EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Complex seafloor spreading Knipovich Ridge and its crustal structure: insights from aeromagnetic data

Marie-Andrée Dumais1, Laurent Gernigon2, Odleiv Olesen2, Ståle E. Johansen3, and Anna Lim4
Marie-Andrée Dumais et al.
  • 1Norges geologiske undersøkelse, Trondheim, Norway (
  • 2Norges geologiske undersøkelse, Trondheim, Norway
  • 3Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
  • 4Argeo, Hvalstad, Norway

The interest for the polar regions and complex continental margins and ocean has increased during the last few decades. New technologies allow to conduct research in this hostile environment, permitting to investigate the tectonic and geodynamic history of the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans. In particular, the crustal and lithospheric structure of the Fram Strait and the transition from the Knipovich Ridge to the Barents Sea shelf and Svalbard are still poorly understood. Several multi-geophysical investigations from various campaigns since the 90s along the Western Barents Sea margin and the Northeast Greenland margin resulted in limited and contradicting interpretations of the crust and upper mantle. In this work, we study the spreading of the Knipovich Ridge and the regional tectonic of the Fram Strait and the Svalbard Margin.

Our new KRAS-16 aeromagnetic data survey the complexity of the seafloor spreading history of the Fram Strait region. The high-resolution data identified the magnetic isochrons around the Knipovich Ridge and suggest the presence of several oceanic fracture zones and lineaments in the Fram Strait. The Knipovich ridge spreading initiated at C6 (20 Ma) and a ridge jump occurred at C5E. The oceanic crustal domain was consequently delineated. This new survey suggests that the continent-ocean boundary on the east Barents margin should be relocated up to 150 km farther west compared to previous studies. A 3-D magnetic inversion modelling identified zone with weak magnetization along the rift valley correlated with the absence of volcanic or bathymetric rise evidence. Combined with seismicity data available along the Knipovich Ridge, amagmatic and magmatic accretions show a segmentation of the seafloor spreading that correlates with the variation in magnetization along the rift valley. Furthermore, the new location of the continent-ocean boundary prompted to revise the existing 2-D seismic interpretations in terms of crustal interpretation and tectonic. This is tested further using joint 2-D gravity and magnetic field modelling and electromagnetic/magneto-telluric (CSEM/MT) data. A wide transition lithospheric domain likely comprising an exhumed lower crust or mantle is delineated from our interpretation. These results provide insights of the regional and structural nature of the Knipovich Ridge and its intricate development.

How to cite: Dumais, M.-A., Gernigon, L., Olesen, O., Johansen, S. E., and Lim, A.: Complex seafloor spreading Knipovich Ridge and its crustal structure: insights from aeromagnetic data, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-6339,, 2023.