© ICDP, the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program, 1996-2021

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The Mjølnir Scientific Drilling Project

Europe, Norway, Svalbard, Central Barents Sea, Mjølnir Crater

new workshop-proposal: ICDP-2006/09
for the funding-period starting 2006-01-15
by Filippos Tsikalas, Morten Smelror
Abstract
More than a decade of research has established the 40-km-diameter Mjølnir Crater as one of the best-preserved marine impact craters on Earth. The structure represents one of the very few cases globally where an intact source-crater and ejecta-layer correlation has been established. The easily accessible structure is located in the central Barents Sea at lat 73º 48´N, long 29º 40´E below ice-free waters. Based on gathered scientific knowledge and significance of Mjølnir Crater, we apply for a workshop to discuss the scientific background, challenges and possibilities for drilling of this structure and adjacent sites. The drilling of the Mjølnir Crater will increase our understanding of marine impacts and impact-induced processes along with the post-impact development of the Arctic. In this relation both the stratigraphical developments along with environmental, climatological and biological perturbations should be emphasized. It is of outmost importance that these issues are analyzed in relation to additional time-equivalent impact craters that may be related to the globally complex Jurassic-Cretaceous transition, This workshop initiative was taken by a Norwegian based group that has been studying the Arctic and the Barents Sea for more than 30 years and with a particular focus on the Mjølnir Crater during the last decade. We intend to invite international experts in the field of impact cratering and Arctic geology to a 3-days workshop scheduled for September 2007. We suggest the 35 participants, representing 15 countries, ICDP, GFZ, IODP/ECORD, DOSECC, Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) and oil companies (Statoil and Hydro), should meet in Longyearbyen, Svalbard. The meeting will be arranged at the Radisson SAS Polar Hotel in combination with UNIS (University Centre in Svalbard). The 2 ½ days meeting and ½ day excursion (Tempelfjorden and the Tuna glacier) will be organized as a combination of scientific and technical presentations of both new and state of the art themes in combination with panel discussions and break-out working groups. The outcome of this workshop will be identification of scientific goals, suggested drilling sites and the establishment of a scientific and technical steering committee and different science teams. These groups will contribute in writing the preliminary and final drilling proposals.
Scientific Objectives
  • There is general a poor knowledge on important issues such as:
  • 1) mechanisms of marine impact cratering and post-impact loading,
  • 2) the environmental (biological, climatological) consequences of marine impacts and 3) the post-Jurassic stratigraphic and geological development of the Arctic. This has triggered us to propose organizing this workshop with the following scientific objectives:
  • (1) Challenges and possibilities for drilling the Mjølnir Crater and adjacent sites. Drilling of the Mjølnir Crater should have both crater structure and ejecta beds as primary goals, in addition to acquiring maximum stratigraphical representation of post-Jurassic Arctic geological formations that will form the foundation for paleoenvironmental and paleoclimatological studies. Panel discussions in a combination with work in break-out groups will conclude in defining scientific aims and possible drill sites.
  • (2) Establishment of an international co-operative steering committee and various science teams. Based on the discussions and outcome of the workshop, the science teams will write and submit preliminary and full proposals to ICDP and IODP/ECORD for scientific drilling tentatively in 2009 and 2010. As part of the drilling initiative, the workshop will start by reviewing the following themes:
  • (1) Mjølnir and Arctic investigations (geological and geophysical). Presentations by specialists of Arctic geology and members of the Mjølnir research group.
  • (2) Petroleum exploration in the Barents Sea and background for drilling policy and technical challenges. Representatives from Norwegian petroleum authorities and oil companies will present their views. Drilling experts from ICDP/DOSECC/IODP should participate. An IODP/ECORD presentation will be important, with particular emphasis on the drill-ship Chikyu.
Keywords
Arctic, Geohazards, ICDP-2006/09, Impact structure, Jurassic-cretaceous boundary, Marine impacts, MJOELNIR, Norway, Paleoenvironment, Svalbard
Location
Europe, Norway, Svalbard, Central Barents Sea, Mjølnir Crater: 73.80000, 29.66667

© ICDP, the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program, 1996-2021

www.icdp-online.org