Arctic Surveys Yielding Data and Savings

Friday, December 16, 2011

U.S.-Canada Arctic Ocean survey partnership saved costs, increased data; 2011 mission concludes joint seafloor survey operations.

 

A recent mission marked the completion of a five-year collaboration between the United States and Canada to survey the Arctic Ocean. The bilateral project collected scientific data to delineate the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles from the coastline, also known as the extended continental shelf (ECS).

 

The U.S. has an inherent interest in knowing, and declaring to others, the exact extent of its sovereign rights in the ocean as set forth in the Convention on the Law of the Sea. For the ECS, this includes sovereign rights over natural resources on and under the seabed including energy resources such as: oil and natural gas and gas hydrates; “sedentary” creatures such as clams, crabs, and corals; and mineral resources such as manganese nodules, ferromanganese crusts, and polymetallic sulfides. 

 

The 2011 joint Arctic mission spanned nearly six weeks in August and September and was the fourth year to employ flagship icebreakers from both countries, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy and the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Louis S. St-Laurent.

 

“This two-ship approach was both productive and necessary in the Arctic’s difficult and varying ice conditions,” said Larry Mayer, Ph.D., U.S. chief scientist on the Arctic mission and co-director of the NOAA-University of New Hampshire Joint Hydrographic Center. “With one ship breaking ice for the other, the partnership increased the data either nation could have obtained operating alone, saved millions of dollars by ensuring data were collected only once, provided data useful to both nations for defining the extended continental shelf, and increased scientific and diplomatic cooperation”.

 

Preliminary studies indicate the U.S. ECS, including the Arctic Ocean areas surveyed, total at least one million square kilometers, an area about twice the size of California. Additional data collection and analysis will lead to more accurate estimates of the extent of the U.S. ECS. 

 

U.S. ECS work is not limited to the Arctic and includes areas in the Bering Sea, Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic, Gulf of Alaska, Marianas and Line Islands, as well as areas off northern California and northwest of Hawaii. In addition to Arctic survey work, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) led missions in 2011 to collect seismic data in the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea, and scientists from the Joint Hydrographic Center collected bathymetric data northwest of Hawaii. NOAA and USGS funded the 2011 U.S. missions. Two U.S. ECS missions are planned for 2012, one in the Atlantic and one in the Arctic. 

 

“The amount and quality of the data collected as part of these joint Arctic missions met and often exceeded the expectations we would set each year,” said Deborah Hutchinson, Ph.D., a geologist with the USGS and U.S. science lead and liaison on board CCG Ship Louis S. St-Laurent.

This year’s U.S. Arctic mission was led by the Joint Hydrographic Center, a partnership between NOAA and the University of New Hampshire, while the Canadian mission was led by the Geological Survey of Canada of Natural Resources Canada.  

 

Scientists on board Healy used a multibeam echo sounder to collect bathymetric data to create three-dimensional images of the seafloor. Scientists aboard CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent collected seismic data to determine the thickness of the sediments under the seafloor and to better understand the geology of the Arctic Ocean. The 2011 Arctic mission traversed more than 5,600 total miles over the Beaufort Shelf, Chukchi Borderland, Alpha Ridge, and Canada Basin and reached more than 1,230 miles north of the Alaskan coast. 

“As in previous Arctic missions, we obtained data in areas we were not entirely sure the ice would allow us to proceed, even with a two-ship operation,” said Andy Armstrong, co-chief scientist on the Arctic mission and co-director of the NOAA-University of New Hampshire Joint Hydrographic Center. “This was especially true in the eastern part of the Canada Basin where some of the thickest Arctic ice is found.”

 

Data collected by these two nations tells other scientific stories for the first time. For example, USGS scientists collected baseline data on ocean acidification and scientists from the National Ice Center compared observed ice conditions with interpretations of the same ice seen on satellite imagery.

 

From 2006 to date, scientists on board CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent have collected nearly 15,000 kilometers (9,320 miles) of seismic data, vastly increasing the seismic data holdings in this area of the deep Arctic Ocean. Scientists from the United States and Canada are using these seismic data to revise models of the origin and tectonic evolution of this poorly understood portion of the ocean. 

 

Since the start of U.S. ECS work in the Arctic in 2003, Healy alone has mapped more than 320,000 square kilometers (123,000 square miles) of the Arctic seafloor, or about the size of Arizona. 

