About Datasets in the Icelandic Continental Shelf Portal

Seafloor Raster Maps and Exploration Metadata – General Information

Toponymy around Iceland

Place names – Layout [2115]*

Place names are proper nouns that apply to specific geographical entities in the topography or locality. Oceanic place names can refer to a specific part of the ocean, or to a topographic characteristic on the seabed. An example would be Húnaflói Bay, a name that describes the area: Húnaflóaáll is a deep trough that runs along the ocean floor beneath Húnaflói Bay.

There are many place names that seamen have used through the centuries to describe parts of the continental shelf. Other names for this area were added in the 20th century when seamen began fishing in deeper waters. Deeper and more distant areas often do not have place names to describe the seabed topography. When proposing place names for use as reference points, for example when conducting seabed research, Icelandic literature from the Middle Ages is integrated in a way similar to what the Norwegians did. However, in many instances consideration is given to the topography. Where names are given that appear to be unfamiliar, attempts are made to link them in some way to the topography. Many place names originate from Nordic mythology, which gives them an international connotation, in particular for countries with a Germanic language. Using names by latter-day personages is avoided unless they have already been given. Place names for the Dreki Area are based on Völsungasaga, a 13th century prose epic, as Fáfnir in this story is the most famous dragon (reference to Dreki, which is "dragon" in Icelandic) in ancient Icelandic literature.

*Database field number

Place names – Points [2117]

There are many place names that seamen have used through the centuries to describe parts of the continental shelf. Other names for this area were added in the 20th century when seamen began fishing in deeper waters. Deeper and more distant areas often do not have place names to describe the seabed topography. When proposing place names for use as reference points, for example when conducting seabed research, Icelandic literature from the Middle Ages is integrated in a way similar to what the Norwegians did. However, in many instances consideration is given to the topography. Where names are given that appear to be unfamiliar, attempts are made to link them in some way to the topography. Many place names originate from Nordic mythology, which gives them an international connotation, in particular for countries with a Germanic language. Using names by latter-day personages is avoided unless they have already been given. Place names for the Dreki Area are based on Völsungasaga, a 13th century prose epic, as Fáfnir in this story is the most famous dragon (reference to Dreki, which is "dragon" in Icelandic) in ancient Icelandic literature.

Seafloor Raster Maps

Seafloor Raster Maps and Exploration Metadata – General Information     

Magnetics

Ocean Floor Age [2109]

Oceanic Crust around Iceland is mostly of Cretaceous, Tertiary and Quaternary age with only small areas of Jurassic age, for example the margins of the Mid Atlantic abyssal plains, and in the NW Pacific region. The oldest measured age within the present ocean basins is about 165 Ma years, and it is reckoned there is none older than 200 Ma. The oceanic crust is constantly recycled by convection systems in the Earth's mantle creating new rock at the spreading mid-oceanic ridges, and destroying older ocean floor by subduction at continental margins.

The Ocean Floor Age data set in the portal was collected by GPlate project. GPlates is developed by an international team of scientists and professional software developers at EarthByte Project and Norwegian Geological Survey. GPlate project is aimed at implementing interoperability of plate tectonic data and geodynamic computing services for applied and fundamental research purposes. The oceanic age map shows the ages of the ocean floor between the oldest identified magnetic anomalies and continental crust, interpolated by geological estimates of the ages of passive continental margin segments. Very little ocean floor is older than 125 million years, as shown by the blue areas. Almost all of it has been subducted, carried down into the mantle and recycled. So while this map is great for studying plate motions in the recent geologic past, for times before the Cretaceous we must rely more and more on paleomagnetic studies on the continents.

Magnetic Anomaly (North Atlantic) [2111]

Project by Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) which acquired and merged magnetic anomalies data sets from numerous of organizations into a 5-km grid. The purpose was to develop a digital data base of coherent magnetic observations suitable for quantitative tectonic interpretations in the Arctic and North Atlantic oceans.

