Geophysical properties of the crust and upper mantle of the ocean-continent transition in Svalbard area

Grad M., Majorowicz J.

Publication type:
Scientific publication reviewed (Science Citation Index)

Polish Polar Research

41(1), 2020, 1-22, 10.24425/ppr.2020.132567

Organization unit:

This paper presents a review of geophysical studies of the crust and the lithosphere- asthenosphere boundary (LAB) in the ocean-continent transition in the area of Spitsbergen (Svalbard Archipelago) in high Arctic. Over last decades many investigations were performed during Polish geophysical expeditions, as well as in the framework of international cooperation with scientists from Germany, Japan, Norway and USA. We compiled here existing seismic, gravity and thermal models down to LAB depth along the 800 km long transect extending from the actively spreading Knipovich Ridge, across southern Spitsbergen to the Kong Karls Land Volcanic Province. The results of all methods are very consistent, although they are sensitive to different physical parameters: seismic wave velocities, densities and thermal. The thinnest lithosphere of only 12 km is found beneath the Knipovich Ridge. Only 50 km to the west and 50 km to the east of the ridge the LAB depth increases to about 30 km, and this value corresponds to the oceanic structure of the North Atlantic Ocean. Beneath southern Spitsbergen the LAB depth is about 55 km and increases to 90–100 km beneath continental structure of the Barents Sea. The uplift of the LAB close to distance of 700 km along transect could be correlated with Kong Karls Land Volcanic Province.