BGR Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe

Marine seismic survey area: Arctic Ocean - Reflection seismic data

Refraction seismic data

Working area: Arctic Ocean
(1) Norwegian-Greenland Sea (NGS)(2) Labrador Sea(3) Laptev Sea / East-Siberian See
BGR88 ARK V/3 1988
BGR13 (OGS Explora) 2013
BGR74 (Longva) 1974BGR77 (Explora) 1977BGR93 (Akademik Lazarev) 1993
BGR75 (Longva) 1975Nares01 (Louis St. Laurent) 2001BGR94 (Akademik Nemchinov) 1994
BGR76 (Explora) 1976MSM09-03(MS Merian) 2008BGR 97(Akademik Lazarev) 1997
NGT83 (Prospekta/Conrad) 1983BGR10 ARK-XXV/3 (Polarstern) 2010BGR15 (OGS Explora) 2015

Arctic OceanArctic Ocean Source: BGR

BGR - Marine seismic survey area - (download-PDF)

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Cruise BGR74 1974

Cruise BGR75 1975

Vessel Longva

North Atlantic

Multichannel seismic data acquisition parameters of cruise BGR74:
Total length of lines8.091 km 
Sampling rate4 ms
Record length10 000 ms
Streamerdigital - 24 channels
Multichannel seismic data acquisition parameters of cruise BGR75:
Total length of lines2.815 km 
Sampling rate4 ms
Record length10 000 ms
Streamerdigital - 48 channels

Summary

Reconnaissance surveys were carried out in 1974 and 1975 within the framework of the BGR program "Geoscientific studies in the North Atlantic". The areas covered were the continental margin of Spitsbergen, the Barents Sea (Hinz & Schlüter, 1980) and the Norwegion continental margin.

Three main depositional sequences have been determined in the seismic records taken off West Spitsbergen:

  1. a Plio-Pleistocene sequence SPI-I with velocities of 1.7 to 2.8 km/s;
  2. a Pliocene allochthonous sequence SPI-II with velocities of 2.4 to 2.8 km/s underlying unconformity U1;
  3. a pre-Middle Oligocene sequence SPI-III with velocities of 2.9 to 4.8 km/s underlying a distinct unconformity (U2) and deposited in front of the downfaulted Spitsbergen Platform indicating some opening of the Greenland Sea already before the time of magmatic anomaly 13 (36 m.y. B.P.).

A marked change in the seismic configuration of the oceanic basement has been observed about 30 to 40 km east of the central Knipovich graben. The transition from the oceanic crust of the Knipovich Ridge to the strongly faulted, continental substratum of the Spitsbergen Platform occurs over a narrow zone and is associated with a pre-Middle Oligocene depocenter.

References:

Hinz, K., Schlüter, H.U., 1980, Continental margin off East Greenland. Proceedings of the 10th World Petroleum Congress, September 1979, Bucharest, Heyden, London, Vol. 2, pp.405-418.

Hinz, K., Eldholm, O., Block, M., Skogseid, J., 1993, Evolution of the North Atlantic volcanic margins. In J.R. Parker (ed.): Petroleum Geology of Northwest Europe, Proc. of the 4th Conference, Geol. Soc. Pub., London, pp.901-913.

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Cruise BGR76

1976 Vessel Explora

Barentsea

Multichannel seismic data acquisition parameters of cruise BGR76:
Total length of lines8.909 km 
Sampling rate4 ms
Record length6 000 ms
Streamerdigital - 48 channels

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Cruise NGT83 1983

Vessel Prospekta / Conrad

Norwegian Sea

Multichannel seismic data acquisition parameters:
Total length of lines4.156 km 
Sampling rate4 ms
Record length12 000 ms
Streamerdigital - 60 channels

Summary

Conventional reflection seismic gives us a good image of the upper part of the crust. An investigation of the deeper parts of the crust was possible in 1991 by simulation a long streamer using two ships (LDGO & BGR). With this experience the BGR resolved a survey in the Norwegian-Greenland Sea from 15.08. to 27.09.1983. The main topics were:

  • an image of the deep crust of the conjugated continental margins of the Norwegian-Greenland Sea.
  • localization of the ocean-continent boundary.
  • a record of the deepest sediments in the basins and structures within the basement.

