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The “Geological Map of the Arctic” (Geological Survey of Canada Map 2159A): A New Circumpolar Bedrock Geology Map and Geodatabase

Christopher Harrison1, Marc R. St-Onge1, Oleg Petrov2, Sergey Strelnikov2, Boris Lopatin3, Frederic Wilson4, Subhas Tella1, Dianne Paul1, Tracy Lynds5, Sergey Shokalsky2, Chad Hults4, Stefan Bergman6, Hans F. Jepsen7, and Arne Solli8
1Geological Survey of Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada.
2A.P. Karpinsky Russian Geological Research Institute (VSEGEI), St. Petersburg, Russian Federation.
3All-Russia Research Institute for Geology and Mineral Resources of the World Ocean (VNIIOkeangeologiya), St. Petersburg, Russian Federation.
4Alaska Science Centre, United States Geological Survey, Anchorage, AK.
5Geological Survey of Canada, Dartmouth, NS, Canada.
6Geological Survey of Sweden (SGU), Uppsala, Sweden.
7Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS), Copenhagen, Denmark.
8Geological Survey of Norway (NGU), Trondheim, Norway.

In support of stated objectives of the Commission for the Geological Map of the World (CGMW), nations of the circumpolar Arctic have cooperated to produce a new bedrock geology map and related spatially-enabled digital data. The 1;5,000,000 scale map (1:5M at standard parallel 70 degrees North) in WGS 1984 Stereographic North Pole projection, includes complete onshore and offshore geological coverage to 60 degrees North, representing an area of 34.7 million square kilometers or about 6.8% of the Earth’s surface. Greenwich (zero degrees longitude) is adopted as the central meridian so that lands of the eastern and western hemispheres plot, respectively, on the right and left sides of the map. The print version of this circular map is 133 cm in diameter and is accompanied by three correlation chart sheets and separate legend.

Contributing material derives from published digital maps of northern Europe and its offshore (1:4M), Fennoscandia (Norway, Sweden, Finland; 1:2M), Greenland (1:2.5M), Yukon (1:1M), and other parts of Arctic Canada (1:250K to 1:5M). Captured analog sources cover the northwest Atlantic and North America offshore (1:5M). New compilation work includes onshore and offshore Russia, the United States in Alaska, Sweden, two of the northern territories of Canada (Nunavut and Northwest Territories), and bedrock of the Arctic Ocean, Baffin Bay and northern Labrador Sea.

Standardized map unit attributes have been applied to over 32,000 geology polygons. This has been facilitated by the ICS 2004 time scale, updated to 2009. The map and database contains over 1200 geological units described by age range and composition. These include 133 divisions of the time scale based on maximum and minimum ages, and 29 compositional assemblages: extrusive (6), intrusive (9), sedimentary based on depositional setting (8) and others (6). Attribution for metamorphism ranges from “unmetamorphosed” to “metamorphosed: high grade” and “metamorphosed: high pressure”, but is incomplete across the Arctic. Vector data include active and extinct spreading ridges and six types of faults (normal, reverse, thrust, dextral, sinistral and unclassified). Point features include: impact structures (33); volcanoes, cinder cones and related structures (169); diapirs of salt or shale (231) and kimberlitic rocks (621).

As an aid to correlation, map units are grouped spatially based on generalized tectonic setting; in part, guided by modern physiography. These include cratons and massifs (11), pericratonic terranes with ophiolites (4 in the Precambrian), magmatic arc/suites and or orogens containing widespread magmatic rocks (16), fold-thrust belts (20 predominantly Precambrian, 13 in the Phanerozoic), sedimentary basins and craton cover sequences (Precambrian: 12; Phanerozoic: 18); extant continental shelf areas (5), and oceanic basins (5).


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90130©2011 3P Arctic, The Polar Petroleum Potential Conference & Exhibition, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, 30 August-2 September, 2011.