Seismic transect across the Lomonosov and Mendeleev Ridges: Constraints on the geological evolution of the Amerasia Basin, Arctic Ocean



[1] We report on seismic and petrological data that provide new constraints on the geological evolution of the Amerasia Basin. A seismic reflection transect across the Makarov Basin, located between the Mendeleev and Lomonosov Ridges, shows a complete undisturbed sedimentary section of Mesozoic/Cenozoic age. In contrast to the Mendeleev Ridge, the margin of the Lomonosov Ridge is wide and shows horst and graben structures. We suggest that the Mendeleev Ridge is most likely volcanic in origin and support this finding with a 40Ar/39Ar isotopic age for a tholeiitic basalt sampled from the central Alpha/Mendeleev Ridge. Seismic reflection data for the Makarov Basin show no evidence of compressional features, consistent with the Lomonosov Ridge moving as a microplate in the Cenozoic. We propose that the Amerasia Basin moved as a single tectonic plate during the opening of the Eurasia Basin.