The survey showed that two-ship experiments are possible without any technical problems. There were no technical failures and no interruptions of the measurements.

During the survey with a total length of 4156 km 23 lines were resolved as expanded spread profiles (ESP)(1708 km) and 13 lines were resolved as wide angle profiles (WA)(1415 km) by the vessels S/V PROSPEKTA and R/V D. CONRAD.

In the area between the ESP and the WA lines conventional reflection seismic profiles (CDP) were resolved. In addition 96 sonobuoys were deployed along the WA and the CDP profiles.

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Cruise ARKV/3 1988

Vessel Polarstern

East Greenland

Multichannel seismic data acquisition parameters:
Total length of lines2.016 km 
Sampling rate4 ms
Record length12 000 ms
Streamerdigital - 48 channels

Summary

In July/August 1988 a seismic reconnaisance survey was carried out with F.S. Polarstern on the perennially ice covered East Greenland shelf between latitudes 73°N and 81°N.

Although very dense sea ice and fog hampered the seismic programme, 14 reflection seismic lines with a total length of 2.016 km and 12 sonobuoy refraction profiles were recorded.

The following results were obtained:

  • On the wide Holm Land shelf province north of 79°N three possible Cretaceous rift basins were observed.
  • A buildup of layered extrusive basaltic rocks forming a wedge of seaward dipping reflectors underlies the Holm Land continental slope.
  • On the Northeastern Greenland shelf province the existence of a wide sedimentary basin was demonstrated north of 76°N.
  • South of 76°N four volcanic structures from the continent to ocean were observed: The zone of Early Tertiary plateau basalts (zone I) that occur landward of an escarpment, a flat lying basaltic flow unit immediately seaward of the escarpment (zone II), an elongate wedge of seaward dipping reflectors (zone IIIa), a basaltic flow unit which in places shows seaward dipping beds of short length (zone IIIb), and the oceanic crust.
  • Dyke swarms and intrusions of inferred Neogene age were recognized at several locations.

References:

K. Hinz, H. Meyer and H. Miller (1991), North-east Greenland shelf north of 79°N: results of a reflection seismic experiment in sea ice. Marine and Petroleum Geology, Vol.8, 461-467.

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Cruise BGR77 1977

Labrador Sea

Multichannel seismic data acquisition parameters:
Total length of lines5.931 km 
Sampling rate4 ms
Record length10 000 ms
Streamerdigital - 48 channels

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Cruise Nares01 2001

Labrador Sea

Multichannel seismic data acquisition parameters:
Total length of lines1.201 km 
Sampling rate4/2 ms
Record length6/10 ms
Streamerdigital - 48 channels

The Scientific staff and crew onboard CCGS Louis S. St. Laurent (LSL) returned September the 10th, 2001 from a scientific expedition to the Nares Strait, the northernmost waterway connecting the Arctic and Atlantic oceans. The ice conditions in the strait required the support of Canada's largest ice breaker. The ship was a versatile platform for 34 scientists to accomplish their marine investigation. The LSL has a history of supporting international scientific expeditions including an oceanographic transect of the Arctic Ocean in 1994 and a biological study of the Canadian Arctic Islands in 1999.

Germany (Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe, BGR) and Canada (Geological Survey of Canada) undertook a 5-week scientific cruise to study and explore the geological structure and evolution of the Nares Strait. The primary objective was the study of structural features relating to the formation of the Arctic Ocean and, in particular, the study of the Wegener Fault. This fault is a linear boundary between Greenland and Ellesmere Island which was noted by the German scientist Alfred Wegener in 1915 and later became the subject of a major scientific controversy.

