- © 2017 Society of Economic Geologists.
Mineral Resources in the Arctic reviews the geologic framework, mining history, and mineral resources of the arctic. The volume is an outgrowth of a study originally undertaken by the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources that sought, in 2003, to form an international cooperative effort to produce digital geologic and geophysical maps of the arctic region. Two years later, a consortium of national government agencies from Canada, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the United States signed a cooperative agreement, entitled “Circum-Arctic Mineral Resources Project.” This book is among the products of the project; others include a geological map, a magnetic and gravity map, and a tectonic map of the arctic.
Several criteria can define the arctic, including the Arctic Circle, at 66°33′46″ north, a 10°C summer isotherm, and the northernmost tree line. The authors chose the southern boundary of the arctic as the 60th parallel, which includes an area of about 40 million square kilometers, including submerged lands. An exception was made for Alaska, where data from the “Southeastern Panhandle” was included to about the 55° latitude. Of the many stated reasons for the effort, one seems obvious. With receding ice conditions, the Northwest Passage, Northeast Passage, and the Northern Sea routes provide accessibility to regions previously deemed too remote for mineral resource development. Hence this new environmental reality, coupled with the high potential to find new resources, provide a compelling reason for the volume’s release. Chapters on the geologic frameworks of Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, the seafloor north of Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia were written by 59 authors, citing more than 1,100 references in this 482-page volume. All chapters contain excellent photos and graphics to illustrate important districts and deposits. Multiple hypotheses that debate the origins of important mineral deposits are presented.
Goldfarb et al. wrote the …