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    Seamounts and knolls are ‘undersea mountains’, the former rising more than 1000 m from the seafloor. These features provide important habitats for aquatic predators, demersal deep-sea fish and benthic invertebrates. However most seamounts have not been surveyed and their numbers and locations are not well known. Previous efforts to locate and quantify seamounts have used relatively coarse bathymetry grids. Here we use global bathymetric data at 30 arc-second resolution to identify seamounts and knolls. We identify 33,452 seamounts and 138,412 knolls, representing the largest global set of identified seamounts and knolls to date. We compare estimated seamount numbers, locations, and depths with validation sets of seamount data from New Zealand and Azores. This comparison indicates the method we apply finds 94% of seamounts, but may overestimate seamount numbers along ridges and in areas where faulting and seafloor spreading creates highly complex topography. The seamounts and knolls identified herein are significantly geographically biased towards areas surveyed with shipbased soundings. As only 6.5% of the ocean floor has been surveyed with soundings it is likely that new seamounts will be uncovered as surveying improves. Seamount habitats constitute approximately 4.7% of the ocean floor, whilst knolls cover 16.3%. Regional distribution of these features is examined, and we find a disproportionate number of productive knolls, with a summit depth of o1.5 km, located in the Southern Ocean. Less than 2% of seamounts are within marine protected areas and the majority of these are located within exclusive economic zones with few on the High Seas. The database of seamounts and knolls resulting from this study will be a useful resource for researchers and conservation planners. Reference: Yesson, C., et al., The global distribution of seamounts based on 30 arc seconds bathymetry data. Deep-Sea Research I (2011

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    Marine fishes in the Arctic Ocean and adjacent seas (AOAS).

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    The Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) and Protection of the Arctic Marine Environments (PAME) working groups of the Arctic Council developed this indicator report. It provides an overview of the status and trends of protected areas in the Arctic. The data used represents the results of the 2016 update to the Protected Areas Database submitted by each of the Arctic Council member states (Annex 1). This report uses the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) definition for protected areas (see Box 1) which includes a wide range of Management Categories – from strict nature reserve to protection with sustainable use. Consequently, the level of protection and governance of these areas varies throughout the circumpolar region and its countries.

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    We present the first digital seafloor geomorphic features map (GSFM) of the global ocean. The GSFM includes 131,192 separate polygons in 29 geomorphic feature categories, used here to assess differences between passive and active continental margins as well as between 8 major ocean regions (the Arctic, Indian, North Atlantic, North Pacific, South Atlantic, South Pacific and the Southern Oceans and the Mediterranean and Black Seas). The GSFM provides quantitative assessments of differences between passive and active margins: continental shelf width of passive margins (88 km) is nearly three times that of active margins (31 km); the average width of active slopes (36 km) is less than the average width of passive margin slopes (46 km); active margin slopes contain an area of 3.4 million km2 where the gradient exceeds 5°, compared with 1.3 million km2 on passive margin slopes; the continental rise covers 27 million km2 adjacent to passive margins and less than 2.3 million km2 adjacent to active margins. Examples of specific applications of the GSFM are presented to show that: 1) larger rift valley segments are generally associated with slow-spreading rates and smaller rift valley segments are associated with fast spreading; 2) polar submarine canyons are twice the average size of non-polar canyons and abyssal polar regions exhibit lower seafloor roughness than non-polar regions, expressed as spatially extensive fan, rise and abyssal plain sediment deposits – all of which are attributed here to the effects of continental glaciations; and 3) recognition of seamounts as a separate category of feature from ridges results in a lower estimate of seamount number compared with estimates of previous workers. Reference: Harris PT, Macmillan-Lawler M, Rupp J, Baker EK Geomorphology of the oceans. Marine Geology.