Gravity 

Bouguer Gravity (Iceland) [2107]

The Bouguer Gravity Anomaly data set for the Icelandic continental shelf is a compilation made in 1995 of publicly available marine (shipborne) gravity data collected in the time interval 1967 to 1985. In some cases satellite gravity data was used where shipborne data was too sparse or of unsatisfactory quality.

Gravity Anomaly (North Atlantic) [2113]

The gravity anomaly data set was collected by the European Space Agency ERS-1 altimeter and the US Navy Geosat altimeter. These satellite altimeters data provide an important and definitive confirmation of the theory of plate tectonics. Indeed, almost everything apparent in the marine gravity field was created by the formation and motion of the plates.

Bathymetry

North Atlantic Ocean SRTM30 [2105]

The international dataset SRTM30plus v/4.0 contains benchmarks on land as well as the ocean floor with 30-second (approx. 1 km) intervals. The data are a collection of various surveys. Measurements on land are based on satellite radar surveys, while ocean floor data are built on satellite gravity surveys above the area, as well as bathymetric surveys taken on-board vessels. Bathymetric surveys are utilised to calibrate the model used to convert gravity surveys into depth information (Smith and Sandwell, 1997). For the North Polar Region, the dataset is based on the IBCAO database (Jakobsson et al., 2008).

Dreki Area – Raster Bathymetry [2101]

After the arrival of the research vesseI Árni Friðriksson in 2000, the Marine Research Institute implemented an extensive project to map the ocean floor around Iceland. The ship was equipped with a multibeam echo sounder Simrad EM 300 (30 kHz, 2°x2°). This device made it possible to map the seabed with much more precision than possible with traditional bathymeters. It operates at peak performance at depths ranging from 100 - 3000 metres. Information is collected on the shape and composition of the seabed, producing precise contour-, shading-, 3-D- and bottom-type maps.

Jan Mayen Ridge – Raster Bathymetry [2103]

The Norwegian Tor Åkermoen described the geological strata of the Jan Mayen Ridge in his cand. scient. dissertation (1989). His work included the use of data from seismic reflection measurements of the area, particularly measurements from 1985 (JM-85). The structure of the geological succession was then used to trace the development of the Jan Mayen Ridge in connection with continental drift, i.e. the origins of the North Atlantic.

Licensing

Licences 2114/01 [2119, 2121, 2123]

Licences for exploration and production of hydrocarbons are issued in licensing rounds in accordance with the Hydrocarbons Act, No. 13/2001. Such licences are granted for a period up to 12 years, with the possibility for extension to a maximum of 16 years. When the conditions for a licence for exploration have been fulfilled, the licensee shall have priority for an extension of the licence for the production of hydrocarbons for up to 30 years.

Boundaries and blocks

Quadrants [2131]   

In order to specify a particular block in connection with granting licenses on the Icelandic Continental Shelf, it has been divided into quadrants whereby each quadrant is demarcated by lines of longitude and latitude situated at intervals of 1 degree. Each quadrant has been assigned a 4-digit number: the first two digits indicate the degree of latitude in the southeastern corner of the quadrant, while the latter two digits designate the degree of longitude in this same corner - "0" is placed before a digit in those instances where longitude is a single-digit number. The letters "IS" are placed before the number of the quadrant to identify that it is within the Icelandic Continental Shelf. Example: IS6708.

Blocks [2125]

Quadrants within the Dreki Area are divided into 12 smaller blocks. Each degree of latitude is divided into four 15' parts. Each degree of longitude is divided into three 20' parts. The number for each block comprises the number of the quadrant, followed by a slash (/), and the number of the inner block (two-digit number) that increase from west to east and from north to south beginning with one in the northwest corner of the quadrant. Example: IS6708/10.

