The Jan Mayen Microcontinent encompasses a rectangular, mostly submarine fragment of continental crust that lies north of Iceland in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean. These continental rocks were rifted away from the eastern margin of Greenland as a consequence of a westward jump of spreading centers from the now-extinct Aegir Ridge to the currently active Kolbeinsey Ridge in the Oligocene and early Miocene. The microcontinent is composed of the high-standing Jan Mayen Ridge and a series of smaller ridges that diminish southward in elevation and includes several deep basins that are underlain by strongly attenuated continental crust. The geology of this area is known principally from a loose collection of seismic reflection and refraction lines and several deep-sea scientific drill cores.
The Jan Mayen Microcontinent petroleum province encompasses the entire area of the microcontinent and was defined as a single assessment unit (AU). Although its geology is poorly known, the microcontinent is thought to consist of late Paleozoic and Mesozoic rift basin stratigraphic sequences similar to those of the highly prospective Norwegian, North Sea, and Greenland continental margins. The prospectivity of the AU may be greatly diminished, however, by pervasive extensional deformation, basaltic magmatism, and exhumation that accompanied two periods of continental rifting and breakup in the Paleogene and early Neogene. The overall probability of at least one petroleum accumulation of >50 million barrels of oil equivalent was judged to be 5.6 percent. As a consequence of the low level of probability, a quantitative assessment of this AU was not conducted.
Moore, T.E., and Pitman, J.K., 2018, Geology and assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources of the Jan Mayen Microcontinent Province, 2008, chap. L of Moore, T.E., and Gautier, D.L., eds., The 2008 Circum-Arctic Resource Appraisal: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1824, 18 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/pp1824L.
ISSN: 2330-7102 (online)
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Title||Geology and assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources of the Jan Mayen Microcontinent Province, 2008|
|Series title||Professional Paper|
|Publisher||U.S. Geological Survey|
|Publisher location||Reston, VA|
|Contributing office(s)||Energy Resources Program|
|Description||Report: vi, 18 p.; Appendix|
|Other Geospatial||Jan Mayen Microcontinent Province|
|Online Only (Y/N)||Y|
|Additional Online Files (Y/N)||Y|