Friday blog post – The Birth of an Ocean: How the Present Day Arctic was Formed
This summer 15 students participated in our “Arctic tectonics, volcanism and climate” course hosted by UNIS at Svalbard and arranged by NOR-R-AM and DEEP. As part of their assessment the students wrote a blog post in groups. Each Friday, in the five weeks to come, we will post one blog for you to read and enjoy.
by Connor Drooff (UAF), Cullen Kortyna (U.Texas) and Margaret Odlum (U.Texas).
The Arctic Ocean, located in the north polar region, is Earth’s smallest and shallowest ocean. It is partly covered by sea ice all year. The ocean is divided by the Lomonosov Ridge into two basins, the Amerasian Basin and the Eurasian Basin, and is surrounded on all sides by the continental crust of North America, Scandinavia and Russia except for a narrow passage through the East Greenland Rift Basin. The Lomonosov Ridge is an unusual submarine ridge of continental crust that was rifted from the Barents Shelf in the early Cenozoic, that has relief of ~3000 meters. The remoteness, hostile weather, and sea ice cover make the Arctic Ocean an extremely challenging place to study, making it one of the “last frontiers” in scientific discovery. In this blog, we hope to cover a generalized history of the tectonic processes and events that have culminated in the formation of the Arctic Ocean.