JM Agreement Area [2127]

An agreement was reached with Norway in 1981 on an area of cooperation straddling the delimitation line between the continental shelves of Iceland and Jan Mayen. Within this area, each country is entitled to a 25% stake in any hydrocarbon discoveries made in the other country's part of the area. Furthermore, on 3 November 2008, Iceland and Norway signed a Unitization Agreement concerning transboundary hydrocarbon deposits as well as Agreed Minutes concerning the Right of Participation pursuant to Articles 5 and 6 of the Agreement from 1981.

Northern Dreki Area [2129]  

The northern Dreki Area is the northern- and easternmost part of the Icelandic Continental Shelf. It is situated north of 67° N and east of 11°30' W, and reaches the boundary of the Icelandic Continental Shelf to the north and east. The northern part of the Dreki Area is about 42,700 km² in size.


Exploration Metadata

Seafloor Raster Maps and Exploration Metadata – General Information  

Satellite Seep Studies

CGG NPA (2012) – Dataset Overview [2133]

Iceland 2012 Seepage Study by Fugro NPA (now: CGG) consists of 27 interpreted satellite SAR scenes over the licensing area, resulting in identification of 132 slicks in total. The slick density is not dissimilar to that observed over the conjugate margin basins in the Norwegian sector. Multiple coverage allows identification of potentially significant repeating slicks.


Surface Samples

A11/2010 (2010) - Dataset Overview [2137]

The National Energy Authority and the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate jointly organized a cruise in 2010 on the research vessel Arni Fridriksson to collect surface cores in the Dreki Area, in cooperation with the Icelandic Marine Research Institute. Cores were collected at pre-selected sites in the area.

AKU15 (1973) - Dataset Overview [2135]

A cruise by the Academy of Sciences of the USSR on the research vessel Akademik Kurchatov in 1973. The objective of the cruise was to investigate the geology of the sea floor around Iceland.

JMRS11 (2011) - Dataset Overview [2139]

TGS and Volcanic Basin Petroleum Research organized a sampling survey in the Dreki Area in 2011 on the vessel M/V Sermilik II in accordance with a prospecting license that they received on 9 September 2011. The main objective of the JMRS11 sampling survey was to recover outcrop sediments from the Jan Mayen Ridge in the northern Dreki Area based on the interpretation of seismic line JM-17-85.

Wells

DSDP Leg 12 (1970) - Dataset Overview [2141]

The Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) was the first of three international scientific ocean drilling programs that have been sequentially operated for over 40 years. DSDP began in 1966 and was replaced by the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) in 1985, which was replaced in 2003 by the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP).

DSDP Leg 38 (1974) - Dataset Overview [2143]

The Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) was the first of three international scientific ocean drilling programs that have been sequentially operated for over 40 years. DSDP began in 1966 and was replaced by the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) in 1985, which was replaced in 2003 by the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP).

DSDP Leg 49 (1976) - Dataset Overview [2145]

The Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) was the first of three international scientific ocean drilling programs that have been sequentially operated for over 40 years. DSDP began in 1966 and was replaced by the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) in 1985, which was replaced in 2003 by the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP).

ODP Leg 151 (1993) - Dataset Overview [2147]

The Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) was the second of three international scientific ocean drilling programs that have been sequentially operated for over 40 years. ODP was initiated in 1985. The predecessor of ODP was the Deep Sea Drilling Project which was established in 1966. ODP was replaced by the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) in 2003.

ODP Leg 162 (1995) - Dataset Overview [2149]

The Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) was the second of three international scientific ocean drilling programs that have been sequentially operated for over 40 years. ODP was initiated in 1985. The predecessor of ODP was the Deep Sea Drilling Project which was established in 1966. ODP was replaced by the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) in 2003.

Seismic Reflection

BGR-75 (1975) - Dataset Overview [2151]

A survey conducted by Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe (BGR) of Germany. This was one of three reconnaissance surveys that were carried out between 1974 and 1976 within the framework of the BGR program "Geoscientific studies in the North Atlantic" that was led by Karl Hinz. During BGR-75 survey 2.815 km of seismic data was acquired in a large area of the Iceland Sea.

