The Arctic Ocean has the most extensive continental shelves of any ocean basin (approximately 53% of the total marine area). These shelves and adjacent onshore basins contain a variety of proven, world-class hydrocarbon systems (Alaskan North Slope, Mackenzie Delta, West Siberia-Kara Sea, Timan-Pechora, Barents Shelf). However, many offshore hydrocarbon provinces remain underexplored and vast areas are virtually unknown. Due to the lack of data from the continental shelf, mostly caused by difficulties related to sea-ice and the long polar winter, many key questions can only be answered by onshore studies. These include the yet poorly understood opening of the Arctic Ocean, the quality and distribution of potential source rocks, and sediment transport pathways.
History of Research
The origins of CASP in 1975 lie in geological research in the Arctic. Today CASP works in a variety of regions but with over 40 years Arctic experience and more than 900 reports already produced, the Arctic remains the core of CASP's research. Fieldwork, which initially was undertaken in Svalbard, is now carried out in Greenland, as well as in the Canadian and Russian Arctic. CASP has an extensive collection of Arctic literature.
Key Geological Topics Covered
Many uncertainties remain in understanding the tectonic evolution and stratigraphic development of the circum-Arctic region. CASP research combines multidisciplinary studies of regions and individual hydrocarbon basins, based on a combination of original fieldwork, analytical studies, and critical synthesis of data and literature that are not easily accessible. The current Arctic research is sub-divided into five geographic regions/themes: (1) the Greenland-Norway Project; (2) the Barents Shelf Provenance Project; (3) the Canadian Arctic Islands Project; (4) the Pai-Khoi Project; (5) and the Circum-Arctic Provenance Project. Further details of geological topics can be found through the links to specific Arctic projects.