Glaciatons in the Barents Sea area (GLACIBAR)

Project period: 2010-2013
Budget: 15,416 mill NOK
Funding: NFR Petromaks, British Gas, Det Norske and Statoil
Project Leader: K. Andreassen, UiT
Partners: M. Hald UiT, J. Knies NGU, one PhD and five PostDocs, Moscow Lomonosov State University and Shirshov Institute of Oceanology Russia, Aberystwyth University UK, Durham University UK, University of California Santa Cruz USA.

Project description
To overcome existing inconsistencies, in Plio-Pleostocene stratigraphic framework, an integrated multi-proxy chronology will be carried out. Based on material from ODP leg 151 (Yermak Plateau), industry well 7216/11 at the SW Barents Sea margin and a regional grid of seismic, a new high-resolution stratigraphic and palaeo-environmental framework will be established for the Barents Sea area for the last 5 Ma.

The evolution of the Barents Sea - Fennoscandian Ice Sheets (BSFIS) will be reconstructed through a close integration of empirical and numerical approaches. Empirical approaches include glacial geomorphological and stratigraphic mapping and sedimentological analyses. Modelling approaches will use a 3D numerical ice sheet model which assimilates data from the empirical studies to provide reconstructions of the BSFIS thickness, extent, thermomechanical signature and associated dynamics over the last glacial cycle. A numerical flowline model of basal sediment transport will allow 1) estimation of rates of ice stream flow, advance and retreat and 2) patterns and rates of subglacial erosion, transport and deposition.

The project will allow enhanced risk assessment of Barents Sea reservoirs by providing better age control on crucial events, more reliable and complete understanding of marine ice sheet evolution and improved understanding of glacial erosion and sediment transport. It will have a significant impact on the understanding of marine ice sheet dynamics and will significantly improve the existing models of geological evolution of glaciated continental shelves, which is  important as polar shelves are increasingly becoming targets for resource exploration and exploitation worldwide. It will include knowledge-building through several Master students, one PhD and five Post Docs.