The co-operative cruise, which was planned over a period of 2 years, provided the basis for a wide range of scientific investigations, from marine seismic work and climate change studies through airborne magnetic investigations to geodetic survey measurements and geological sampling onshore.

Systematic geophysical offshore studies in this key area had not been undertaken before. Where towing of seismic equipment was not possible because of ice coverage, magnetic maps were made using a helicopter-borne magnetic sensor system.

Sediment and water samples taken during the cruise provide information on changes in climate and sea ice cover from the last ice-age to the present. An 11 m-long sediment core from outer Jones Sound is the longest core ever taken in the Canadian Arctic channels and holds clues to the detailed climate history of northern Baffin Bay.

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Cruise MSM09-03 2008

Labrador Sea

Multichannel seismic data acquisition parameters:
Total length of lines1710 km 
Sampling rate2 ms
Record length1400000 ms
Streamerdigital - 281 channels

The cruise leg MSM09/3 was conducted as a cooperative project between the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Resources (BGR), the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) and Dalhousie University. A geophysical survey covered areas of Baffin Bay and Davis Strait between Greenland and the Canadian Baffin Island. A component of the IPY 2007/08 Lead Project Plate Tectonics and Polar Gateways in the Earth System (PLATES & GATES), this project DAVIS GATE is aimed to develop a tectonic and sedimentary reconstruction of the opening process of this oceanic gateway. Baffin Bay and Davis Strait play an important role in the shallow water exchange from the Arctic to the Atlantic Ocean. The plate-tectonic evolution as well as the magmatic history of this region has been sparsely known and required
a careful geophysical investigation in order to construct a set of gridded detailed paleotopographic maps for a complete geodynamic reconstruction of this gateway. With a set of three seismic refraction/wide-angle reflection profiles, using ocean-bottom seismometers on 62 stations, as well as multi-channel reflection seismic recordings with a 3000-m long streamer, data were acquired from the sedimentary cover to the deep crust and even from parts of the uppermost mantle. Additional seismic data supplement these profiles and provide insights into the structures of the basement and dominant fault zones such as the Ungava fault 4 Report RV MARIA S. MERIAN, Cruise MSM09/3, Davis Strait & Baffin Bay system. A parallel running magnetic survey aimed to resolve the temporal evolution of the oceanic crust of Baffin Bay. The extension and subsidence of the continental and transitional crust in the Davis Strait and the evolution of oceanic crust in the Labrador Sea and Baffin Bay could be investigated with dataset to which continuously recorded gravity anomaly data and sub-bottom profiler data also contribute. This dataset provides the basis of geometrical and physical properties of the crust required for a realistic geodynamic model which will describe the break-up and the ocean basin evolution between Greenland and Canada in terms of detailed paleo-topography.

The Expedition of the Research Vessel "Maria S. Merian" to the Davis Strait and Baffin Bay in 2008 (MSM09/3) Edited by Karsten Gohl, Bernd Schreckenberger, Thomas Funck with contributions of the participants. (Berichte zur Polar- und Meeresforschung = Reports on Polar and Marine Research 587 / 2009) http://epic.awi.de/Publications/Goh2009c.pdf

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Cruise BGR10 ARK-XXV/3 2010

RV Polarstern

Baffin Bay

Multichannel seismic data acquisition parameters:
Total length of lines3994 km 
Sampling rate2 ms
Record length15000 ms
Streamerdigital - 300 channels

