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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 of the data set is now 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

Access IBCAO V4

Version 4 of the IBCAO is available to download in the form of a bathymetric grid for the Arctic region.

The data are made available in Polar Stereographic projection co-ordinates (meters), true scale set at 75°N. Versions of the data set can be accessed with and without elevations for the Greenland Ice Sheet.

Access the IBCAO V4 release paper published in the Nature Journal, Scientific Data.

Historical IBCAO grids and data sets

Previous versions of the IBCAO grid can be accessed from web pages hosted by the US National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI).

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.