Morphology and structure of the Lomonosov Ridge, Arctic Ocean

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Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems
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May 24
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The Lomonosov Ridge is a band of continental crust that stretches across the Arctic Ocean and separates the Mesozoic Amerasian Basin from the Cenozoic Eurasian Basin. From about 87 degrees N north of Greenland across the Pole to about 86 degrees N, the Lomonosov Ridge is a single highstanding blocky ridge with minimum depths of similar to 950-1400 m. South of 86 degrees N on the Siberian side, the ridge breaks up into a series of ridges spread over a width of about 200 km. In this region a highstanding blocky ridge with minimum depths of similar to 650-1400 m bounds the Eurasian Basin and continues to the Siberian continental margin. This ridge is continuous with the single ridge making up the Lomonosov Ridge toward North America and is the former outermost continental shelf of Eurasia bounding the Amerasian Basin. The Eurasian Basin margin of the Lomonosov Ridge consists of a series of rotated fault blocks stepping down to the basin that result from nearly orthogonal rifting to form the Eurasian Basin. No rotated fault blocks are observed on the Amerasian Basin margin of the Lomonosov Ridge. On the Amerasian Basin side, Marvin Spur, a linear ridge separated from Lomonosov Ridge by a deep basin, parallels Lomonosov Ridge on the North American side of the pole. At the bend in the Lomonosov Ridge near the North Pole, Marvin Spur continues along strike across the Makarov Basin. South of 86 degrees N toward Siberia, a continuous outer ridge makes up the Amerasian Basin edge of the Lomonosov complex with a series of basins and ridges between it and the former Eurasian shelf. The outer ridge marks an abrupt boundary between the Lomonosov Ridge complex and the apparently oceanic crust of the Makarov Basin. The outer ridge and Marvin Spur very closely follow small circles about a pole located on the Mackenzie delta. The observed structure on the Amerasian Basin side of the Lomonosov Ridge is analogous to that observed at well-studied shear margins and supports rotational models for the development of the Amerasian Basin.


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Doi 10.1029/2005gc001114