. 7.1 Map showing areas of planned activities (red arrow) within the Danish / Greenlan-
dic §76-project (from IBCAO, 2001)
Denmark/Greenland: Activities in the area north of Greenland related to UN-
CLOS §76
It is expected that Denmark ratifies the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
(UNCLOS) during 2003. In this context Denmark has launched an UNCLOS §76 project,
which is embedded within the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) in coop-
eration with other Danish, Faroese and Greenlandic organizations. The project will cover two
areas around the Faroe Island and two areas off Greenland with a budget of 150 mill. DKK
(approx. US$ 22 mill.) over 10 year for data acquisition, processing, documentation and prepa-
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ration of submissions. The area north of Greenland in the Arctic Ocean will be covered by a
separate project where funding has yet to be granted.
In 2002 seismic refraction and reflection data were acquired along the Greenland Ridge (GR)
off North-East Greenland in cooperation with University of Bergen. The data is presently be-
ing processed and will hopefully shed some new light on the crustal structure in this area.
It is anticipated that new reflection seismic data will be acquired off South Greenland during
the summer of 2003 to investigate the nature of the Eirik Ridge (ER) and the sediment thick-
ness close to the extinct spreading between Labrador and Greenland.
A desktop study covering the area north of Greenland was completed in early 2003 with the
following recommendations:
Based on data in the public domain it is expected that Denmark / Greenland can extend the
juridical continental shelf in the area north of Greenland beyond 200 nautical miles.
The existing data coverage (bathymetry, geophysical and geological data) is very sparse
and the physical conditions in the area are very difficult for data acquisition.
A multi-phase programme has been proposed where the first step will include acquisition
of bathymetric and refraction seismic data along the innermost parts of the Lomonosov
Ridge (as seen from Greenland - LR). The next step will be to acquire bathymetric, refrac-
tion and refraction seismic data along the Lomonosov Ridge and in the Amundsen Basin.
Due to the expected very high costs of the data acquisition programs Denmark / Greenland
will try to establish cooperation with other circumpolar nations (especially Canada) in or-
der to develop geological models of mutual interest.
Germany plans to concentrate the effort during the coming years in two regions in the Arctic
Ocean with the following objectives:
Fram Strait -Yermak Plateau:
geophysical studies to improve constraints on the opening of Fram Strait and definition of
the main tectonic elements that form Yermak Plateau
to establish a high-resolution stratigraphic framework (Tertiary-Quaternary)
to study the short- and long-term variability in sea-ice cover, paleoproductivity, and paleo-
ceanographic circulation patterns in relation to climate change
to identify the sediment characteristics of slides, to study their frequency of occurence and
their relationsship to climate change, and to quantify the sediment transfer from the shelf
and upper slope to the deep-sea basin
study the extent and history of Quaternary Eurasian ice sheets along the Kara Sea margin
Alpha-Mendeleev Ridge and continental margin of the East Siberian Sea :
to investigate with geophysical and geological methods the shallow and deep structure of
the crustal transition between Lomonosov Ridge and the Makarov Basin as well as the
junction between the Mendeleev Ridge and the Eastern Siberian Shelf
to establish a stratigraphic framework (Cretaceous-Tertiary-Quaternary) for the area.
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to study the controlling processes on long-term change in siliciclastic and biogenic fluxes
during the transition from the Paleogene greenhouse world without sea ice to the Late
Neogene icehouse condition.
to study the short-term variability in terrigenous and organic-carbon supply in relation to
Quaternary glacial/interglacial changes
to study total sediment and organic-carbon budgets and their spatial and temporal variabil-
ity in selected time slices from the Cretaceous to the Paleocene/Eocene to the Pleisto-
Russia: Plans of future Russian earth science activities in the central Arctic Ocean
VNIIOkeangeologia in cooperation with PMGRE and other sister organizations are currently
developing a proposal to the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation for two
Arctic expeditions which may take place in 2004 and 2005 or in subsequent years, depending
on budget constraints.
The main objective of the proposed expeditions will be to investigate deep structure and nature
of the crust in the zone of transition from the East Siberian Shelf to Lomonosov Ridge and
Mendeleev Rise (Fig. 7.2). The studies will focus on two main research targets using a wide
range of exploration technologies including imaging structure and composition of the entire
crust by means of deep seismic sounding and gravity/magnetic observations, characterization
of the upper crust and especially the sedimentary layers (including the uppermost sub-bottom
sequences and bottom sediments) by seismic reflection and HRS studies, coring and bottom
sampling guided by visual control (TV, photo, etc.).