The multidisciplinary marine geoscientific expedition ARK-XXV/3 was focused on the Greenland part of northern Baffin Bay and was aimed to acquire new geoscientific data to be used for modelling the evolution of the Greenland continental margin and the hydrocarbons in the area. The cruise was performed under the lead of the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources Hannover in cooperation with the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven.
Using 70 days of ship time onboard the research icebreaker R/V Polarstern, a comprehensive data set was acquired along profiles extending from the deep oceanic basin in the central part of North Baffin Bay onto the Greenland continental margin in an area which was bordered by the Kane Basin in the North and Disko Island in the South. By means of multi-channel seismic, wide angle seismic, gravimetric and magnetic methods, the structural inventory of the crust in the NW Baffin Bay was investigated. Additionally, heat flow data and sediment cores were collected along lines crossing the Greenland continental margin. The cores were extracted for geochemical and geomicrobiological analysis to be used for basin modelling and studying the hydrocarbon genesis, including their degradation by microorganisms under polar conditions. Geological sampling in the coastal area was done between Melville Bay and Washington Land. The collected rock material will be used to derive constraints on the erosion history of the coastal area. Aeromagnetic data was acquired covering a substantial part of the marine survey area to investigate magnetic signatures of the oceanic crust and the continental margin.

The Expedition of the Research Vessel "Polarstern" to the Arctic in 2010 (ARK-XXV/3). Edited by Volkmar Damm with contributions of the participants. (Berichte zur Polar- und Meeresforschung = Reports on Polar and Marine Research 621 / 2010) http://hdl.handle.net/10013/epic.36297

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Cruise BGR93 1993

Vessel M/V Akademik Lazarev

Laptev Sea

Multichannel seismic data acquisition parameters:
Total length of lines3.189 km 
Sampling rate4 ms
Record length12 000 ms
StreamerAMG 45/51; active length 2400 m, 48 channels

Summary

In September 1993, the Federal Institute for Geoscience and Natural Resources (BGR) has carried out in cooperation with Sevmorneftegeofizika (SNMG), Murmansk a 2D-seismic survey of the eastern part of the Laptev Sea shelf. During the survey with a total length of 3189 km the 70 km wide New Siberian Basin and two other basins were mapped. In the central part of the New Siberian Basin, a Tertiary sediment thickness of more than 4 km overlying older sediments was observed. Further to the east, a large area covered by lava flows of unknown thickness was investigated.

There are no indications of a propagation of real seafloor spreading into the Laptev Shelf and thus the Asian continental crust. Therefore seafloor spreading seems impossible at total spreading rates below 0.7 cm/year, at least for crust of the character which is present here.

References:

Roeser, H.A., Block, M., Hinz, K., Reichert, C., 1995, Marine geophysical investigations in the Laptev Sea and the western part of the East Siberian Sea, Reports on Polar Research (176): Russian-German Cooperation in the Siberian Shelf Seas: Geo-System Laptev Sea, Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Germany, pp.367-377.

Roeser, H.A., Hoffmann, N., 1997, Plattentektonische Untersuchungen in der Laptewsee und in der südlichen Ostsee. In G.H. Goring (ed.): Deutsch-polnische Begegnung zu Wissenschaft und Forschung, Schriftenreihe der Danziger Naturforschenden, pp.45-86.

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Cruise BGR94 1994

Vessel M/V Akademik Nemchinov

Laptev Sea

Multichannel seismic data acquisition parameters:
Total length of lines4.000 km 
Sampling rate4 ms
Record length12 000 ms
Streamerdigital - 118 channels

Summary see BGR-97

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Cruise BGR97 1997

Vessel M/V Akademik Lazarev

Laptev Sea / New Siberian Sea

Vessel M/V Akademik LazarevVessel M/V Akademik Lazarev Source: BGR

Multichannel seismic data acquisition parameters:
Total length of lines4.622 km 
Sampling rate4 ms
Record length12000 ms
Streamerdigital - 240 channels

The 3rd cooperative BGR/SMNG Arctic cruise was designed to acquire new scietific data for

  • a better understanding of temporal and spatial lithospheric variations during rifting and its influence on the tectonic and structural evolution of the continental crust of the Laptev Sea undergoing extension since at least the Early Tertiary, and
  • for tackling open questions regarding the evolution of the submarine permafrost zone.

Although conditions for seismic measurements were worse in 1997 than in 1993 and 1994, along 4,622 km of seismic traverses reflection seismic data and wide angle reflection/refraction data from 23 OBH-(ocean bottom hydrophone) stations were collected in the Laptev and East Siberian Sea.

