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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

CSPG Special Publications


Proceedings of the Symposium on the Geology of the Canadian Arctic, 1973
Pages 81-97

Geology of the Davis Strait Bathymetric Sill and Associated Sediments, Offshore Baffin Island Canada

F. K. Wallace


Recent geologic interpretation of seismic data, aeromagnetics, sea gravity and sea magnetometer surveys by government, scientific institutions and industry, indicates a variable thickness of low and medium velocity sediments in the Davis Strait region. Sediment thickness is in large part controlled by the Davis Strait sill.

The Davis Strait sill is a constrictive bathymetric feature which separates Baffin Bay to the north from the Labrador Sea to the south. This submarine ridge or rise extends eastward from Cape Dyer, Baffin Island across Davis Strait to Greenland. It is defined by marine seismic and other geophysical surveys as well as bathymetric data. Its landward edges are marked by Tertiary volcanics. Water depths over the feature in Davis Strait are in the order of 400 metres (1,300 feet). To the north, in Baffin Bay, water depths increase to more than 2,000 metres (6,500 feet). The sill is interpreted to have persisted as a basement ridge at least since early Mesozoic time. As a result, medium and low velocity material (Mesozoic and Cenozoic sediments?) are thin and locally absent over the sill and thicken markedly to more than 5,000 metres (16,400 feet) to the north and south. Features similar to the Davis Strait sill have been described from the region between east Greenland and Iceland and between Iceland and Scotland. Thus, the Davis Strait sill may be part of a more extensive feature.

A variety of potential structural and stratigraphic hydrocarbon traps are indicated in sediments of the Davis Strait area. These include folds, faults, updip pinchouts, strand lines and traps associated with large structures interpreted as basement highs.

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