Deep seismic sounding (DSS) profiles and other research activities are envisaged within the
corridors shown in Figure7.2. The location of other relevant data already existing in the area
and/or firmly planned for acquisition prior to the proposed expeditions are also indicated. The
traverses are laid out in a crossed pattern to optimize identification of crustal boundaries.
The scientific objectives in each of the proposed areas should ideally be accomplished during
one field season. The technology of DSS observations will be similar to that applied during the
"Transarctic-2000" cruise when a research icebreaker was used as a base for helicopters and
scientific groups working on sea ice. Investigations of the sedimentary layer will be given
higher priority and be carried out more systematically than during "Transarctic-2000".
The above-proposed activities are in good agreement with the objectives and goals of the sev-
eral international and bilateral programs whose cooperative implementation in the harsh high
Arctic environment has long been discussed by the earth science community. Such collabora-
tion is presently receiving a new incentive in connection with IPY initiatives, and the Russian
proposal is open for integration in any multinational effort that may jointly be undertaken by
several countries.
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Fig. 7.2. Russian activities planned for the Arctic Ocean
Sweden: The "Beringia 2005" expedition
The Swedish Polar Research Secretariat is organizing a research expedition to the Beringia-
region in the summer of 2005 using the ice-breaker Oden as a platform. The secretariat would
like to make "Beringia 2005" an international venture and to develop collaborative arrange-
ments with arctic organisations operating in the region. The expedition will be divided into
three legs of which the third one from mid August - end of September 2005 will be devoted
exclusively to marine research along a transect from northern Alaska over the Polar Basin to
Scandinavia. This leg will focus on: The role of the Arctic Ocean in the climate system in-
cluding themes as water mass variability and circulation patterns, atmosphere-ocean interac-
tions, geology and geophysics of the Arctic Ocean, biogeochemical cycles and land-shelf-basin
A group of US, Swedish and Norwegian investigators is planning a cross-basin cruise on the
US Coast Guard icebreaker Healy for the Summer of 2005 (Fig. 7.3).
The cruise will begin near Point Barrow, Alaska and sail across all the major ridges in the ba-
sin, collecting cores, multi-beam swath bathymetry and sidecan, sub-bottom profiler, multi-
channel seismic reflection and gravity data. Proposals for this cruise, which will, in part, be
conducted in tandem with the Swedish icebreaker Oden, were submitted to the US National
Science Foundation in February, 2004 .
The future of dedicated, unclassified submarine science cruises
The greatest strength of the submarine for Arctic operations is the ability to efficiently collect a
number of co-registered geophysical data sets from a single platform at high speed.
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The final dedicated SCICEX cruise sailed from Pearl Harbor in mid-March 1999 (Fig. 4.8).
While the SCICEX program continues at a low level, it still has life in the enthusiasm it has
engendered in other countries and throughout the disciplines that study the Arctic Ocean.
Denmark/Greenland Canada and Norway have extended invitations to SCICEX to operate in
their Exclusive Economic Zones. These invitations have enlarged the SCICEX operational area
by nearly 50%, permitting access to the entire northern edge of North America as well as areas
that can never be reached by surface ships (e.g. the Lincoln Sea).
Renewed, dedicated submarine access to the Arctic is the most efficient way to map the Arctic
seafloor and extend the oceanographic and cryological time series, to synoptically monitor the
Arctic during what may be a dramatic period of climate change, particularly at high latitudes.
While the science community values the achievements of SCICEX and would welcome further
dedicated cruises, the rapid decommissioning of the entire Sturgeon class has decimated the
US submarine fleet, limiting its ability to service military missions. Even though the US Navy
might welcome further SCICEX cruises, military demands for submarine time make it unlikely
that any new, dedicated cruises will be planned for pure science missions. The most likely
means to new, dedicated cruises is through the political process, which could allocate resources
and direct deployment of submarines in service of US national needs.
Fig 7.3 Proposed track for a cross-basin marine geophysical and geological cruise on the US
Coast Guard icebreaker Healy for the Summer of 2005.
