The expedition Arktika-2012 has collected evidence of the Russian part of the Arctic shelf

 Trilobites confirmed continental origin of the Arctic shelf of Russia


Expedition "Arktika-2012" to substantiate the outer limits of the continental shelf of the Russian Federation has completed its work. Participants are able to obtain evidence of the origin of the continental shelf. This in particular proves found remains ancient fish and shellfish. "Voice of Russia" has interviewed the head of the expedition Oleg Korneev

Within three months of the expedition were collected rock samples recovered from the bottom of the Arctic Ocean. Members of the expedition for the first time in the world made a deepwater drilling the Mendeleev and found that all of the collected samples are of local origin, and not have been introduced with the water currents. At the bottom of the ocean also found the remains of ancient fish and arthropods — shell fish and the remains of an ancient trilobite belonging to the fauna of the Paleozoic formations.

— Please tell us how was the mission?

— The expedition still lives up to its expectations, although there was plenty of skepticism before exiting. However, for the first time in Russia was drilled on the Mendeleev Rise. Besides, the sample 2731 was selected which, in principle, confirmed continental origin Mendeleev. Of course, further processing is performed. But on the whole expedition was successful, and we hope that in 2013 we will submit an application to the UN with a justification of the geological nature of the Mendeleev.

— Oleg, and you can talk in more detail what it is — Mendeleev? Why is it drilled exactly why there were studies?

— This is due to the fact that each state in accordance with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea has the right to substantiate the continental shelf. Continental shelf — is an underwater extension of sushi. If we in the Barents Sea have no problem with the justification that the big problems were with the Eastern Arctic, with the Lomonosov Ridge and the Mendeleev Rise. In the last year and in previous years it was possible to remove questions from the Lomonosov Ridge that he has a continental origin, and of raising the Mendeleev had no data, so we can reasonably report to the UN that it is an underwater extension of the land, our Siberian Plain. That's why were specially selected seismic survey — drilling and sampling of sediments in order to prove that the earlier, before the formation of the Arctic Ocean (it was formed about 40 million years ago), which prior to this period there was dry land. And we selected samples of Paleozoic age, found a trilobite, an ancient shell fish from the Paleozoic ocean, she has age 300 million years. And it is a compelling argument that it was before the formation of the Arctic Ocean and was indeed a continent.

(Trilobites — extinct class of marine arthropods, which are of great importance for the fauna of the Paleozoic formations. Known to more than 10 thousand fossil and 5 thousand births, grouped in 150 families and 9 orders)

— And, therefore, it may be the territory of Russia?

— Certainly. It is from these data we waited for the UN Commission on the Continental Shelf. And seismic studies also confirmed that the upper sediment 500-600 million years ago corresponds to the Chukchi Plateau, to which there are no claims in the world that it is a continental shelf. And we have shown that this corresponds to deposits and Mendeleev Rise.

According to the General Director of JSC "Sevmorgeo" Michael Shkatova now be studied in different laboratories, all collected samples of rocks. This work could take at least six months. Then the All-Russian Research Institute for Geology and Mineral Resources of the World Ocean will prepare the request of the Russian Federation, prepared in accordance with the requirements of the UN Commission on the delimitation of the continental shelf.

For his part, Director of the Institute of Oceanology deep geophysics Sergei Kashubin said that from November 6 to 9, an international conference to Denmark, Norway, and Russia will discuss the material in 2012 on the shelf.

"Then, work will continue on the description, age determination, the chemical composition of the samples, so that we can talk about their genesis. Real sensation can become accurate determination of the age, we will be able to prove that they belong to the upper Paleozoic, and that 290-300 million years" — said Kashubin.

Expedition of 2012 marked the end of the Evidence accessory shelf continent, an application to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will submit the UN in 2013.

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