The geocryological mapping of the Kara Sea shelf: methodology and results

UDK: 550.8(26)
DOI: 10.24887/0028-2448-2019-11-28-32
Key words: Kara Sea. cryolithozone, submarine permafrost, geocryological mapping, methods, mathematical modeling of the evolution of frozen rocks, paleogeographic scenario, the depth of the roof and thickness of frozen rocks
Authors: A.V. Gavrilov (Lomonosov Moscow State University, RF, Moscow, Russia; Foundation National Intellectual Resource, RF, Moscow, Russia), V.A. Pavlov (Rosneft Oil Company, RF, Moscow), A.I. Fridenberg (Rosneft Oil Company, RF, Moscow), M.L. Boldyrev (Arctic Research Center LLC, RF, Moscow), V.Z. Khilimonyuk (Lomonosov Moscow State University, RF, Moscow, Russia; Foundation National Intellectual Resource, RF, Moscow, Russia), E.I. Pizhankova (Lomonosov Moscow State University, RF, Moscow, Russia; Foundation National Intellectual Resource, RF, Moscow, Russia), S.N. Buldovich (Lomonosov Moscow State University, RF, Moscow, Russia; Foundation National Intellectual Resource, RF, Moscow, Russia), N.I. Kosevich (Lomonosov Moscow State University, RF, Moscow, Russia; Foundation National Intellectual Resource, RF, Moscow, Russia), A.R. Alyautdinov (Lomonosov Moscow State University, RF, Moscow, Russia; Foundation National Intellectual Resource, RF, Moscow, Russia)

The project risks in relation to the tasks of Rosneft Oil Company for the exploration and development of hydrocarbon resources on the Arctic shelf of the Russian Federation are determined mainly by the geocryological situation (permafrost distribution, their thickness, average annual temperature, cryogenic structure and ice content, their thermophysical and strength properties). Therefore, the development of methods of geocryological mapping and the creation of geocryological maps are very relevant.

The article presents the methods and results of mapping of the Kara Sea permafrost zone are presented. The methodology is based on a retrospective approach to the study of subaquatic cryolithozone. It consists in the use of thermal mathematical modeling, in which the conditions of one of the studied periods of the past are taken as initial conditions, and modern permafrost conditions are predicted. The stages of mapping are given. This is compiling a database, zoning according to the history of the development of the shelf, creating a paleogeographic scenario, a geological model, testing them and, finally, a geocryological forecast using mathematical modeling. The use of simulation results and their linking with field data is the final phase of the mapping. The results of research in the form of geocryological map are given. The map shows: distribution, depths of the roof and thickness of permafrost, as well as the distribution of cooled and thawed rocks. Cooled rocks are developed in the west and north-west of the sea area, where during the marine isotope stage MIS – 2 (25-15 thousand years ago) there was a glacier. The periglacial zone at the time of MIS-2 occupies the region of modern sea depths from 0 to 80-100 m adjacent to the continent. In the southwest and in the center of this zone, in the distribution of thawed, cooled, frozen rocks and their parameters, a connection with the main natural events of the Late Pleistocene-Holocene is traced. The distribution of permafrost is mainly insular in the southwest and in the center of the periglacial zone, in the northeast - mostly continuous. The central part of this zone, on the site of the continental extension of the Ob, Yenisei and other rivers, inherits the dammed subglacial basin of fresh water that existed during the MIS-2 glaciation. The thickness of permafrost in the southwest does not exceed 100 m, in the northeast it ranges from 100 to 300 m.


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