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International Bathymetric Chart of the Arctic Ocean

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The International Bathymetric Chart of the Arctic Ocean (IBCAO) was initiated 1997 and has since been the authoritative source of bathymetry for the Arctic Ocean. In 2017, IBCAO merged its efforts with the Nippon Foundation-GEBCO-Seabed 2030 Project, with the goal of mapping the global seafloor by 2030.

The aim of the IBCAO is to develop a digital grid based on all available bathymetric data north of 64° North, for use by mapmakers, researchers, institutions, and others whose work requires a detailed and accurate knowledge of the depth and the shape of the Arctic seabed. Version 4.2 of the data set is available download.

The IBCAO grid is used for the Arctic region in the global GEBCO grid. As a part of GEBCO, the work of the IBCAO is endorsed by UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), and the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO).

Find out more

Historical IBCAO grids, imagery and data sets

Bathymetric grids and imagery for previous versions of the IBCAO data set are avaialable either by request or by direct download.

The following data sets are available:

Historical posters

There following are posters presented about the IBCAO

  • AGU Fall 2011 IBCAO Poster Adobe PDF version of the AGU Fall 2011 IBCAO Poster (4.2 MB)
  • IBCAO Poster RP-2, 2004 Adobe PDF version of the IBCAO Poster RP-2, 2004 10 Mbytes
  • January 2001 Poster
    Available on request from the Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Global Center
    themfusion1225.jpg (1225 x 1225 pixels, 4 x 4 inches at 300dpi)
    themfusion2250.jpg (2250 x 2250 pixels, 7.5 x 7.5 inches at 300dpi)
  • ICAM III Poster Oct 1998, Celle, Germany
    Poster presented at the Third International Conference on Arctic Margins (ICAM III) October 12-15, 1998 in Celle, Germany. The poster outlines some of the known data sets that will be incorporated in the new data base, and proposing a geographical basis for partitioning project tasks among the various national participants.
    Poster available from the GDACC as a zipped set of 8 .gif files

Regional Mapping Committee

During the First Arctic, Antarctic and North Pacific Mapping Meeting, in 2018, a Regional Mapping Committee was established, within the framework of the Nippon Foundation-GEBCO-Seabed 2030 project. This replaces the IBCAO Editorial Board.

This Regional Mapping Committee is comprised of the following members (2020-06-14):

  • Bernard Coakley (USA), University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • Boris Dorschel (Germany), Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research
  • David Amblas (Spain), University of Barcelona
  • Hanne Hodnesdal (Norway), Norwegian Mapping Authority, Hydrographic Service
  • Joanna Gerlings (Denmark), Danish Geodata Agency
  • Jongkuk Hong (Korea), KOPRI
  • Julian A. Dowdeswell (UK), Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge
  • Larry Mayer (co-chair) (USA), University of New Hampshire
  • Mark Zimmermann (USA), NOAA Fisheries
  • Martin Jakobsson (co-chair) (Sweden) Stockholm University
  • Mathieu Morligheim (USA), University of California,
  • Irvine Maurizio Demarte (Italy), Italian Hydrographic Institute
  • Michele Rebesco (Italy), Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale (OGS)
  • Paola Travaglini (Canada), Canadian Hydrographic Service
  • Riko Noormets (Norway/Svalbard/Estonia), UNIS, University Center of Svalbard
  • Roberta Ivaldi (Italy), Italian Hydrographic Institute
  • Seth Danielson (USA), College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, Alaska
  • Tao Zhang (China) Second Institute of Oceanography, SOA, China
  • Yulia Zarayskaya (Russian Federation), Geological Institute of Russian Aaedmy of Science

Meeting reports

Access information about IBCAO and related polar mapping meetings:

Release Publications

IBCAO Version 4.0

Jakobsson, M., Mayer, L.A., Bringensparr, C. et al. The International Bathymetric Chart of the Arctic Ocean Version 4.0. Sci Data 7, 176 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41597-020-0520-9

IBCAO Version 3.0

Jakobsson, M., L. A. Mayer, B. Coakley, J. A. Dowdeswell, S. Forbes, B. Fridman, H. Hodnesdal, R. Noormets, R. Pedersen, M. Rebesco, H.-W. Schenke, Y. Zarayskaya A, D. Accettella, A. Armstrong, R. M. Anderson, P. Bienhoff, A. Camerlenghi, I. Church, M. Edwards, J. V. Gardner, J. K. Hall, B. Hell, O. B. Hestvik, Y. Kristoffersen, C. Marcussen, R. Mohammad, D. Mosher, S. V. Nghiem, M. T. Pedrosa, P. G. Travaglini, and P. Weatherall (2012), The International Bathymetric Chart of the Arctic Ocean (IBCAO) Version 3.0, Geophysical Research Letters, 39(12), L12609, doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2012gl052219.

IBCAO Version 2.0

Jakobsson, M., R. Macnab, L. A. Mayer, R. Anderson, M. Edwards, J. Hatzky, H. W. Schenke, and P. Johnson (2008), An improved bathymetric portrayal of the Arctic Ocean: Implications for ocean modeling and geological, geophysical and oceanographic analyses, Geophysical Research Letters, 35, L07602, doi:https://doi.org/10.1029/2008gl033520.

IBCAO Version 1.0

Jakobsson, M., N. Cherkis, J. Woodward, R. Macnab, and B. Coakley (2000), New grid of Arctic bathymetry aids scientists and mapmakers, EOS, Transactions American Geophysical Union, 81, 89, 93, 96, doi:https://doi.org/10.1029/00EO00059.