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Aurora Borealis ­ A European research platform
European nations have a particular interest in understanding the Arctic environment with its
potential for change because highly industrialized countries extend into high northern latitudes
and Europe is under the steady influence of and in exchange with the Arctic environment. In
addition considerable living and non-living resources are found in the Arctic Ocean, its deep-
sea basins and
their adjacent continental margins. Modern research vessels capable of penetrating into the
central Arctic are few. A new state-of-the-art research icebreaker is therefore required to fulfil
the needs of European polar research and to document multi-national European presence in the
Arctic. This new icebreaker would be conceived as an optimized science platform from the
keel up and will allow long, international and interdisciplinary expeditions into the central
Arctic Ocean during all seasons of the year (Figs. 7.4 and 7.5).
In spite of the critical role of the Arctic Ocean in climate evolution, it is the only sub-basin of
the world's oceans that has not been sampled by the drill ships of the Deep-Sea Drilling Proj-
ect (DSDP) or the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP). Its long-term environmental history and
tectonic structure are therefore poorly known. This lack of data represents one of the largest
gaps of information in modern Earth Science, also relevant for the field of hydrocarbon explo-
Therefore, the new research icebreaker AURORA BOREALIS should be equipped with drill-
ing facilities to fulfill the needs of the IODP (Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, starting in
2003) for an "Alternate Platform" to drill in deep, permanently ice-covered ocean basins. The
drilling equipment will only be used during the summer months and should be removable, po-
tentially to be used and adapted to ICDP-projects. The icebreaker must also be powerful
enough to keep station against the drifting sea-ice cover and will have to be equipped with
dynamic positioning.
Fig. 7.4 Conceptual model o f AURORA BOREALIS in the Arctic Ocean
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AURORA BOREALIS will be a novel research icebreaker with no national or international
competitor because of its drilling capability, its sophisticated modularized mobile laboratory
systems allowing mission-specific laboratories, its moon pools for drilling and for the deploy-
ment of remotely operated vehicles (ROV) and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) for
sub-ice surveys, its propulsion and dynamic positioning systems, and its capability for also
investigating the high latitude ice-covered deep-sea basins during the more unfavorable sea-
sons of the year.
An efficient use of the new research icebreaker requires the formation of a consortium of
European countries and their polar research institutions. The construction of AURORA BO-
REALIS as a joint European research icebreaker would result in a considerable commitment of
the participating nations to co-ordinate and expand their polar research programs in order to
operate this expensive ship continuously and with the necessary efficiency. If AURORA BO-
REALIS is eventually established as a European research icebreaker for the Arctic, European
polar research will be strengthened; Europe will contribute to meet the Arctic drilling chal-
lenge within IODP and retain its top position in Arctic research. However, in a long-term per-
spective the AURORA BOREALIS could also be used to address Antarctic research targets,
both in its mode as a regular research vessel as well as a polar drill ship.
Fig. 7.5a AURORA BOREALIS Research Icebreaker Conceptual Design by HSVA
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The principle questions that need to be addressed at a European Scale are:
Should Europe have a coordinated polar research program in the Arctic (as well as in the
Should Europe have tools allowing us to do research in the most extreme environments and
during the most extreme seasons?
Is the time ripe for a large-scale international, interdisciplinary effort in the central Arctic?
Is the topic of Arctic deep-sea drilling important enough to warrant the large-scale effort to
establish a decadal drilling program (which also means large expenses for preparative work
to permit to define drill sites)?
The AURORA BOREALIS project has been considered only from a European perspective
because IODP expects the European IODP membership to contribute alternative drilling plat-
forms and because we feel that the European participation in IODP warrants lead agency
status. However, as the interest in the Arctic grows, one could imagine other potential con-
tributors such as USA, Canada, Japan and China to cover part of the expenses. A design study
is underway.
Fig. 7.5b AURORA BOREALIS Research Icebreaker Conceptual Design by HSVA
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Nansen Arctic Drilling Program
The Nansen Arctic Drilling Program (NAD) is an international interest group of individual
scientists and research institutions seeking to explore the geologic and environmental history
of the Arctic Ocean by scientific ocean drilling. The forerunner for a concerted effort towards
scientific drilling in the Arctic Ocean was a workshop entitled Feasibility of Deep Sea Drilling
in the Arctic held in Halifax in December 1986 sponsored by the International Commission on
the Lithosphere under the International Union of Geology and Geophysics (IUGG-ICL), the
Commission of Marine Geology under the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS-
CMG) and the Geological Survey of Canada (Blasco et al., 1987; Thiede et al., 1987). A sec-
ond workshop held in Ottawa in June 1988 at the GCS attended by 28 scientists from 7 coun-
tries focussed on Scientific Drilling in the Arctic Ocean: Planning for the 1990's. As a way
ahead, it was proposed to form an interest organization to promote scientific drilling in the
Arctic Ocean. The name Nansen Arctic Drilling Program (NAD) was chosen to mark the
centennial (1993-1996) of the first successful and truly multidisciplinary expedition that
brought back sediment samples from the deep polar basin. NAD was formally established in
1989 by a small group of scientist and government officials meeting at the International Geo-
logical Congress in Washington, D.C.
