ICAM: Background Information

International Conference on Arctic Margins US Coast Guard research vessels

The International Conference on Arctic Margins (ICAM) is a forum for earth scientists who study the Arctic. It was founded to help understand the little known Arctic geology and to foster cooperation and collaboration among Arctic researchers. There have been 6 meetings since its inception in 1991. The next meeting is scheduled for June 2-5, 2015, in St. Petersburg, Russia.

ICAM I: Convened in September, 2-4, 1992, in Anchorage, Alaska

  • Over 400 participants from 12 countries
  • 198 presentations (90 by US; 40 Russian; 32 Canada; 25 from Scandinavia; 8 from Europe and 6 from Australia)
  • ICAM Featured Speakers included Ashton F. Embry and Michael P. Cecile of the Geological Survey of Canada, Calgary, Igor S. Gramberg and Michael K. Kos'ko of VNIIOkeangeologia, St. Petersburg, Edward Shipilov of NIIMorgeophysica, Murmansk, Kazuya Fujita from Michigan State University, and Michael Churkin Jr., an Independent Geologist from Moscow and Yuba City, California
  • 6 workshops
  • 5 invited symposia
  • 11 general oral sessions
  • 12 poster sessions
  • 5 geological field trips
  • Hosted by the Alaska Geological Society
  • Sponsored by the former MMS
  • Proceedings Volume with 70 papers published by the former MMS


  • Cretaceous Dinosaurs and Associated Terrestrial and Near-shore Records: Implications and Challenges
  • Reconstruction and Paleogeography of the Arctic: I and II
  • Geology and Resource Potential of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
  • Regional Terranne Correlations

General Sessions:

  • Resource Potential I: Minerals
  • Resource Potential II: Hydrocarbons
  • Stratigraphy
  • Biostratigraphy
  • Paleoclimate
  • Quaternary and Environmental Geology and Permafrost
  • Arctic Marine Geology
  • Regional Geophysics and Tectonics I, II, III, and IV
  • Poster sessions covering the above general session topics


  • The Future of Arctic Paleontology: Challenges, Cooperation and Problem Solving led by Roland Gangloff of the University of Alaska and Phillip Currie of the Royal Tyrell Museum, Calgary
  • Pre-Carboniferous Stratigraphy, led by Julie Dumoulin of the U.S. Geological Survey and James Clough of the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys
  • Evolution of the Canada Basin: Models and Constraints, led by Lawrence Lawver of the University of Texas and Shiri Srivastava of the Geological Survey of Canada
  • Proposals for Cooperative Alliances between Science, Industry, and Governments, led by Mike Churkin, Igor S. Gramberg, and William Patton of the U.S. Geological Survey

In addition, we had two special meetings of the Ad Hoc Planning Group for International Cooperation in Canada Basin Tectonic Studies, which consisted of the Canada Basin: Models and Constraints workshop participants and the Magnetic Anomaly Mapping in the Arctic Subcommittee of International Association of Geomagnetism, and Aeronomy Working Group V-9, led by Lawrence Lawver and Ralph von Frese of Ohio State University.

An abstract volume containing over 250 abstracts was published in limited supply and given to all participants.

The 1992 ICAM Proceedings edited by Dennis Thurston, BOEM, and Kazuya Fugita, Michigan State University, was published in 1994 as OCS Study MMS 94-0040 and is available from BOEM's Alaska office. A full summary of the meeting is provided here and the conference proceedings here.

ICAM II: Convened in September, 6-10, 1994, in Magadan, Russia

  • 130 people participated representing 45 different organizations from 10 countries (60 non-Russian participants from 12 Universities, 6 Federal Surveys and 10 gold-mining and oil companies from the U.S., Canada, England, Australia, Germany, Netherlands, South Korea and Japan; 60 participants from Russia,10 from Institutes of the Russia Academy of Sciences, and the Yakutsk State University, and 6 industrial enterprises from Magadan, Yakutsk, Vladivostok, Khabarovsk, Novosibirsk, Anadyr, Sankt-Peterburg, Moscow and Yuzno-Sakhalinsk)
  • 7 technical sessions, plus many from science, industrial and public organizations and private companies of Magadan
  • 4 symposia and a round-table session
  • 103 oral and 43 poster presentations
  • Hosted by the Russian Academy of Sciences, Far East Branch and the University of Alaska Geophysical Institute, Fairbanks
  • 9 excursions to the Geologic Museum of the Northeast Interdisciplinary Research Institute and "Golden Room" of the Sevvostgeolkom Geologic Museum, 3 excursions to the Regional Museum of Local Nature and History, and 3 bus excursions round the city
  • Field trip "Golden Ring of Kolyma" was conducted on September 9-20, and its participants were 11 representatives of mining industry of Canada, U.S., Australia and Japan
  • Proceedings Volume containing 45 papers published by Russian Academy of Sciences and edited by BOEM and RAS


