Western Barents Shelf
Comprising predominantly thick sedimentary basins, windows into the geological evolution of the western Barents Shelf are spectacularly exposed on the Svalbard archipelago in the north of the region, and are contained in materials recovered from exploration boreholes in the south of the region. How these basins formed and filled is an ongoing area of research that is key for understanding palaeogeography during the formation and break-up of supercontinent Pangea, the location of reservoirs for hydrocarbon reserves, and suitable sites for the underground storage of carbon dioxide.
Map of Region
CASP’s origins lie in research carried out on Svalbard. In fact, it is fair to say that our 60 years of fieldwork and research on Svalbard underpins much of what is currently known about the structural and stratigraphical evolution of the entire western Barents Shelf. CASP’s research, led by Brian Harland, fundamentally shaped Svalbard’s geological map, inspired the formation of what became the international chronostratigraphic chart, and developed hypotheses that the ice caps waxed and waned to the extent that, at times, the Earth was entirely covered by ice.
The Western Barents Shelf remains an area of CASP research. This is currently focused on understanding how the basins were filled, by developing and critiquing sediment provenance methods and by basic geological research in the field accompanied by drone-assisted photogrammetry.
Active Research Projects
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
- Understanding the distribution of Carboniferous-Triassic detrital zircons in Arctic Mesozoic strata CASP.CAPD2015-17.7
- Stratigraphy, palynology and Vitrinite reflectance of the 7625/5-1 (Hopen-2) well and implications for hydrocarbon plays in Barents Sea North CASP.BPP2017-19.20
- Synthesis of the Barents Shelf Provenance Project 2015-2017 and GIS release CASP.BPP2015-17.18