The Mjølnir Scientific Drilling Project
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.
There is general a poor knowledge on important issues such as:
- mechanisms of marine impact cratering and post-impact loading,
- the environmental (biological, climatological) consequences of marine impacts and
- the post-Jurassic stratigraphic and geological development of the Arctic.
This has triggered us to propose organizing this workshop with the following scientific objectives:
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.
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.
(Figure ©:Geological Survey of Norway - Seismic reflection profiles (conventional multi-channel, shallow multi-channel, and highresolution single-channel) and proposed drill-sites superimposed on the Mjølnir Crater defined by its radial zonation boundaries. Inset: Mjølnir impact location with possible range of impact direction azimuth and down-range area of maximum ejecta distribution.)
Europe, Norway, Svalbard, Central Barents Sea, Mjølnir Crater
73º 48' N, 29º 40' E (Please scroll down to end of page for more information.)
Project Start and End
- not yet determined
Programs and Funding
- Geological Survey of Norway
- Integrated Ocean Drilling Program
- International Continental Scientific Drilling Program
- Henning Dypvik, University of Oslo, Department of Geosciences, Petroleum Geology and Geophysics
- Filippos Tsikalas, University of Oslo, Department of Geosciences, Petroleum Geology and Geophysics
- Jan Inge Faleide, University of Oslo, Department of Geosciences, Petroleum Geology and Geophysics
- Morten Smelror, Geological Survey of Norway
Partners and Contractors
- University of Oslo, Department of Geosciences, Petroleum Geology and Geophysics
- Geological Survey of Norway, Geoscience Division
- DOSECC, Inc.
- German Research Centre for Geosciences, Section 6.4, Centre for Scientific Drilling, (Operational Support Group OSG/ICDP)
- Norwegian Petroleum Directorate
Arctic, Geohazards, ICDP-2006/09, Impact Structure, Jurassic-cretaceous Boundary, Marine Impacts, MJOELNIR, Norway, Paleoenvironment, Svalbard
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