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    Appendix 9.5 The assignment of liverwort genera of Arctic Russia to families after Konstantinova et al. (2009) and Damsholt (2002)

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    A set of mean fields for temperature and salinity for the Arctic Seas and environs are available for viewing and downloading. Area: The area encompassed is all longitudes from 60°N to 90°N latitudes. Horizontal resolution: Temperature and salinity are available on a 1°x1° and a 1/4°x1/4° latitude/longitude grid. Time resolution: All climatologies for all variables use all available data regardless of year of measurement. Climatologies were calculated for annual (all-data), seasonal, and monthly time periods. Seasons are as follows: Winter (Jan.-Mar.), Spring (Apr.-Jun.), Summer (Jul.-Aug.), Fall (Oct.-Dec.). Vertical resolution: Temperature and salinity are available on 87 standard levels with higher vertical resolution than the World Ocean Atlas 2009 (WOA09), but levels extend from the surface to 4000 m. Units: Temperature units are °C. Salinity is unitless on the Practical Salinity Scale-1978 [PSS]. Data used: All data from the area found in the World Ocean Database (WOD) as of the end of 2011. For a description of this dataset, please see World Ocean Database 2009 Introduction Method: The method followed for calculation of the mean climatological fields is detailed in the following publications: Temperature: Locarnini et al., 2010, Salinity: Antonov et al., 2010. Additional details on the 1/4° climatological calculation are found in Boyer et al., 2005, from: <a href="http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/regional_climate/arctic/" target="_blank">NOAA</a> Reference: Boyer, T.P., O.K. Baranova, M. Biddle, D.R. Johnson, A.V. Mishonov, C. Paver, D. Seidov and M. Zweng (2012), Arctic Regional Climatology, Regional Climatology Team, NOAA/NODC, source: <a href="www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/regional_climate/arctic" target="_blank">NOAA</a>

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    The U.S. National Ice Center (NIC) is an inter-agency sea ice analysis and forecasting center comprised of the Department of Commerce/NOAA, the Department of Defense/U.S. Navy, and the Department of Homeland Security/U.S. Coast Guard components. Since 1972, NIC has produced Arctic and Antarctic sea ice charts. This data set is comprised of Arctic sea ice concentration climatology derived from the NIC weekly or biweekly operational ice-chart time series. The charts used in the climatology are from 1972 through 2007; and the monthly climatology products are median, maximum, minimum, first quartile, and third quartile concentrations, as well as frequency of occurrence of ice at any concentration for the entire period of record as well as for 10-year and 5-year periods. NIC charts are produced through the analyses of available in situ, remote sensing, and model data sources. They are generated primarily for mission planning and safety of navigation. NIC charts generally show more ice than do passive microwave derived sea ice concentrations, particularly in the summer when passive microwave algorithms tend to underestimate ice concentration. The record of sea ice concentration from the NIC series is believed to be more accurate than that from passive microwave sensors, especially from the mid-1990s on (see references at the end of this documentation), but it lacks the consistency of some passive microwave time series. Source: <a href="http://nsidc.org/data/G02172" target="_blank">NSIDC</a> Reference: National Ice Center. 2006, updated 2009. National Ice Center Arctic sea ice charts and climatologies in gridded format. Edited and compiled by F. Fetterer and C. Fowler. Boulder, Colorado USA: National Snow and Ice Data Center. Source: <a href="http://nsidc.org/data/G02172" target="_blank">NSIDC</a>

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    We present the first digital seafloor geomorphic features map (GSFM) of the global ocean. The GSFM includes 131,192 separate polygons in 29 geomorphic feature categories, used here to assess differences between passive and active continental margins as well as between 8 major ocean regions (the Arctic, Indian, North Atlantic, North Pacific, South Atlantic, South Pacific and the Southern Oceans and the Mediterranean and Black Seas). The GSFM provides quantitative assessments of differences between passive and active margins: continental shelf width of passive margins (88 km) is nearly three times that of active margins (31 km); the average width of active slopes (36 km) is less than the average width of passive margin slopes (46 km); active margin slopes contain an area of 3.4 million km2 where the gradient exceeds 5°, compared with 1.3 million km2 on passive margin slopes; the continental rise covers 27 million km2 adjacent to passive margins and less than 2.3 million km2 adjacent to active margins. Examples of specific applications of the GSFM are presented to show that: 1) larger rift valley segments are generally associated with slow-spreading rates and smaller rift valley segments are associated with fast spreading; 2) polar submarine canyons are twice the average size of non-polar canyons and abyssal polar regions exhibit lower seafloor roughness than non-polar regions, expressed as spatially extensive fan, rise and abyssal plain sediment deposits – all of which are attributed here to the effects of continental glaciations; and 3) recognition of seamounts as a separate category of feature from ridges results in a lower estimate of seamount number compared with estimates of previous workers. Reference: Harris PT, Macmillan-Lawler M, Rupp J, Baker EK Geomorphology of the oceans. Marine Geology.

