The Arctic Ocean, its extensive submarine continental shelves and adjacent landmasses contain vast ore deposits, excellent subsurface reservoirs and proven hydrocarbon systems, all of which may be needed for tackling the energy transition. The region is also important because it contains well-preserved palaeoclimate records and is itself sensitive to climatic perturbations, and so is an ideal place to monitor anthropogenic climate change. The geology and tectonics of the region have controlled the distribution of its resources and have influenced past climate. The drivers for the opening of the Arctic Ocean are complex and disputed. This is because much of the evidence is either concealed below sea-level or ice caps, and is further obscured by recurrent terrane displacement. As a consequence, regional syntheses combined with targeted field observations from key areas across the Arctic region are necessary to forward models for Arctic Ocean opening and the development of its resources.
Map of Region
History of Research
The origins of CASP in 1975 lie in geological research in the Arctic. Although CASP has diversified into a variety of regions, we have over 45 years of Arctic experience and have issued around a thousand reports on this region. Fieldwork, which initially was undertaken in Svalbard, has subsequently been carried out over many years in Greenland, and large parts of the Canadian and Russian Arctic. CASP has an extensive collection of Arctic literature and rock samples.
Key Geological Topics Covered
Multiple topics have been covered related to improving our understanding of the tectonic evolution and stratigraphic development of the circum-Arctic region. CASP research continues to combine multidisciplinary studies of regions and individual sedimentary basins, based on a combination of original fieldwork, analytical studies, and critical synthesis of data and literature that are not always easily accessible. Further details can be found on our Canadian-Alaskan Arctic, East Greenland and Mid-Norway, Western Barents Shelf, Eastern Barents Shelf and Russian Arctic sub-region pages.
CASP’s research in the Arctic has contracted over the last decade and is now focused on the Norwegian continental shelf and the Subpolar Urals.
Active Research Projects
- Barents Shelf Provenance Project 2017-2019
- Late Cretaceous Arctic Source Rock Project 2018-2019
- Uralian Provenance Project 2017-2019
Most Recent Reports
- Geological history of Bjørnøya through virtual outcrop models CASP.BPP2017-19.22
- A sediment provenance study from the Salina well (7220/10-1) CASP.BPP2017-19.21
- Permian Source Rock Study II: Palynology of the Ravnefjeld Formation and overlying mudstones CASP.EGS.GNP.PSRS2018-19.174
- Permian Source Rock Study II: Geochemistry of the Ravnefjeld Formation and overlying mudstones CASP.EGS.GNP.PSRS2018-19.173
- Multi-proxy provenance study of sandstones in the Kara and Korotaikha basins (Russia): Implications for Uralian orogenesis CASP.PKP2015-17.22