The mountains in northern Alaska formed 1200 MILES AWAY in the eastern part of the Arctic Ocean, according to a new study that could rewrite the history of the remote oil-rich area
- New research improves the earlier geological history of Alaska and the Arctic
- Mountains probably came from Greenland and not from the Canadian Arcitc
- The implication can have consequences for estimates of oil and natural gas
A new study focused on one of the remote mountain ranges of Alaska can turn the previous geological insight upside down and recalibrate the potential for natural gas and subsurface oil.
In a study published in Special Papers that analyzes geology in Alaska & # 39; s Brook & # 39; s Range, researchers from the University of Dartmouth say that the current mountains are likely to have traveled from Greenland and areas in the Canadian Arctic much farther to the east than initially thought.
The new research seems to contradict earlier theories about the formation of the region, which led to Alaska running away from the Canadian Arctic about 125 million years ago.
A new study of a remote region in the Arctic can rewrite geological history and change estimates of fossil fuels that lie below the surface
If this original theory was true, researchers say that samples from the Brook & # 39; s Range should match those in areas about 450 miles apart, such as Bank & # 39; s Island and Victoria Island.
Nearly a decade of research, however, connects the geology of the range with areas up to 1200 miles in the east and other evidence of the & # 39; mountaineering & # 39; process of the area to collisions that occurred 400 to 450 million years ago in the eastern part of the North Pole.
& # 39; The geology of the Northeast Brooks Range does not match everything we have studied in the neighboring North America region & # 39 ;, says Justin Strauss, the principal investigator of the research.
& # 39; This complicates previous models for opening this large ocean basin. & # 39;
Instead of the previous & # 39; rotation & # 39; theory researchers say that the mountains are formed by a so-called & # 39; strike-slip & # 39; error causing rocks and formations to move horizontally – the same type of error is similar to the infamous San of California Andreas fault line.
This geological event caused regions & # 39; s from Greenland to shift to the West Canadian Arctic.
In addition to helping illuminate the ancient history of what researchers have an & # 39; undervalued & # 39; call the region of the Arctic – the distance of the range has prevented many from conducting extensive investigations – the new information could have an impact on the country's interest in drilling and mining the region for fossil fuels.
According to the Geological Society of the United States, the Arctic contains around 6 percent of the world's oil and 25 percent of the world's natural gas. The study does not predict exactly what influence new research can have on these estimates.
Other estimates of the oil wealth of the region have been even more generous, with the idea that there could be as many as possible $ 30 trillion of resources below the arctic surface.
In a study published in Special Papers that analyzes geology in the Brook & # 39; s Range of Alaska, researchers from the University of Dartmouth say that current mountains have probably traveled from Greenland and areas in the Canadian Arctic areas much farther east than initially thought
Because of the region's potential to provide an abundance of natural resources, it has attracted the attention of countries around the world, including the United States, Russia and Canada, all of which make their own claim to the area.
Russia in particular has shown an increasing interest in mining resources for the poor Arctic landscape and has dramatically increased its military presence there.
For countries that use geology to prove & # 39; & # 39; that tracts of land are within their domain, the study could have a drastic impact, researchers said.
& # 39; If countries start submitting legal claims based on geology or geophysics, they must take into account these much older limits that we emphasize. Governments will have to confront the complexity of geology that politics meets, & Strauss said.
WHY IS SHIPMENT PREDICTED TO ENLARGE THE ARCTIC?
In August 2016, the first large cruise ship traveled through the Northwest Passage, the northern waterway that connects the Atlantic and the Pacific.
The following year, the first ship without icebreaker laid the North Sea Road, a path along the Arctic coast of Russia that until recently was impassable for unaccompanied commercial ships.
In recent decades, parts of the Arctic seas have become ice-free in late summer and early fall.
As sea ice is expected to continue to disappear due to climate change, shipping traffic from tourism and cargo is expected to increase.
Traveling through the Arctic Ocean already begins, with the Russian route with the most potential for commercial ships.
The Noordzeeweg had more than 200 ships from 2011 to 2016, all of them large ships.
More than 100 ships passed the Northwest Passage during that time, with more than half of the small private ships such as personal yachts.
Experts say that even the North Pole is reasonably passable within a few decades.
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