This paper presents a study of the seismic P−wave velocity and density structure of the lithosphere−asthenosphere system along a 800 km long transect extending from the actively spreading Knipovich Ridge, across southern Spitsbergen to the Kong Karls Land Volcanic Province. The 2D seismic and density model documents 6–8 km thick oceanic crust formed at the Knipovich Ridge, a distinct continent−ocean−boundary (COB), the eastern boundary of the dominantly sheared Hornsund Fault Zone, and the eastern boundary of the Early Cenozoic West Spitsbergen Fold−and−Thrust Belt. The crustal continent−ocean transitional zone has significant excess of density (more than 0.1 g/cm 3 in average), characteristic for mafic/ultramafic and high−grade metamorphic rocks. The main Caledonian suture zone between Laurentia and Barentsia is interpreted based on variations in crustal thickness, velocities and densities. A high velocity body in the lower crust is preferably interpreted in terms of Early Cretaceous magmatism channelled from an Arctic source southwards along the proto−Hornsund zone of weakness. The continental upper mantle expresses high velocities (8.24 km/s) and densities (3.2 g/cm 3 ), which may be interpreted in terms of low heat−flow and composition dominated by dunites. The lower velocities (7.85 km/s) and densities (3.1 g/cm 3 ) observed in the oceanic lithosphere suggest composition dominated by primitive peridotites. The model of mantle allows for successful direct description of subcrustal masses distribution compensating isostatically uneven crustal load. The estimated low value of correlation between density and velocity in the mantle 0.12 kg × s × m −4 suggests that horizontal density differences between oceanic and continental mantle would be dominated by compositional changes.
Deep seismic sounding measurements were performed in the continent-ocean transition zone of north-western Spitsbergen , during the expedition ARKTIS XV/2 of the RV Polarstern and the Polish ship Eltanin in 1999. Profile AWI-99200 is 430 km long and runs from the Molloy Deep in the Northern Atlantic to Nordaustlandet in north-eastern Svalbard . Profile AWI-99400 is 360 km long and runs from the Hovgĺrd Ridge to Billefjorden. Seismic energy (airgun and TNT shots) was recorded by land (onshore) seismic stations (REF) and ocean bottom seismometers (OBS) and hydrophone systems (OBH). Good quality refracted and reflected P waves were recorded along the two profiles providing an excellent data base for a detailed seismic modelling along the profile tracks. Clear seismic records from airgun shots were obtained up to distances of 200 km at land stations and 50 km at OBSs. TNT explosions were recorded even up to distances of 300 km . A minimum depth of about 6 km of the Moho discontinuity was found east of the Molloy Deep. Here, the upper mantle exhibits P-wave velocity of about 7.9 km/s, and the crustal thickness does not exceed 4 km . The continent–ocean transition zone to the east is characterised by a complex seismic structure. The zone is covered by deep sedimentary basins. The Moho interface dips down to 28 km beneath the continental part of the 99200 profile, and down to 32 km beneath the 99400 profile. The P-wave velocity below the Moho increases up to 8.15 km/s. The continental crust consists of two or three crystalline layers. There is a lowermost crustal continental layer, in the 99400 profile’s model, with the P-wave velocity in order of 7 km/s, which does not exist in the continental crust along the 99200 profile. Additionally, along the 99200 profile, we have found two reflectors in the lower lithosphere at depths of 14–42 and 40–50 km dipping eastward, with P-wave velocity contrasts of about 0.2 km/s. The characteristics of the region bears a shear-rift tectonic setting. The continent–ocean transition zone along the 99200 profile is mostly dominated by extension, so the last stage of the development of the margin can be classified as rifting. The uplifted Moho boundary close to the Molloy Deep can be interpreted as a south-western end of the Molloy Ridge. The margin in the 99400 profile area is of transform character.
In marine seismic wide−angle profiling the recorded wave field is dominated by waves propagating in the water. These strong direct and multiple water waves are generally treated as noise, and considerable processing efforts are employed in order minimize their influences. In this paper we demonstrate how the water arrivals can be used to determine the water velocity beneath the seismic wide−angle profile acquired in the Northern Atlantic. The pattern of water multiples generated by air−guns and recorded by Ocean Bottom Seismometers (OBS) changes with ocean depth and allows determination of 2D model of velocity. Along the profile, the water velocity is found to change from about 1450 to approximately 1490 m/s. In the uppermost 400 m the velocities are in the range of 1455–1475 m/s, corresponding to the oceanic thermocline. In the deep ocean there is a velocity decrease with depth, and a minimum velocity of about 1450 m/s is reached at about 1.5 km depth. Be − low that, the velocity increases to about 1495 m/s at approximately 2.5 km depth. Our model compares well with estimates from CTD (Conductivity, Temperature, Depth) data collected nearby, suggesting that the modelling of water multiples from OBS data might be − come an important oceanographic tool.