Promote scientific drilling in the Arctic Ocean to advance our understanding of
the geologic, paleoceanographic and climate evolution of the Arctic region and
the effects on global climate, the biosphere and the dynamics of the worlds
NAD is led by an Executive Committee composed of scientists from institutions actively in-
volved in Arctic research. Working with the Executive Committee is a Science Committee,
comprised of Arctic researchers, and a Technical Committee, comprised of scientists and engi-
neers with Arctic expertise. Regional Working Groups have been formed for specific areas
such as the Alpha Ridge, Lomonosov Ridge, Laptev Sea, Yermak Plateau, Morris Jesup Rise,
and Chukchi Plateau.
NAD maintains a formal secretariat at Joint Oceanographic Institutions in Washington, D.C. as
a focus for program communications. The NAD secretariat is funded by contributions from
government agencies and scientific institutions. Its functions include producing a newsletter,
The Nansen Icebreaker. The newsletter highlights and encourages research activities relevant
to definition of future targets for scientific drilling. NAD has linkages to programs such as
Nations with scientists participating in NAD include Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Ger-
many, Iceland, Japan, Norway, The Netherlands, Russia, United Kingdom and the United
States of America.
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NAD milestones are:
NAD Initial Science Plan "The Arctic Ocean Record: Key to Global Change ", Polarfor-
schung, 61: 1-102, 1992, and JOIDES Journal 18: 15-19,1992
Newsletter The Nansen Icebreaker since 1991
International workshop and proposal to EU for Laptev Sea drilling, 1995
NAD Implementation Plan, 1997
JOIDES Associate Organization status endorsed by EXCOM 1998
ODP Arctic Program Planning Group formed by SCICOM as a result of draft proposal by
Dr. Gerard Bond, the SCICOM liason to NAD (JOIDES SCICOM Motion 99-1-6).
Proponents of ODP proposal 533 to drill Lomonosov Ridge include members of NAD
Regional Working Group for Lomonosov Ridge.
Nansen's ship FRAM in the ice
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The interim Industry Liaison Panel (iILP)
Investigations of the tectonic and paleoenvironmental evolution of the Arctic Ocean by scien-
tific drilling will be of considerable interest to the petroleum industry. The Industry Liaison
Panel within the IODP (iILP) serves to promote synergies between the scientific community
and industry.
A goal of iILP is to achieve 5 industry-linked proposals or proposals with significant industry
input in IODP, either with highly-ranked status or in a schedule phase within 5 years. To
achieve this the panel will maintain a short list of the most relevant proposals for industry, and
proactively offer advice in improving them/adding industry-related objectives. The panel will
further strive to increase industry support for IODP, for instance including representatives on
The current iILP action plan include review proposals submitted to IODP for interest to indus-
try and:
identify data, analyses, etc that could apply
suggest enhancements and advice for proposals
identify areas of interest for joint industry/academic studies and coordination
identify topics on list of industry interests
conduct workshops for planning of new proposals
make new proposals
promote IODP and its benefits to industry
liaise between industry and academia on IODP issues
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The present report was compiled and edited by Yngve Kristoffersen and Naja Mikkelsen
based on contributions, collective arctic experience and visions for the future expressed by
