IBCAO Arctic Bathymetry


The International Bathymetric Chart of the Arctic Ocean (IBCAO) is a digital data base that contains all available bathymetric data north of 64 degrees North. This project, which began in 1997, is a cooperative effort between researchers at eleven different institutions in eight countries. The countries involved are Canada, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the USA. Five of the key organizations involved were the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), the US National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC/NOAA), and the US Office of Naval Research (ONR).

A beta version of the IBCAO grid was released in 2000 and was included on the RiverTools 3.0 sample data CD. The official release of version 1 was in 2001, followed by the releases of versions 2 and 3 in 2008 and 2012. Information for all versions is given in the table below. Note that geographic (unprojected, fixed-angle) versions are also available and may be better for some applications.

Grid Information

Coord. System: Polar stereographic projection, fixed-length
True scale at 75 degrees North.
Cell Size: 2500 meters (Version 1, 2001)
2000 meters (Version 2, 2008)
500 meters (Version 3, 2012)
Tile Dimensions: 2323 columns x 2323 rows (Version1, 1 tile)
2904 columns x 2904 rows (Version 2, 1 tile)
11617 columns x 11617 rows (Version 3, 1 tile))
Tile Span: Easting: -2904000 to 290200; Northing: -2902000 to 2904000 (v1)
Easting: -2904000 to 290200; Northing: -2902000 to 2904000 (v2)
Easting: -2904000 to 290400; Northing: -2904000 to 2904000 (v3)
Data Type: 4-byte floats
Horizontal Datum: WGS 84
Vertical Datum: mean sea level
Vertical Units: meters
Nodata Value: Unknown
Formats: NetCDF/GMT format, GMT = Generic Mapping Tools; GeoTIFF; Gridded ASCII

For more information, see the following papers:

Jackobsson, M., N.Z. Cherkis, J. Woodward, R. Macnab, and B. Coakley (2000) New grid of Arctic bathymetry aids scientists and mapmakers; Eos, Transactions, American Geophysical Union, 81(9), February 29, 2000.
Jackobsson, M., L. Mayer, B. Coakley, J.A. Dowdeswell, S. Forbes, B. Fridman, H. Hodnesdal, R. Noormets, R. Pedersen, M. Rebesco, H.W. Schenke, Y. Zarayskaya, D. Accettella, A. Armstrong, R.A. Anderson, P. Bienhoff, A. Camerlenghi, I. Church, M. Edwards, J.V. Gardner, J.K. Hall, B. Hell, O. Hestvik, Y. Kristoffersen, C. Marcussen, R. Mohammad, D. Mosher, S.V. Nghiem, M.T. Pedrosa, P.G Travaglini, P. Weatherall (2012) The International Bathymetric Chart of the Arctic Ocean (IBCAO) Version 3.0, Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, L12609.

Data Source

Word Data Center for Marine Geology and Geophysics (WDC MGG) of the National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Data Availability

The IBCAO beta grid can be downloaded free of charge from the web site below.

Web Site

IBCAO Home: http://www.ibcao.org

IBCAO Page at NGDC/NOAA: http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/mgg/bathymetry/arctic/arctic.html

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