On 15 December 2014, the Government of the Kingdom of Denmark together with the Government of Greenland submitted documentation for an extended continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles north of Greenland to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS).
The claimed area in the Arctic Ocean covers approximately 895.000 km2.
The Kingdom of Norway’s continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles overlaps the area of the Danish/Greenland submission. In addition, there is potential overlap with Canada, the Russian Federation and the United States of America, respectively. Having received recommendations from the CLCS, it will be up to the parties themselves to negotiate bilateral delimitation agreements. These negotiations will take place in accordance with the rules of the International Law of the Sea as laid down in the Ilulissat Declaration
Due to the severe ice and weather conditions and the remoteness of the area north of Greenland, data acquisition here is a major logistical challenge and therefore the data coverage in the area is very sparse. More on this subject in a paper (Challenges of collecting data for article 76 in ice covered waters of the Arctic
– pdf-file ~2,5mb) presented at the 2008 ABLOS meeting
(ABLOS – Advisory Board on the Law of the Sea).
A realistic concept for data collection was developed during a pre-study in 2002. In June 2005, a formal agreement on joint data acquisition and interpretation was signed with the Canadian Continental Shelf Project. Since then this agreement has been the basis for a very close collaboration between the two countries in order to acquire the necessary data regarding an extended continental shelf claim not only in the Arctic but also in the Labrador Sea.
Since spring of 2006 a total of six larger-scale data acquisition projects have been carried out in the area north of Greenland, most of them in cooperation with Canada and Sweden:
expedition in the spring of 2006 – acquisition of refraction seismic data using the Canadian Forces Station Alert as base.
- LOMROG I
cruise in summer of 2007 with the Swedish icebreaker Oden in cooperation with the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat and with the Russian nuclear icebreaker 50 let Pobedy as lead icebreaker – acquisition of primarily bathymetric, seismic and gravity data. A Canadian hydrographer participated in the cruise.
- LOMBAG – Collection of bathymetric and gravity data
on the sea ice in the spring of 2009 with a Canadian ice camp at Ward Hunt Island as base.
- LOMGRAV – Acquisition of airborne geophysical data
in the spring of 2009 on both sides of the Lomonosov Ridge.
- LOMROG II
cruise in the summer of 2009 with the Swedish icebreaker Oden in cooperation with the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat – acquisition of primarily bathymetric, seismic and gravity data. A Canadian and a Russian hydrographer participated in the cruise.
- LOMROG III
cruise in the summer of 2012 with the Swedish icebreaker Oden in cooperation with the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat – collection of dredge samples from the Lomonosov Ridge and acquisition of seismic, bathymetric and gravity data.
The LOMROG III cruise in 2012 completed the data acquisition in the area north of Greenland within the Continental Shelf Project of the Kingdom of Denmark.
Lomonosov was a Russian natural scientist of world importance. He had encyclopedic knowledge and is also known as a poet, artist, and Russian historian. He studied at Moscow, St. Petersburg, and in Marburg and Freiburg, and became professor of chemistry at St. Petersburg Academy of Science in 1745. His major scientific accomplishment was in the field of physical chemistry, with other notable discoveries in astronomy, geophysics, geology and mineralogy. In 1755, he was co-founder of the university in Moscow, which still bears his name.