Canada Basin

  • David C. MosherEmail author
  • Deborah R. Hutchinson


Perennial sea-ice cover over much of Canada Basin of the Arctic Ocean has hampered geoscientific studies, but concerted efforts over the past decade– particularly with the use of two ice-breakers working collaboratively – has led to new seismic and sample acquisitions. These studies have revealed extensive non-oceanic basement beneath Canada Basin that coincides with proof of a central spreading axis and limited oceanic crust. Additionally, seismic reflection studies have shown its sedimentologic history and stratigraphic development. High resolution subbottom and multibeam detail have revealed its more recent geologic past, including the extent of ice margins during the Pleistocene and the role of submarine landslides and ocean currents within the basin. Despite this new information, there are still significant challenges in understanding the basin. These challenges result from the fact that the basin did not form by a simple rift/extension scenario, but rather more likely through a complexity of events that included variably oriented extension, trans-tension and transform tectonics. Additionally, emplacement of the high arctic magnetic domain (Alpha Ridge and Mendeleev Rise) masks underlying tectonic structures, and lack of age control inhibits correlation with global events.


Arctic ocean Canada basin Seismic-stratigraphy Tectonics High Arctic magnetic domain Transitional crust Ocean crust Canada basin gravity low Glaci-genic debris flows Turbidites 



The authors would like to thank the many individuals and organizations who have been involved in acquisition, processing and interpretation of the new data upon which this chapter is based. There are far too many people to mention individually, but we especially wish to express appreciation to Dr. Gordon Oakey for the potential field data compilations, Mr. John Shimeld for his exceptional efforts in seismic data acquisition and processing, and Mr. Kai Boggild for helping compile the subbottom reflection data.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geological Survey of Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Bedford Institute of OceanographyDartmouthCanada
  2. 2.United States Geological SurveyWoods Hole Coastal and Marine Science CenterWoods HoleUSA

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