more than fifty scientists from 8 European countries, Canada and the United States that at-
tended a workshop under the Joint European Ocean Drilling Initiative, 13-14 January 2003 in
Main written contributions:
Arctic Climate Evolution:
Hugh Jenkyns, University of Oxford, UK
Eystein Jansen, University of Bergen, Norway
Sea ice concentrations and vari-
Leif Toudal, Denmark Technical University, Denmark
Inventory of seismic reflection
Arthur Grantz, US Geological Survey, USA
Wilfried Jokat, AWI, Germany
Bernard Coakley, Univ. of Alaska, USA
Yngve Kristoffersen, University of Bergen, Norway
Seismic refraction data:
H. Ruth Jackson, Bedford Institute, Halifax, Canada
Magnetic data:
VNIIO-NRL-GRDF (Glebovsky et al. (2000)
Free-Air gravity data:
Sediment cores:
Arthur Grantz, USGS, US
Strategies for site surveys:
Arthur Grantz, USGS, US
Wilfried Jokat, AWI, Germany
Alpha-Mendeleev Ridge:
Wilfried Jokat, AWI, Germany
Lomonosov Ridge - Gakkel
Bernard Coakley, Univ. of Alaska, USA
Chuckchi Plateau - Northwind
Arthur Grantz, USGS, US
Martin Jakobsson, Univ. of New Hampshire, USA
Yermak- and Morris Jesup Pla-
Yngve Kristoffersen, University of Bergen, Norway
Shelf and upper slope Laptev Sea,
East Siberian Sea:
Yngve Kristoffersen, University of Bergen, Norway
Canadian/Alaska Arctic Margins: Arthur Grantz, US Geological Survey, USA
Shelf and upper slope Lincoln
Sea, North Greenland margin,
Fram Strait, Northern Barents Sea: Yngve Kristoffersen, University of Bergen, Norway
Scientific drilling on Lomonosov
Anders Karlquist, Swedish Polar Secretariat, Sweden
Denmark/Greenland activities:
Chr. Marcussen, GEUS, Denmark
Wilfried Jokat and Rudiger Stein, AWI, Germany
VNII Okeangeologia, St. Petersburg
Dick Hedberg, Swedish Royal Academy, Sweden
Bernard Coakley, Univ. of Alaska, USA
The Interim Industry Liaison
John Hogg, EnCana Cooperation, Canada
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Workshop program
Monday, January 13, 2003
Introduction and Key Note Lectures
Chair: Jørn Thiede
09.30 ­ 11.00
Registration and coffee
11.00 ­ 11.15
Welcome (N. Mikkelsen / J. Thiede)
11.15 ­ 12.15
Overview of Arctic Ocean Tectonic Evolution:
- Amerasia Basin (A. Grantz)
- Eurasia Basin (W. Jokat / Y. Kristoffersen)
12.15 ­ 12.30
Coffee break
12.30 ­ 13.30
Overview of Paleoceanography and Paleoclimate:
- Mesozoic Developments (H. Jenkyns)
- Cenozoic Developments (J. Thiede and J. Backman)
13.30 ­ 14.30
Site Survey Matters
Chair: Naja Mikkelsen
14.30 - 15.00
Ice motion and variability (L. Toudal Petersen)
15.00 ­ 16.45
Site survey matters:
- Site survey requirements and permissions (S. Neben)
- Reality of site surveys under Arctic conditions:
General considerations (A. Grantz)
From ship (Y. Kristoffersen)
- Safety requirements (M. Hovland)
- IODP Industry Liaison Panel issues (J. Hogg)
16.45 ­ 17.00
Coffee break
Logistics and Technologies
Chair: Jan Backman
17.00 ­ 18.00
Logistics and new technologies:
- Lomonsov Ridge Project (A. Karlqvist)
- Aurora borealis (P. Egerton)
- Geophysical data collected from submarines (B. Coakley)
- Marine geophysics (Y. Kristoffersen)
- Discussion
18.00 ­ 18.20
Overview of seismic data in the Arctic (W. Jokat/ R. Jackson)
18.20 ­ 18.30
Group Photo
18.30 ­ 19.30
Ice breaker party
20.00 -
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Tuesday, January 14, 2003
Regional Considerations
Chair: Yngve Kristoffersen
8.30 ­ 8.45
Setting the stage for the working groups (J. Thiede)
8.45 ­ 11.00
Regional working Groups
- Alpha - Mendeleev Ridge
- Lomonosov - Gakkel Ridge
- Chukchi Plateau - Northwind Ridge
- Yermak - Morris Jesup Plateau
