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Gravity and Crustal Structures in the Southern Beaufort Sea (North of Alaska).

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Final rept.,

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The purpose of this investigation was to 1 obtain geophysical measurements in open waters of the southern Beaufort Sea north of Alaska, 2 determine from these measurements and from other data crustal structures that extend across the continental margin and into the adjacent abyssal plain, and 3 interpret the structural features in terms of the tectonic development of the region. The field work was conducted aboard U.S. Coast Guard cutters ice breakers during their summer field seasons north of Alaska, when the ships were available cost free for the project measurements. Our program was, in turn, restricted to work that could be conducted aboard ice breakers. The project was initiated on 1 April 1972 and completed 30 June 1979 field measurements were made during the summer field seasons of 1972 through 1977, as ice conditions permitted. The extent of open-waters varied greatly from year to year and could not be estimated in advance. In 1977, ice conditions were most favorable the southern limit of the ice pack was nearly 600 km north of the shore in eastern Alaska and we then obtained a large amount of useful measurements. In 1975 and 1976 conditions were least favorable the ice pack extended almost to the shore and we obtained few useful measurements. Previous geophysical work in the Beaufort Sea includes 1 a regional gravity survey with an estimated 15 mgal uncertainty made on sea ice over the entire Beaufort Sea the Canada Basin and most of the Arctic Ocean in the 1960s by a group from the University of Wisconsin.

Subject Categories:

  • Physical and Dynamic Oceanography
  • Geodesy
  • Seismology

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