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A three-dimensional geophysical model of the crust in the Barents Sea region: model construction and basement characterization

Oliver Ritzmann, Nils Maercklin, Jan I. Faleide, Hilmar Bungum, Walter D. Mooney, and Shane T. Detweiler. Geophysical Journal International 170(1):417--435 (July 2007)

Abstract

BARENTS50, a new 3-D geophysical model of the crust in the Barents Sea Region has been developed by the University of Oslo, NORSAR and the U.S. Geological Survey. The target region comprises northern Norway and Finland, parts of the Kola Peninsula and the East European lowlands. Novaya Zemlya, the Kara Sea and Franz-Josef Land terminate the region to the east, while the Norwegian-Greenland Sea marks the western boundary. In total, 680 1-D seismic velocity profiles were compiled, mostly by sampling 2-D seismic velocity transects, from seismic refraction profiles. Seismic reflection data in the western Barents Sea were further used for density modelling and subsequent density-to-velocity conversion. Velocities from these profiles were binned into two sedimentary and three crystalline crustal layers. The first step of the compilation comprised the layer-wise interpolation of the velocities and thicknesses. Within the different geological provinces of the study region, linear relationships between the thickness of the sedimentary rocks and the thickness of the remaining crystalline crust are observed. We therefore used the separately compiled area-wide sediment thickness data to adjust the total crystalline crustal thickness according to the total sedimentary thickness where no constraints from 1-D velocity profiles existed. The BARENTS50 model is based on an equidistant hexagonal grid with a node spacing of 50 km. The P-wave velocity model was used for gravity modelling to obtain 3-D density structure. A better fit to the observed gravity was achieved using a grid search algorithm which focussed on the density contrast of the sediment-basement interface. An improvement compared to older geophysical models is the high resolution of 50 km. Velocity transects through the 3-D model illustrate geological features of the European Arctic. The possible petrology of the crystalline basement in western and eastern Barents Sea is discussed on the basis of the observed seismic velocity structure.

Links and resources

DOI:
10.1111/j.1365-246X.2007.03337.x
URL:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-246X.2007.03337.x
BibTeX key:
ritzmann_etal:2007
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