- Shelf and upper slopes (east) Laptev Sea, East Siberian Sea,
Alaska Arctic Margins
- Shelf and upper slopes (west) Fram Strait, Lincoln Sea, East
Greenland margin, Northern Barents Sea, Bearing Landbridge
11.00 ­ 11.15
Coffee break
11.15 ­ 12.30
Presentation by working groups
12.30 ­ 13.30
Future activities in the Arctic Ocean
Chair: Wilfried Jokat
Current / planned expeditions in the Arctic Ocean:
- Canada (K. Moran)
- U.S.A. (K. Moran/L. Mayer)
- Russia (N. Bogdanov)
- Denmark / Greenland (C. Marcussen)
- Sweden (D. Hedberg)
- Germany (W. Jokat)

14.30 ­ 15.30
- Discussion of priorities
- Strategies for site survey investigations
15.30 ­ 15.45
Coffee break
15.45 ­ 16.00
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List of attendance
Andersen, Niels
Kort and Matrikelstyrelsen,
Rentemestervej 8
DK-2400 Copenhagen NV
+45 35 87 52 83
Austin, James
The University of Texas at Austin, Institute
for Geophysics
4412 Spicewood Springs Road
Building 600
Austin TX 78759-8500 Texas, USA
+1 512 471 0450, +1 512 471 8844
Bangs, Nathan
University og Texas, Instituet for Geo-
4412 Spicewood Springs Road
Bldg. 600 Austin
TX 78759, USA
+1 512 471 0424, +1 512 471 0348
Brass, Garry
US Arctic Research Gommission,
4350 N. Fairfax Dr., Ste. 630
Arlington, VA 22203, USA
Brett, Colin
British Geological Survey,
Murchison House
West Mains Road
Edinburgh EH9 3LA
United Kingdom
+44 131 667 1000, +44 131 668 4140
Christiansen, Flemming G
Geological Survey of Denmark and
Greenland, Alaska
Øster Voldgade 10
DK-1350 Copenhagen K
Anthony, Dennis
Royal Danish Adm. of Navigation and
Overgaden o. Vandet 62 B
DK-1023 Copenhagen K
+45 32 68 95 00,
Backman, Jan
Dept. of Geology and Geochemistry,
Stockholm University
S-106 91 Stockholm
+46 8 164720, +46 8 674 7861
Bogdanov, Nikita
Inst. of Lithosphere of Marginal Seas,
Russian Academy of Sciences
Staromonetny Pereulok
119180 Moscow
+7 95 959 0168, +7 95 953 5590
Brekke, Harald
Norwegian Petroleum Directorate,
P.O. Box 600
N-4003 Stavanger
+47 51876282 / +47 905 87625,
+47 51551571
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Butsenko, Viktor
Sankt Petersburg
+7 812 114 24 70, +7 812 114 57 31
Coakley, Bernard
Geophysical Institute, University of
900 Yukon Drive, Fairbanks
Alaska 99775-5780 USA
+1 907 474 5385, +1 907 474 5163
Darby, Dennis A
Old Dominion University
Dept. of Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric
Norfolk VA 23529 USA
+1 757 683 4701, +1 757 683 5303
Egelund, Susanne
The Danish Natural Science Research
Randersgade 60, 1.
DK-2100 Copenhagen OE
+45 35 44 62 54, +45 35 44 62 01
Engen, Øyvind
University of Oslo
Dept. of Geology
P.O. Box 1047 Blindern N-0316 Oslo
+47 2285 7026, +47 2285 4215
Farrell, John
Joint Oceanographic Institutions Inc.
1755 Mass. Ave., NW, Suite 700
Washington DC 20036-2102 USA
+1 202 232 3900 x 211, +1 202 462 8754
Funck, Thomas
Danish Lithosphere Centre
Sciences Oester Voldgade 10, L
DK-1350 Copenhagen K
+45 38 14 26 52, +45 33 11 08 78
Grantz, Arthur
930 Van Auken Circle Palo Alto
CA 94303 USA
+1 650 329 5709, +1 650 329 5134
Drachev, Sergei
Research Institute of Lithosphere
Russian Academy of Science
120, Naberezhnaya Moiki
190121 St. Petersburg Russia
+7 812 114 8218, +7 812 114 1470
Egerton, Paul
European Polar Board
European Science Foundation
1 Quai Lezay Marnesia
F-67080 Strasbourg
+44 771 562 9318
Faleide, Jan Inge
University of Oslo, Dept. of Geology
P.O. Box 1047 Blindern
N-0316 Oslo
+47 2285 6677, +47 2285 4215
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Frank, Martin
ETH Zürich, ETH Zentrum
NO F51.3 Spmmeggstrasse 5
8092 Zürich Switzerland
+41 1 632 3745, +41 1 632 1827
Gee, David G.
