We present a seismic and density model for the crust and the uppermost mantle of the Arctic Ocean off-shore Chukotka down to a 40 km depth along a 740-km long latitudinal (at ca. 77°N) “Arctic-2012” wide-angle/MCS profile. Joint seismic and gravity modeling indicates significant differences in the crustal velocity and density structure of the northeastern Vilkitsky Trough, the Mendeleev Rise, the Chukchi Basin, and the Chukchi Plateau. The Vilkitsky Trough and the Chukchi Basin have a thin crust (23 km and 18 km, correspondingly), 6–8 km thick sedimentary cover, 3–6 km thick upper/middle crust (with the smallest thickness of 3–4 km beneath the Chukchi Basin), and 9–10 km thick lower crust. The uppermost mantle of the Chukchi Basin has a high density (3.27–3.31 g/cm3) and a low velocity (Vp ∼ 7.8 km/s), which we explain by 5–10% serpentinization of mantle peridotite at a 22–35 km depth as a result of crustal hyperextension and seawater penetration. The Chukchi Plateau and the Mendeleev Rise have a thick crust (28–29 km and 33–34 km, correspondingly), underlain by a normal mantle (Vp ∼ 8.0 km/s). The Chukchi Plateau has a 2‐4 km thick sedimentary cover, a thick (15–18 km) upper/middle crust with low-Vp, low-density lenses interpreted as magmatic intrusions, and a 9–12 km thick lower crust. The Mendeleev Rise has a 3–7 km thick sedimentary cover (most of which is formed by metasediments with a possible presence of volcanic rocks), a 7–8 km thick upper/middle crust, and a thick (20 km) lower crust which includes a 3–4 km thick high-velocity (Vp ∼ 7.3 km/s) underplated magmatic material. The high density anomaly (at depths >35 km) below the Mendeleev Rise is interpreted as an eclogitic body in the upper mantle lithosphere. Seismic Vp and Vp/Vs structure of the crust along the “Arctic-2012” profile indicates its continental nature: a 3–18 km thick upper/middle crustal layer with Vp ∼ 6.0–6.8 km/s and Vp/Vs ∼ 1.70–1.73 typical of felsic-intermediate continental upper crust is present along the entire profile. Strong variability of the crustal structure along the profile reflects its significant modification by metamorphism and magmatism, possibly related to the High-Arctic Large Igneous Province and localized lithosphere extension beneath the Chukchi Basin.
Scopus subject areas
- Earth-Surface Processes