  • "The Cretaceous Volcanic Belts of Arctic Circumpacific"
  • "The Late Cenozoic Basic and Ultrabasic Alkalic Volcanism in Beringia Province"
  • “New data obtained on the Beringia history in Late Cenozoic”
  • “Mantle gneiss domes, core metamorphic complexes and granite metamorphic domes”

General Sessions:

  • Section 1: Stratigraphy and biostratigraphic correlation
  • Section 2: The Arctic Paleoclimates and Paleogeography
  • Section 3: The Regional Correlation of Terranes and Paleobasins
  • Section 4: Regional Geophysics, Lithosphere Dynamics and Seismology
  • Section 5: Metallogeny and Mineral Resources of Eastern Arctic
  • Section 6: Hydrocarbons
  • Section 7: Permafrost, Engineering Geology and Mining Ecology

Poster sessions covering the above general session topics

Round-table discussion:

  • Present and Future Cooperative Alliances between Science, Industry and Government of Northern Countries.
  • An abstract volume containing over 280 abstracts was published in limited supply and given to all participants.

The 1994 ICAM Proceedings containing 52 papers was published in 1995 by the Russian Academy of Sciences Far East Branch, Northeast Science Center, Magadan and was edited by Academician Kirill V. Simakov of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Dennis K. Thurston of BOEM and is available in Adobe Acrobat PDF format from the BOEM Alaska office. A full summary of the meeting is provided here.

ICAM III: Convened in October 12-16, 1998, in Celle, Germany

  • 200 participants from 14 countries
  • 15 Technical Sessions
  • 142 oral presentations and 70 posters
  • Hosted by the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR),  the German Society for Polar Research, and the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research
  • Supported by the Russian Academy of Sciences, the University of Alaska Geophysical Institute, and BOEM.
  • 220 Abstracts received
  • 2 Proceedings Volumes with 67 papers published in AWI’s “Polarforschung”

General Sessions:

  • Theme 1: Volcanic Provinces around the Eurasian Basin: Interplay with Tectonism
  • Theme 2: Aerogeophysics on the Eurasian Shelves: Signatures and Interpretations
  • Theme 3: Plate Boundary Problems in the Laptev Sea Area
  • Theme 4: The Lomonosov Ridge: History, Boundaries, Function
  • Theme 5: The Barents Shelf and the Eastern Greenland Margin: A Comparison
  • Theme 6: Eurekan Tectonism in Canada, North Greenland, West Spitsbergen: Fold Belts Adjacent to Extensional Ocean Basins
  • Theme 7: Problems of the Caledonian / Ellesmerian Junction
  • Theme 8: Polar Urals, Novaja Zemlya and Taimyr: The Northern Connection of the Uralides
  • Theme 9: Hydrocarbon Potential of the Eurasian Margins: Geological and Tectonic Factors
  • Theme 10: Metallogenic Provinces in the Circum-Arctic Region
  • Theme 11: Cenozoic Sedimentary Archives of the Eurasian Marginal Seas: Sampling, Coring and Drilling Programmes
  • Theme 12: Gashydrates and Permafrost, Onshore and Offshore
  • Theme 13: The Amerasian Basin and Margins: New Developments and Results
  • Theme 14: Circum-Arctic Margins: the Search for Fits and Matches
  • Theme 15: Geodynamics of the Arctic Region

Poster sessions covering the above general session topics

Plenary Presentations:

  • Eurasian Arctic Margin: Earth Science Problems and Research Challenges, I.S. Gramberg, G. Grikurov, V. Ivanov, Eu. Korago, M. Kos'ko, A. Piskarev, Yu. Pogrebitsky & O. Suprunenko
  • The Eurasian Basin, T Y. Kristoffersen

The ICAM III Proceedings containing 67 papers were published as two special volumes of the Journal Polarforschung (numbers 68 and 69) in 2000 and 2001 by the German Society for Polar Research and Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research and were edited by Norbert W. Roland and Franz Tessensohn from BGR, Hannover. A summary of all sessions is included in the Introduction to the Proceedings.

ICAM IV: Convened September 30-October 3, 2003, in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
130 participants

  • Featuring 9 technical sessions
  • Workshops
  • Hosted by Natural Resources Canada through Geological Survey of Canada (Atlantic)
  • Supported by the Canadian Polar Commission and the former MMS
  • A special meeting of the Nansen Arctic Drilling Program was held
  • Field Trip: Marine Geophysical Tour of Halifax Harbour aboard the Harbour Queen
  • Proceeding Volume with 27 papers edited by BOEM and Cambridge Arctic Science Program (CASP) published by BOEM in 2006

General Sessions:

  • Circum-Greenland Tectonics
  • Oil and Gas Reserves/Gas hydrates
  • Ridges and Basins in the Arctic Ocean
  • Article 76-Law of the Sea
  • Geodynamic Significance of Magmatism in the Arctic
  • Atlantic versus Pacific tectonic regimes in the evolution of the Arctic Ocean
  • Circum-Arctic epeirogeny (vertical motions): Tectonic and glacial
  • Modern Processes on Arctic Continental Margins such as Climate change, Coastal processes and Environmental Issues
  • Tectonic Framework
  • New Technologies including Arctic Drilling

Poster sessions covering the above general session topics

Proceedings edited by Robert Scott of Cambridge Arctic Shelf Program and Dennis Thurston, BOEM and published by BOEM as Study MMS 2006-003 available on BOEM's Alaska web page. A summary of all sessions is included in the Introduction to the Proceedings.

