Martin Jakobsson. Photo: Glenn Mattsing
Martin Jakobsson. Photo: Glenn Mattsing

In the summer of 1996, I was on an expedition with the icebreaker Oden to collect samples from the seabed of the world’s most northern ocean: the Arctic Ocean. The expedition was looking for the Lomonosov Ridge, which is a large underwater mountain range, without finding it.

The ridge had not vanished, but it turned out that the map we used was about 200 kilometres off. And it was still the best map of the area available.

The Arctic Ocean is an inhospitable place, covered by thick sea ice several months a year. This makes it difficult to explore the terrain in order to draw a map of it, yet this is what we started to do.

With modern technology, custom-made sonars, and great support from researchers and navigators, I started to map one of the most inhospitable places on Earth. This was more than 15 years ago, and the work will continue for a long time to come. The mapping is important to, for example, the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, which investigates how the Arctic’s resources should be distributed.

The quest for more knowledge of the Arctic seabed continues. I expect to return to the Arctic in the summer of 2014, along with climate researchers from the University, on a major expedition with the icebreaker Oden.

Narrator: Martin Jakobsson