Uppsala University, Dept. of Earth
Villavagen 16, S-752 36 Uppsala
+46 18 471 23 80, +46 18 50 11 10
Hedberg, Dick
Swedish Polar Research Committee
Box 50005, S-104 05 Stockholm
+46 8 6739566, +468 152057
Hende, Hanne
Dept. of Quaternary Geology
Øster Voldgade 10
DK-1350 Copenhagen K
+45 38 14 23 55, +45 38 14 20 50
Hovland, Martin
Statoil (IPPSP)
N-4035 Stavanger
+47 519 90000, +47 519 9567
Jenkyns, Hugh
Department of Earth Sciences
University of Oxford
Park Roads Oxford OX1 3PR
United Kingdom
+44 1865 272023, +44 1865 272072
Karlquist, Anders
Swedish Polar Research Secretariat
Box 50003
S-104 05 Stockholm
+46 8 673 9601, +46 8 152 057
Kristoffersen, Yngve
Institute of Solid Earth Physics
University of Bergen
Allégaten 41, N-5007 Bergen
+47 55583407, +47 55589669
Marcussen, Christian
Øster Voldgade 10
DK-1350 Copenhagen K
+45 38 14 25 09, +45 38 14 20 50
Hogg, John
EnCana Corporation
150 9th Ave. SW Calgary
AB T2P 2S5 Canada
+1 403 645 2533, +1 403 645 2453
Jakobsson, Martin
University of New Hampshire
Center for Coastal and Mapping
24 Colovos Road, Durham
N.H. 03824 USA
+1 603 8623755, +1 603 8620829
Jokat, Wilfried
Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and
Marine Research
Columbusstrasse D-27568 Bremerhaven
+49 471 4831 1211, +49 471 4831 1149
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Kassens, Heidi Marie
GEOMAR Research Center for Marine
Wischhofstrasse 1-3 D-24148 Kiel
Larsen, Hans Chr
Danish Lithosphere Centre (DLC)
Geocenter Copenhagen
Oester Voldgade 10
DK-1350 Copenhagen K
+45 3814 2650, +45 3311 0878
Matthiesen, Jens
Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and
Marine Research
P.O. Box 120161 D-27515 Bremerhaven
+49 471 4831 1568, +49 471 4831 1580
Mayer, Larry
University of New Hampshire
Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping
24 Colovos Rd., Durham
N.H. 03824 USA
+1 603 862 2615, +1 603 862 0839
Mikkelsen, Naja
Geological Survey of Denmark and
Dept. of Quaternary Geology
Øster Voldgade 10
DK-1350 Copenhagen K
+45 38 14 23 64, +45 38 14 20 50
Neben, Sönke
BGR, Stilleweg 2 D-30655 Hannover
+49 511 643 3128, +49 511 643 3663
Petersen, Hanne
Danish Polar Center
Strandgade 100 H
DK-1401 Copenhagen K
Spielhagen, Robert
GEOMAR Research Center
Wischhofstr. 1-3 D-24148 Kiel
+49 431 6002855, +49 431 6002941
Sølvsten, Morten
Royal Danish Adm. of Navigation and Hy-
Overgaden o. Vandet 62 B
DK-1023 Copenhagen K
+45 32 68 95 02,
Woodward, John
Royal Danish Adm. of Navigation and
Overgaden o. Vandet 62 B
DK-1023 Copenhagen K
+45 32 68 95 00
Mienert, Jurgen
University of Tromsoe
9037 Tromsoe Norway
+47 77 64 44 46
Moran, Kathryn
University of Rhode Island
Graduate School of Narragansett Bay
Rhode Island 02852 USA
+1 401 874 6421
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Pedersen, Leif Toudal
Technical University of Denmark
Oersted*DTU, Building 348
DK-2800 Kgs. Lyngby
+45 45253791, +45 45931634
Saunders, Andrew
University of Leicester
Department of Geology Leicester
LE1 7RH United Kingdom
+44 116 2523923, +44 116 2523918
Strand, Kari
University of Oulu, Thule Institute
P.O. Box 7300 FIN-90014 Oulu
+358 8 553 3556, +358 8 553 3564
Thiede, Jørn
Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and
Marine Research
Columbusstrasse D-27568 Bremerhaven
+49 471 4831 1100
Zayonchek, Andrew
St. Petersburg Branch of IL RAS
+7 812 114 5892, +7 812 318 5028
Fig 12.1 Group Photo of the workshop participants (Photo: J. Lautrup, GEUS)
GEUS Special publication, Nov. 2004 (STOR FIL)