In the enduring spirit of friendship and cooperation, the United States and Canada conducted their fourth joint mission to map the continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean this past summer. The 2011 Arctic mission traversed more than 5,600 total miles and reached more than 1,230 miles north of the Alaskan coast. It marks the completion of a successful five-year collaboration between the United States and Canada to collect the scientific data necessary to determine the extent of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles (referred to as the extended continental shelf) in the Arctic. Determining the extent of the continental shelf is important because a country has rights to manage and protect the resources of its continental shelf.
Collecting these data was not a trivial endeavor, especially in the Arctic's ice-covered waters. The 2011 joint mission spanned nearly… more »