ICAM V: Convened September 3-5, 2007, in Tromsø, Norway

  • More than 300 participants
  • 106 Oral presentations
  • 86 Posters
  • 9 Thematic Sessions
  • Sponsored by the Geological Society of Norway (NGF) in cooperation with the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers (EAGE)

General Sessions:

  • Geodynamics and Tectonic Evolution of Arctic Region--Search for past plate boundaries; Megasequences in the Circum Arctic; Magmatism; Palaeogeography
  • Circum Arctic Orogens-Uralides; Caledonides/Ellesmerian; Brooks Range
  • Sedimentary Basin Development
  • Uplift and Erosion of Arctic Margins – Timing and Causes
  • Continental Slopes and Deep Basins--Sedimentary processes; Origin and evolution of the Alpha-Mendeleev Ridges
  • Arctic Gateways--Tectonics; Palaeo-oceanography
  • Glacial History and Processes--Morphological development; Palaeoclimate; Permafrost; Technologies for Arctic Ocean Research
  • Technologies for Arctic Ocean Research
  • Paleogeographic Reconstructions of Amerasian Arctic Margins

Key Note Speeches:

  • Ashton Embry “Mesozoic 1st order sequences of the Sverdrup basin and their relationship to sediment supply and petroleum source rocks”
  • Maria Jensen “Shoreline Trajectories on a Glacially Influenced Stable Margin”  Yngve Kristoffersen "Amerasian Basin - just a Hole in the Ground, or What?"

ICAM V was held in conjunction with Arctic Conference Days 2007 which included The Arctic Geology, Resources and Environment Conference (AGReE) and The Shelf Edge and Shoreline Trajectories Conference (SEST). The Proceedings of ICAM V were published in a 2008 Special Volume of the Norwegian Journal of Geology Volume 88 Number 4. A summary of the proceedings is included in the Introduction by Morten Smelror “Exploring the Arctic margins and the Central Arctic Ocean: An introduction.

ICAM VI: Convened May 31-June 2, 2010, in Fairbanks, Alaska, USA

General Sessions:

  • Hydrocarbon potential and gas hydrates
  • Science issues relating to UNCLOS Article 76
  • Geodynamic significance of arctic magmatism
  • Vertical motions in the Arctic, tectonic and glacial
  • Circum-Arctic sediment provenance and constraints on Arctic tectonic evolution
  • Geology and palaeogeography of the arctic continental margins
  • Evolution of the Arctic Ocean basins, including plate reconstructions, magmatism, and sedimentology
  • The relationship between Caledonian and Ellesmerian deformation events in the Arctic
  • Evolution of the Arctic Uralides and their significance for adjacent hydrocarbon basins
  • Modern arctic environments, including geological, climatic, and oceanographic processes
  • Recent advances in arctic research technology

The program can be obtained from here. A CD containing power points and copies of posters from many of the presenters is available from David Stone or the contents can be downloaded here.

The ICAM VI Proceedings Volume contains 14 papers and was edited by David B. Stone of the Geophysical Institute at UAF, Fairbanks; Garrik E. Grikurov from VNIIOkeangeologiya, St Petersburg; James G. Clough, Department of Natural Resources, State of Alaska, Fairbanks; Gordon N. Oakey, Geological Survey of Canada, Halifax; and Dennis K. Thurston, BOEM, Alaska. The proceedings are being published by the A.P. Karpinsky All-Russia Geological Institute (VSEGEI) and will be linked here when they are published.

ICAM VII: Will be convened June 2-5, 2015, in St. Petersburg, Russia

  • Deadlines: Abstract submission – March 10, 2015; online registration – April 15, 2015
  • Hosted by the A.P. Karpinsky Russian Geological Research Institute VSEGEI, St. Petersburg, Russia

Scientific themes (preliminary outline):

  • New data on seafloor geology and deep structure of the Arctic basin and their implementation in international projects (with sub-session on planned field activities)
  • Structural connections between the Circum-Arctic mainland and the Central Arctic offshore
  • Seismic stratigraphy and environmental history of sedimentary basins
  • Large igneous provinces and their geodynamic significance
  • Plate reconstructions and lithosphere evolution of the Arctic region
  • Glacial events and their geological consequences (with sub-session on origin of bottom sediments) 

Contacts: a single e-mail address common for all local organizers will be created and advised separately, as well as the links for on-line registration and abstract submission. Developing a special ICAM VII website may be considered if need arises. In the meantime, please forward all early suggestions relevant to scientific program and/or organizational issues to Garrik Grikurov (grikurov@mail.ru) in order to facilitate preparation of the first circular. 


Special Thanks to BOEM, Alaska Region for Hosting this Site