Ocean Mapping Expedition Yields New Insights into Arctic Depths
NOAA Media Release
11 February 2008
New Arctic sea floor data released today by the University of New Hampshire and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration suggests that the foot of the continental slope off Alaska is more than 100 nautical miles farther from the U.S. coast than previously assumed. Coastal nations have sovereign rights over the natural resources of their continental shelf, generally recognized to extend 200 nautical miles out from the coast. The Law of the Sea Convention, now under consideration in the U.S. Senate, provides nations an internationally recognized basis to extend their sea floor resource rights beyond the foot of the continental slope if they meet certain geological criteria backed up by scientific data.