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The world’s northernmost nations are mapping the Arctic

13.04.2007
Six nations that border on the Arctic have joined forces to compile bedrock and geophysical maps of the northernmost parts of the world. The maps will form the basis for new investigations of geological resources.

It is the geological surveys in Russia, Sweden, Finland, the USA, Canada and Norway that have begun this international mapping project. Scientists from several more countries are taking part.

The Polar Year

”The work is a direct follow-up of the cooperation agreement signed by the six nations in June 2005,” Carmen Gaina, a research officer at the Geological Survey of Norway (NGU), tells us. She is responsible for compiling the geophysical data.

The agreement places several projects under the umbrella of the “Atlas of Circum-Arctic Geological Maps on a scale of 1:5 million”. The area that is to be compiled extends right down to latitude 60 degrees North. The project is part of the Polar Year and is led by the Russian Geological Research Institute (VSEGEI).

Oil and gas

”Many national geophysical databases have expanded greatly since the last compilation in 1996 and 2000. This will therefore be a valuable product for the geosciences, and also for ongoing studies of both old and new geological resources,” Carmen Gaina believes.

For instance, many petroleum experts think that 25 per cent of the world’s still undiscovered oil and gas resources are to be found in the Arctic.

The second seminar in the Circum-Arctic project was recently held in Trondheim, Norway, with participants from Russia, the USA, Canada, Sweden, Finland, Germany and Denmark.

By Gudmund Løvø

Carmen Gaina | alfa
Further information:
http://www.ngu.no

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