 

“These data provided high resolution maps to help determine the outer limits of the U.S. ECS, while revealing previously undiscovered mountains, known as seamounts, and scours created by past glaciers and icebergs scraping along the ocean bottom 400 meters below the surface,” said Mayer.

 

The U.S. Extended Continental Shelf Task Force is responsible for delineating the U.S. ECS and is chaired by the Department of State with co-vice chairs from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Department of the Interior. Ten additional agencies participate in the task force, including the U.S. Geological Survey, Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, Environmental Protection Agency, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the Arctic Research Commission, and the Executive Office of the President. Additional information on the joint U.S.-Canadian Extended Continental Shelf cruise is available at http://www.continentalshelf.gov and http://ess.nrcan.gc.ca/scient_e.php.
 

Maritime Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter June 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

Demand, Bunker Pricing Spurs Asia Dry Bulk-Capesize Rates

Owners asking $1 per tonne more on Australia-China rates; Panamax rates climb to two-month high, but remain under pressure. Freight rates for large capesize

UASC Shareholding States Vote to Back Hapag-Lloyd Merger

United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) said its six shareholding states backed a merger deal with German container shipping line Hapag-Lloyd AG at a meeting on Wednesday.

List: Top Five UK Ship Owners

Following last week's landmark referendum results, VesselsValue has compiled a list of the top five U.K.-based shipowners and their total fleet value in USD billions.

Technology

Construction Begins on Johan Sverdrup Riser platform

The riser platform construction start was marked today at the Samsung Heavy Industries yard in South Korea. Project director for Johan Sverdrup Kjetel Digre (from right),

SPS Used for Pipe-Layer Upgrade

The 127,500dwt Solitaire has completed some of the most challenging projects in which heavy pipe has been laid in very deep waters.   Originally built in Japan as a mini-Capesize bulk carrier,

Another Fugro Vessels Joins Largest SEEP-Hunting Survey

Fugro has deployed multi-purpose offshore survey vessel Fugro Gauss to join the Fugro Brasilis offshore Mexico, to help complete the world’s largest seep-hunting

Maritime Safety

Beijing Slams South China Sea Court Proceedings

Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling set for July 12. An international court said it would deliver a hotly anticipated ruling in the Philippines' case against

SOLAS Container Mass Verification Rule Enter into force

A new regulation requiring the gross mass of a container to be verified before it is loaded onto a ship enters into force today (1 July 2016). It will assist in

AWO Authorizes ClassNK to Perform RCP Audits

The American Waterways Operators (AWO) and ClassNK have signed an agreement under which ClassNK will be authorized to conduct audits of AWO's Responsible Carrier Program,

Government Update

Beijing Slams South China Sea Court Proceedings

Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling set for July 12. An international court said it would deliver a hotly anticipated ruling in the Philippines' case against

Paris MoU Reports Decrease in 'Bans'

Paris MoU reports that 2015 shows a large decrease in the refusal of access (“bans”) within the region: 11 bans compared to 20 in 2014. The detention percentage has remained stable at 3.

BP Receives its First Venezuelan Crude Cargo under Swap Deal

Britain's BP Plc this month received a Venezuelan crude cargo from state-run PDVSA, according to Thomson Reuters trade flows data, the first since the companies

Arctic Operations

Advanced MacGregor Technology for Polar Research Ship

MacGregor, part of Cargotec, has won an order to supply MacGregor offshore cranes and a Triplex handling system for a 14,300gt polar research vessel being built

VEB Guarantees $3 Bln of Yamal LNG Debt

Russian development bank VEB said on Friday it had provided a guarantee for $3 billion of debt to the Yamal liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, led by Russian gas firm Novatek.

Ocean Cleanup Prototype Set for a Test Run

The first ocean cleanup system ever tested at sea will soon be deployed for trials 23 kilometers (12 NM) off the Dutch coast. The goal of the test is to see how

Surveyors

Another Fugro Vessels Joins Largest SEEP-Hunting Survey

Fugro has deployed multi-purpose offshore survey vessel Fugro Gauss to join the Fugro Brasilis offshore Mexico, to help complete the world’s largest seep-hunting

LR Suggests Locations for In-water Surveys

Lloyd’s Register has recently re-appraised its guidance on locations where an In-Water Survey may be carried out.   Traditionally, these locations were known as ‘Approved Locations’,

ABS is Japan's First Foreign RO for Maritime Labor Inspection

ABS has been selected by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) as Japan’s first foreign Recognized Organization (RO) for maritime labor inspection.

 
 
Maritime Security Navigation Pipelines Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1340 sec (7 req/sec)