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Главная The scientific- informational basis of mineral resources development of the Western Arctic shelf
The scientific- informational basis of mineral resources development of the Western Arctic shelf Печать E-mail

JSC "Marine Arctic Geological Expedition", Russia
VNIIOkeangeologiya, Russia

The shelf of the Barents and Kara Seas is considered as one of the base hydrocarbon resources of the Russian Federation.

At the same time the Arctic seas are the most vulnerable natural objects, their condition not only determines ecology of the northern part of the land adjacent to the seas but also influences global environmental-climatic changes. Oil-and-gas production will inevitably increase technogenic load upon marine environment and require carrying out of serious environmental measures. However, until recently there wasn't a common scientific-informational basis of resource and environmental activity on the shelf.
Marine geology and ecology team (from Marine Arctic Geological Expedition, All-Russian Research Institute of Geology and Mineral Resources of the World Ocean, Murmansk Marine Biological Institute KSC RAS and some other organizations) developed and introduced a unique technology of geological-ecological mapping of offshore zones. For the first time for the continental shelf of Russia there was realized the system approach to the study of natural environment condition, geological structure and regularity of mineral location. Geological, geophysical and ecological data acquired on the Barents-Kara shelf during many years of work, was generalized, systematized and thoroughly analyzed using geoinformation methods.

The creation problem of multifunctional geological-ecological basis of all environmental management forms providing effective and ecologically safety development of mineral and biological resources of the Western Arctic shelf of Russia was solved by means of:

- development of conceptual scientific principles and soft- and methodical ware, creation and introduction of modern technology of geological-ecological mapping of the continental shelf;

- selection of optimal methods, development and introduction of facilities for study of bottom biological communities, sedimentary complexes of the platform cover, latest deposits, recent and buried relief;

- introduction of computer technologies of mapping and development of organization principles of common Geographic Information System (GIS), integrating digital map sets and initial data bases.

The data package created on the basis of developed technology (sheets of the State Geological Map on a 1:1000000 scale) is a unique document which assesses the environment, thoroughly and fully shows the geological structure of large, strategically important region, includes exhaustive information of fields, mineral occurrences and hydrocarbon forecast resources.

From 1999 till 2006 there were published, prepared for printing and passed to Rosgeolfond the materials on sheets S-38-40 - the Matochkin Strait; S-(36), 37-the Barents Sea; R-38-40-the Kolguev Island; S-41-43-the Bely Island; T-37-40 - Franz Josef Land (southern islands); T-41 -44 - the Cape of Zhelaniya; R-(35), 36 - Murmansk; there carried out geological survey of the shelf and preparation for publication of the State Geological Map of the third generation of the sheets R-37, 38; R-41. The full GIS package of every sheet of the State Geological Map-1000/3 contains:

- main maps and schemes: the geological map, the Quaternary formation map, the mineral map, the lithological map of the sea-floor surface, tectonic, geomorphological, hydrogeological schemes, the oil-and-gas content forecast scheme;

- additional maps: the physiographic map, geophysical field maps, structural maps of reflecting key beds, paleographic and lithologic-facies maps, geoscience knowledge maps;

- initial and reference data bases in tabular, graphics or text style.

On the whole GIS "State Geological Map-1000" contains a series of individual thematic GIS-Projects related to each other using general themes and to the Data Base where every Project takes all the necessary information specific for a certain map.

The Data Base related to the sheet R-(35), 36, contains factual and derivative information which maintains, demonstrates and extends the contents of set maps. The Data Base first of all includes tables containing initial data grouped according to types of researches. It also includes reference tables characterizing parameters and HC field reserves and forecast resources of determined local structures. In addition to table information the Data Base contains factual material in graphics or text style: time sections received by high-resolution seismic profiling, sonogram fragments of side-scan sonar (SSS); fragments of time seismic sections (CDP reflection shooting), field descriptions of deposits by bottom sampling stations; lithological columns, sections of prospecting wells.

GIS-Project connecting Data Base elements with maps consists of three Views. Two Views contain knowledge Themes of main work methods, the third View characterizes the general contents of the Data Base. All the information from the Data Base is connected by some means with Themes of this View (station location points, seismic and high-resolution seismic profile lines, observation points). There were used two main capabilities of GIS-system which allowed to apply to additional materials of the Data Base: "Linked Tables" and "Hot Links".

Reference tables for oil-and-gas content forecast maps give additional information about distribution of hydrocarbon forecast resources in oil-and-gas complexes in sedimentary cover section and initial total oil and gas resources in provinces, characterize perspective local structures. They also contain information about productive field strata, phase type of deposits, reservoir features of rocks, occurrence depths, oil saturated thickness, oil and gas composition, oil reserves, gas condensate reserves, free and solute gas reserves and many other parameters. Each table is interrelated with others, it allows to receive detailed information of the field.09813

Underwater landscape pollution assessment of studied water area of the Barents and Kara Seas shows that maximum pollutant content in near-bottom environment increases current MPC levels very rare but the presence of organochlorine pesticides in near-bottom waters and macrobenthos causes concern. Areas adjacent to the Kola Peninsula Coast and Novaya Zemlya Archipelago are the most open to contamination. In addition to the complex of heavy metals there were registered anomalies of chlororganic compounds of anthropogenic character. Thus, there were determined main sources of technogenic pollution, their influence should be taken into consideration in the future while planning marine expedition works and other types of economic activity on the Western Arctic shelf. In the nearest future within sedimentary basins of the Barents and Kara Seas there will be carried out the most part of geological and geophysical researches, aimed at growth of oil and gas reserves. Modern natural environment assessment and technogenic impact upon ecological systems will become the original base for the following monitoring.

Developed scientific-method principles of the sea-floor mapping and modern technology for study of bottom biological communities, sedimentary rocks and latest deposits allow to minimize negative influence upon marine biological resources. Introduction of ecologically clean production technologies while developing natural resources is especially important in fragile ecosystems of the Arctic shelves. Completed researches add important material into state information data base about environment condition, geology and mineral resources of the northern seas of Russia. They contain information of background marine environment state including biotic component, source and level of pollution, they allow to assess current anthropogenic load and its dynamics in conditions of growing economic activity within the Barents and South Kara sedimentary basins perspective foroilandgas.

Research methodology of marine environment condition and complex geological - ecological mapping of water areas on the basis of GIS can be successfully used in other offshore zones of the Russian Federation and realized in the following directions: monitoring system development of environment condition of the Arctic seas - both the state and local levels; environmental impact assessment (EIA) while developing oil-and-gas field projects or other economic activity on the shelf; value and selection of license areas on the shelf for prospecting and development of raw material resources; strategic planning of the Arctic development including geopolitical and defense aims, particularly, shelf delimitation.


Kazanin G.S., Shkarubo S.I., Markina N.V. GIS in complex geological mapping of the Western Arctic shelf of Russia.-Informatsiyaikosmos, No. 2,2004. P. 40-45.
Kazanin G.S., Ivanov V.L, Matishov G.G., Khain V.E., Shkarubo S.I. Creation of modern mapping technologies as a geological - geophysical development basis of mineral resources of the Northwestern shelf of Russia. - Ekologiya i promyshlennost Rossii, April2004. P. 4-9.

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