Subsurface mapping of Ellesmerian onlaps: Testing the opening of the Arctic Canada Basin
West Virginia University, Morgantown
Since the advent of plate tectonics in the mid-1960's the mechanism for formation of the majority of the world's ocean basins has been solved. However, there are still several remaining tectonic conundrums, such as the origin of the Arctic Canada Basin. The most widely accepted tectonic hypothesis proposes a rotational opening of the basin after rifting along the Northern Alaskan-Canadian Arctic margins. Subsurface mapping the Ellesmerian strata of Northern Alaska onlapping onto the Barrow Arch, a long-lived basement high, was carried out and then compared with mapped strata on Prince Patrick Island, Canada, to see if they aligned. These mapped onlaps appear to show a match between Northern Alaska and the Canadian Arctic, if Northern Alaska is rotated back clockwise by 60â”¬â–‘ about a Euler pole located at 68.9â”¬â–‘N, 229â”¬â–‘W. Along with recent gravity and magnetic anomaly data, all this new evidence would appear to be consistent with a rotational opening.
Minerals Data and Information Rescue in Alaska (MDIRA)