Scientists Plan to Measure the Depth of the Arctic Ocean – for the First Time in 230 Years

31.07.2012

New maps of Arctic watersArctic region seems very attractive for some countries due to its natural resources potential. Besides, the global warming process leads to massive melting of the Arctic ice shield, thus transforming the Arctic Ocean into the main route between Europe, Asia and the Americas. However, this region is still poorly studied for navigation. Last measurement of Arctic waters were performed in 1778 by James Cook, famous explorer and voyager. Data of his research obtained over 200 years ago is still used in modern navigation.

Experts of the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration plan to perform new cartographic research of American-Canadian sector of the Arctic.  Fairweather, NOAA's explorer ship leaves Dutch Harbor (USA) this week. She will pass through the Bering Strait to the east – along the coastline of Canada. Researchers plan to explore over 1.7 thousand km of the Arctic. The data would be essential for navigation, especially concerning the fact that this route would be used for transportation of petroleum products.