CRUSTAL STRUCTURE AND TECTONICS OF THE SOUTHEASTERN BEAUFORT SEA CONTINENTAL-MARGIN

R A STEPHENSON, K C COFLIN, L S LANE, J R DIETRICH, Randell Stephenson

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Abstract

The structure of the southeast maring of the Canada Basin is synthesized from seismic reflection and refraction profiles in the southern Beafort Sea and Mackenzie Delta, interpreted in conjunction with potential field data and the exploration seismic data base. The present margin was formed in th Jura-Cretaceous and comprises a complex pattern of rifted and transform faulted crustal segments. Thinning in the upper crust is bounded by the Eskimo Lakes Fault Zones (ELFZ), a series of extensional listric normal faults, and is controlled by preexisting structures. Lowe crustal thinning and the transition to oceanic crust occurs outboard of the ELFZ. A thick (up to 16 km) Late Jurassic and younger synrift and postrift sedimentary succession overlies oceanic crust in the eastern part of the Canadian Beaufort Sea and thinned continental crust between the Mackenzie Delta and Alaska. Tertiary faulting in the sedimentary basin appears to be related to the crustal structure. Present-day seismicity in the southern Beaufort Sea is essentially limited to the area underlain by oceanic crust. Abrupt along-strike cahnges in crustal affinity and degree of thinning allow the recognition of a Nw-trending transform fault. Regional gravity data, dominated by a series of coastline parallel highs, are used to extrapolate crustal features to the northeast along the Canadian polar continential margin. It is inferred that the Canadian polar margin consists of a number of 250-to-350-km-long stretched crustal segments separated by possible fracture zones. The orientation of the analogous transform fault identified in the southeastern Beaufort eea offer the possibility of kinematic constraints on models of ocean floor development within Canada Basin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-400
Number of pages12
JournalTectonics
Volume13
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1994

Keywords

  • CANADIAN POLAR MARGIN
  • ARCTIC CANADA
  • MACKENZIE BASIN
  • NORTHERN YUKON
  • EVOLUTION
  • ALASKA
  • CONSTRAINTS
  • OCEAN

Cite this

STEPHENSON, R. A., COFLIN, K. C., LANE, L. S., DIETRICH, J. R., & Stephenson, R. (1994). CRUSTAL STRUCTURE AND TECTONICS OF THE SOUTHEASTERN BEAUFORT SEA CONTINENTAL-MARGIN. Tectonics, 13(2), 389-400.