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Reconnaissance seismic reflection data indicate that Canada Basin is a remnant of the Amerasia Basin of the Arctic Ocean that lies south of the Alpha-Mendeleev Large Igneous Province, which was constructed on the northern part of the Amerasia Basin between about 127 and 89-75 Ma. Canada Basin is filled with Early Jurassic to Holocene detritus from the Mackenzie River system, which drains the northern third of interior North America, with sizable contributions from Alaska and Northwest Canada. Except for the absence of a salt- and shale-bearing mobile substrate Canada Basin is analogous to the Mississippi Delta and the western Gulf of Mexico. Canada Basin contains about 7 to >14 km of sediment beneath the Mackenzie Prodelta on the southeast, 6 to 7 km of sediment beneath the abyssal plain on the west, and roughly 5 or 6 million cubic km of sediment. About three fourths of the basin fill generates low amplitude seismic reflections, interpreted to represent hemiplegic deposits, and a fourth of the fill generates interbedded lenses to extensive layers of moderate to high amplitude reflections interpreted to represent unconfined turbidite and amalgamated channel deposits. Extrapolation from Arctic Alaska and Northwest Canada suggests that three fourths of the section in Canada Basin may contain intervals of hydrocarbon source rocks and the apparent age of the basin suggests that it contains three of the six stratigraphic intervals that together provided >90?? of the World's discovered reserves of oil and gas.. Worldwide heat flow averages suggest that about two thirds of Canada Basin lies in the oil or gas window. At least five types of structural or stratigraphic features of local to regional occurrence offer exploration targets in Canada Basin. These consist of 1) a belt of late Eocene to Miocene shale-cored detachment folds containing with at least two anticlines that are capped by beds with bright spots, 2) numerous moderate to high amplitude reflection packets (unconfined turbidite or amalgamated channel deposits), interbedded with low amplitude reflections (hemipelagic deposits) that lie in the oil or gas window, 3) basinward dipping onlap unconformities against Northwind Escarpment that are overlain by turbidite or amalgamated channel deposits interbedded with hemipelagic deposits, 4) serpentinized peridotite (?) diapirs with marginal onlap unconformities and overlying domes or anticlines, and 5) supratenuous (compaction) folds in the lower half of the Canada Basin adjacent to Northwind Escarpment. The extent of Canada Basin (>700.000 square km) and its diverse and numerous potential structural and stratigraphic traps offer many targets to hydrocarbon exploration. However deep water (to almost 4000 m), remoteness from harbors and markets, and thick accumulations of seasonal to permanent sea ice (until its possible removal by global warming later this century) will require the discovery of very large deposits for commercial success in most parts of Canada Basin. Copyright 2011, Offshore Technology Conference.
Additional Publication Details
Petroleum prospectivity of the Canada Basin, Arctic Ocean