The most prominent rift basin is the Ust' Lena Rift, which is at least 300 km wide at latitude 75°N. The Cenozoic sedimentary cover exceeds 3 km everywhere, increasing up to 14 km at two locations. In the northern part of the shelf, the complex mainly N–S-trending Anisin Basin has a basin fill of up to 10 km thickness. The New Siberian Basin which is located in the northwestern part of the study area shows an up to 9 km thick graben fill. The Laptev Horst crust is locally subdivided into several tilted blocks by deep-reaching faults and there are several half grabens of smaller extent which divide the Laptev Horst into three parts: the North, the South and the East Laptev Horst. A major west dipping listric fault of at least 250 km length separates the Laptev Horst from the Ust' Lena Rift. Results from the seismological investigation indicate that recent extension is concentrated within the narrow rift basins of the eastern Laptev Sea.

From wide-angle reflection/refraction seismic measurements the seismic velocities of the crustal layers were estimated along five profiles. The layers with velocities of up to 3.5 km/s apparently consist of predominantly Cenozoic sediments. The sedimentary section showing relatively high seismic velocities of 4.5 to 5.2 km/s might be interpreted as Late Paleozoic to Mesozoic deposits or overcompacted/cemented syn-rift deposits. In the eastern shelf area a layer beneath the acoustic basement was interpreted to represent Ordovician to Early Mesozoic carbonates. The lower crust in the area under study shows relatively uniform seismic velocities of about 6.0-6.8 km/s and the velocities estimated for the crust-mantle transition are in the range of 8.0 to 8.2 km/s. The origin of a several 100 m thick layer with a relative high velocity of 3 to 3.5 km/s directly beneath the seafloor was inferred as sub-sea permafrost.

References:

Hinz, K., Delisle, G., Block, M., 1998, Seismic evidence for the vertical extent of submarine permafrost in the Laptev Sea, Siberia? - Proc. 7th International Conference on Permafrost in Yellowknife, Canada.

Delisle, G., 1998, Numerical simulation of offshore permafrost in the Laptev Sea, Siberia, Proc. 7th Int. Conf. on Permafrost in Yellowknife, Canada, pp.213-219.

Franke, D., Krueger, F., Klinge, K.D., 2000, Tectonics of the Laptev Sea – Moma 'Rift' region: Investigation with seismologic broadbanddata, Journal of Seismology, Vol.4, no.2, 99-116.

Franke, D., Hinz, K., Oncken, O. (2001). The Laptev Sea Rift. Marine and Petroleum Geology, 18(10), 1083-1127.

Franke, D., Reichert, Chr., & Karl Hinz, K (2004). Geology of the East Siberian Sea, Russian Arctic from seismic images: Structures, evolution and implications for the evolution of the Arctic Ocean Basin, J. Geophys. Res., Vol. 109, No. B7, B07106, 10.1029/2003JB002687.

Franke, D. & Hinz, K., 2005. The structural style of sedimentary basins on the shelves of the Laptev Sea and the western East Siberian Sea, Siberian Arctic, Journal of Petroleum Geology, 28(3), 269-286.

Cramer, B. & Franke D., Indications for an active petroleum system in the Laptev Sea, northeast Siberia, Journal of Petroleum Geology, 28(4), 369-384.

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Cruise BGR13 / PANORAMA 1, 2013

Vessel R/V OGS Explora

Nord-Barentssee

Multichannel seismic data acquisition parameters:
Total length of lines1056 km 
Sampling rate2 ms
Record length10000 ms
Streamerdigital - 288 channels

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Cruise BGR15 / PANORAMA 2, 2015

Vessel R/V OGS Explora

Laptev Sea

Multichannel seismic data acquisition parameters:
Sampling rate2 ms
Record length9000 ms
Streamerdigital - 288 channels

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Contact

    
Dr. Volkmar Damm
Phone: +49-(0)511-643-3226
Fax: +49-(0)511-643-3661

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