Arctic and North Pacific Ocean Regional Center

Center Teams

Stockholm University

  • Ms Caroline Bringensparr, data analyst
  • Mr Rezwann Mohammad, developer and data manager
  • Mr Björn Eriksson, IT support
  • Mr Carlos Castro, data analyst

Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping, University of New Hampshire

  • Mr Paul Johnson, data manager
  • Mr Tomer Ketter, data analyst

Center Role

This center acts as the regional focus for data compilation and co-ordination activities for Seabed 2030 in the Arctic and Northern Pacific Ocean region.

The Arctic and North Pacific Regional Center is jointly hosted by the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping/Joint Hydrographic Center (CCOM/JHC) at the University of New Hampshire and the Department of Geological Sciences at Stockholm University, Sweden (SU).

Center Overview

CCOM/JHC

The CCOM/JHC was founded in 1999, with a small initial group of about 18 people. Twenty years later, CCOM/JHC has grown to be a national center of excellence with more than 100 people that serve NOAA, the nation, and the global community through the development of tools and approaches that support safe navigation, increase the efficiency of surveying, and offer a range of value-added ocean mapping products. CCOM/JHC is also actively engaged in ensuring that new generations of hydrographers and ocean mappers receive the best possible training.

A highlight of the educational program is The Nippon Foundation/GEBCO Postgraduate Certificate in Ocean Bathymetry, which has trained 90 scholars from 43 countries to date. An alumni team from this program recently won the $4M Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE for technological innovation in ocean mapping.

The Center has also been responsible for the collection, processing and analysis of more than 3 million km2 of new multibeam sonar data, collected in support of the establishment of the limits of the US continental shelf under the United Nations Convention for the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) Article 76. These data have been made freely available to the global community through national archives and Seabed 2030.

CCOM/JHC has processed and contributed data from more than 15 cruises that it has conducted in the Arctic and North Pacific, and has been actively seeking out additional data sets, and planning new data collection efforts. Additionally, the Center has recently been funded to put into the field a 22m autonomous sailboat capable of collecting deep water bathymetric data, with the hope that such autonomous systems may greatly increase the efficiency and lower the cost of the collection of global bathymetric data.

Stockholm University

Geology has been studied at Stockholm University since Norwegian geologist W C Brögger took up a professorship there in 1881. A branch focusing on marine geology and geophysics was established in the early 1950s with the appointment of Prof Ivar Hessland. In the 1970s, research on tools for marine geophysical data processing and interpretation led to the development of some of the first computer algorithms for the generation of digital terrain models, and the world’s first digitizing table through a collaboration with Swedish inventor Håkan Lans.

The Arctic and North Pacific Center benefits from the legacy of the International Bathymetric Chart of the Arctic Ocean (IBCAO), its role in the European Union’s EMODnet Bathymetry initiative, and engagement in Arctic Ocean research involving regular expeditions with the Swedish icebreaker Oden. Since 1997 the IBCAO project has been based at the Department of Geological Sciences, serving as a template for the Regional Center model established by Seabed 2030.

Regular mapping expeditions are carried out in the Baltic Sea with Stockholm University’s own research vessel RV Electra. In its capacity as a center for academic development, the Department of Geological Sciences has hosted several alumni from The Nippon Foundation/GEBCO Training Program for internships, one of whom successfully completed their PhD degree in the department in 2016.

A specific research strength of the Department has been built up around marine geophysical mapping, with specific emphasis on multibeam mapping in the ice-covered polar oceans. The department owns and operates the deep-water multibeam system installed in the Oden, and serves as the processing and bathymetric data repository center.

In 2019, the Ryder 2019 Expedition aboard the Oden was the first ever to enter and map the Sherard Osborne Fjord on northern Greenland, where the Ryder Glacier drains a considerable sector of the Northern Greenland ice sheet. The expedition, led by Prof Jakobsson and Prof Larry Mayer, was an Explorers Club Flag Expedition.

Events