The paper deals with the South Kara regional depression covering the southern part of the Kara Sea and presents a comparative analysis of the geologic structure of potential exploration targets in the offshore and onshore regions of the study area. Regional tectonic processes are considered, and the main stages of the formation of large tectonic elements are reconstructed. A comparison of the anticline traps in the onshore parts of the study area and offshore Kara Sea regions is made. (C) 2017, V.S. Sobolev IGM, Siberian Branch of the RAS. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.