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TitleNew grid of Arctic bathymetry aids scientists and mapmakers
AuthorJakobsson, M; Cherkis, N; Woodward, J; Macnab, R; Coakley, B
SourceEarth in Space vol. 12, no. 6, 2000 p. 8-12
Alt SeriesGeological Survey of Canada, Contribution Series 1999291
RelatedThis publication is reprinted from New grid of Arctic bathymetry aids scientists and mapmakers
Subjectseducational geology; bathymetry; data collections; field data methods; data base management systems; computer mapping; mapping techniques
Illustrationslocation maps; bathymetric profiles
AbstractFor over two decades, Sheet 5.17 of the Fifth Edition of the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO) [Canadian Hydrographic Service, 1979] has been considered the authoritative portrayal of the sea floor north of 64 N.This sheet was constructed from publicly available bathymetric data sets, which in the late 1970s were rather sparse, consisting almost entirely of underway measurements collected from ice-breakers, drifting ice islands, and point measurements obtained along snow-mobile tracks or using air support. Data coverage tended to be fairly good at lower latitudes where ice cover was not a hindrance, but at higher latitudes, where ice was more prevalent, major features such as the Amerasian and Eurasian Basins were not well delineated. This situation posed problems not only for expedition planners but also for scientific investigators, who needed an accurate description of the sea floor to design field experiments and to link their research with processes affecting or affected by the shape of the seabed (for example, sea level change, ocean circulation, sediment transport,seafloor spreading, and Pleistocene glaciation). An improved bathymetric map of the Arctic has long been perceived as essential to scientific undertakings in the region, including seafloor sampling. Such a map can now be constructed from a modern assemblage of digital information that has been integrated in a coherent manner: historic and recent under-ice soundings collected by submarines of the U.S. and British Royal Navies, historic and recent observations collected on icebreakers and ice camps, and information portrayed in newly published navigation and compilation charts.

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