The International Bathymetric Chart of the Arctic Ocean (IBCAO) was first released to the public after its introduction at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting in 1999 (Jakobsson et al., 2000). This first release consisted of a Digital Bathymetric Model (DBM) on a Polar stereographic projection with grid cell spacing of 2.5 x 2.5 km derived from an accumulated database of all available bathymetric data at the time of compilation. The IBCAO bathymetric database included soundings collected during past and modern expeditions as well as digitized isobaths and depth soundings from published maps. Compared to previous bathymetric maps of the Arctic Ocean, the first released IBCAO compilation was based upon a significantly enhanced database, particularly in the high Arctic. For example, de-classified echo soundings acquired during US and British submarine cruises between 1958 and 1988 were included as well as soundings from icebreaker cruises conducted by Sweden and Germany at the end of the last century. Despite the newly available data in 1999, there were still large areas of the Arctic Ocean where publicly available data were completely absent. Some of these areas had been mapped by Russian agencies, and since these observations were not available to IBCAO, depth contours from the bathymetric contour map published by the Head Department of Navigation and Hydrography (HDNO) (Naryshkin, 1999) were digitized and incorporated in the database. The new IBCAO Version 2.0 comprises the largest update since the first release; moreover, the grid spacing has been decreased to 2 x 2 km. Numerous multibeam data sets that were collected by ice breakers, e.g. USCGC Healy, R/V James Clarke Ross, R/V Polarstern, IB Oden, now form part of the database, as do the swath bathymetric observations acquired during the 1999 SCICEX expedition. The portrayal of the Eastern Arctic Basin is vastly improved due to e.g. the Arctic Mid Ocean Ridge Expedition 2001 (AMORE) and Arctic Gakkel Vents 2007 (AGAVE) expedition while mapping missions aboard the USCGC Healy have revealed the "real" shape of the sea floor of the central Lomonosov Ridge and in areas off Northern Alaska in the Western Arctic. This paper presents an overview of the new data included in Version 2.0 as well as a brief discussion on the improvements and their possible implications for IBCAO users.
Helmholtz Research Programs > MARCOPOLI (2004-2008) > POL7-From permafrost to deep sea in the Arctic