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    We present the first digital seafloor geomorphic features map (GSFM) of the global ocean. The GSFM includes 131,192 separate polygons in 29 geomorphic feature categories, used here to assess differences between passive and active continental margins as well as between 8 major ocean regions (the Arctic, Indian, North Atlantic, North Pacific, South Atlantic, South Pacific and the Southern Oceans and the Mediterranean and Black Seas). The GSFM provides quantitative assessments of differences between passive and active margins: continental shelf width of passive margins (88 km) is nearly three times that of active margins (31 km); the average width of active slopes (36 km) is less than the average width of passive margin slopes (46 km); active margin slopes contain an area of 3.4 million km2 where the gradient exceeds 5°, compared with 1.3 million km2 on passive margin slopes; the continental rise covers 27 million km2 adjacent to passive margins and less than 2.3 million km2 adjacent to active margins. Examples of specific applications of the GSFM are presented to show that: 1) larger rift valley segments are generally associated with slow-spreading rates and smaller rift valley segments are associated with fast spreading; 2) polar submarine canyons are twice the average size of non-polar canyons and abyssal polar regions exhibit lower seafloor roughness than non-polar regions, expressed as spatially extensive fan, rise and abyssal plain sediment deposits – all of which are attributed here to the effects of continental glaciations; and 3) recognition of seamounts as a separate category of feature from ridges results in a lower estimate of seamount number compared with estimates of previous workers. Reference: Harris PT, Macmillan-Lawler M, Rupp J, Baker EK Geomorphology of the oceans. Marine Geology.

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    The Arctic Council’s 2009 Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment (AMSA) identified a number of recommendations to guide future action by the Arctic Council, Arctic States and others on current and future Arctic marine activity. Recommendation II C under the theme Protecting Arctic People and the Environment recommended: “That the Arctic states should identify areas of heightened ecological and cultural significance in light of changing climate conditions and increasing multiple marine use and, where appropriate, should encourage implementation of measures to protect these areas from the impacts of Arctic marine shipping, in coordination with all stakeholders and consistent with international law.” As a follow-up to the AMSA, the Arctic Council’s Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) and Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) working groups undertook to identify areas of heightened ecological significance, and the Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG) undertook to identify areas of heightened cultural significance. The work to identify areas of heightened ecological significance builds on work conducted during the preparation of the AMAP (2007) Arctic Oil and Gas Assessment. Although it was initially intended that the identification of areas of heightened ecological and cultural significance would be addressed in a similar fashion, this proved difficult. The information available on areas of heightened cultural significance was inconsistent across the Arctic and contained gaps in data quality and coverage which could not be addressed within the framework of this assessment. The areas of heightened cultural significance are therefore addressed within a separate section of the report (Part B) and are not integrated with the information on areas of heightened ecological significance (Part A). In addition, Part B should be seen as instructive in that it illustrates where additional data collection and integration efforts are required, and therefore helps inform future efforts on identification of areas of heightened cultural significance. The results of this work provide the scientific basis for consideration of protective measures by Arctic states in accordance with AMSA recommendation IIc, including the need for specially designated Arctic marine areas as follow-up to AMSA recommendation IId. Reference: AMAP/CAFF/SDWG, 2013. Identification of Arctic marine areas of heightened ecological and cultural significance: Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment (AMSA) IIc. Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), Oslo. 114 pp. Data avaiable from: source: <a href="http://www.amap.no/documents/doc/Identification-of-Arctic-marine-areas-of-heightened-ecological-and-cultural-significance-Arctic-Marine-Shipping-Assessment-AMSA-IIc/869" target="_blank">Identification of Arctic marine areas of heightened ecological and cultural significance</a>