BGR-76 (1976) - Dataset Overview [2153]

A survey conducted by Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe (BGR) of Germany. This was one of three reconnaissance surveys that were carried out between 1974 and 1976 within the framework of the BGR program "Geoscientific studies in the North Atlantic" that was led by Karl Hinz. During BGR-76 survey 8.909 km of seismic data was acquired in a large area of the North Atlantic

RC2114 (1978) - Dataset Overview [2155]

A survey conducted by the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) at Columbia University in New York. The objective was to use multi-channel seismic reflection and seismic refraction surveys to study the composition of the earth's crust on the continental shelves of Iceland and Norway. Expedition leaders were John Diebold and Peter Buhl. The research was organised by Paul Stoffa and Manik Talwani, and financed by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the USA.

J-79 (1979) - Dataset Overview [2157]

A survey conducted and financed by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) but Geophysical Company of Norway (GECO) organized the survey and took care of all geophysical measurements that where done. The objective was to study the sedimentary strata in the northern part of Jan Mayen Ridge using geophysical techniques, i.e. seismic reflection, seismic refraction (sonobuoys), gravity and magnetics. This survey was the first step by the NPD to investigate the area by seismic reflection method. Expedition leaders was Kristian Kolbjørn.

JM-85 (1985) - Dataset Overview [2159]

The survey was an Icelandic-Norwegian cooperative project in accordance with their bilateral agreement, financed by Norway for the benefit of both. The survey area was south of Jan Mayen, above the submarine ridge that runs to its south that is named the Jan Mayen Ridge. The objective was to study sediment strata in the area using geophysical techniques, i.e. seismic reflection, seismic refraction (sonobuoys), gravity and magnetics.

UiO-86 (1986) - Dataset Overview [2161]

A survey conducted and organised by University of Oslo. A cruise of Håkon Mosby, especially concentrated on areas east of Jan Mayen Ridge but two profiles are located on the eastern part of the north ridge.

JM-88 (1988) - Dataset Overview [2163]

The expedition was an Icelandic-Norwegian cooperative project. The objective was to conduct further seismic reflection measurements in a small area in the southern part of the Jan Mayen Ridge. Conclusions from a previous expedition (JM-85) indicated that the geology in this area was noteworthy in regards to potential oil deposits. The basic objective of the expedition was to develop a precise geologic map of the area in order to select a place to drill based on the data.

IS-JMR-01 (2001) - Dataset Overview [2165]

The Norwegian company InSeis was granted a three-year prospecting license in the northern part of the Dreki Area beginning 19 July 2001, and acquired seismic reflection data that same year. The objective of the survey was to acquire seismic data of higher quality than was previously available for the area, and to further improve sub-basalt imaging. The data can be purchased from Spectrum.

ICE-02 (2002) – Dataset Overview [2167]

The seismic company TGS-NOPEC was granted a one-month prospective license NE of Iceland in April/May 2002 and acquired 808 km of 2D-seismic data during the license period. The weather throughout the survey period was extremely bad, but two brief weather windows allowed for data acquisition. Expedition leader was John Rutherford.

OBS-JM-06 (2006) – Dataset Overview [2169]

The expedition was a cooperative project between Departments of Earth Sciences at the Universities of Bergen and Kiel (Geomar) on the Jan Mayen Ridge. The expedition was part of the NFR-Petromaks project, titled "Jan Mayen micro-continent - Searching for new knowledge on prospectivity, basin evolution and sediment provenance", that was led by Rolf-Birger Pedersen. The research was conducted by using geophysical techniques, i.e. seismic reflection, gravity and magnetics.

WI-JMR-08 (2008) – Dataset Overview [2171]

Wavefield Inseis was granted a three-year prospective license on 13 June 2008. The survey vessel, M/V Malene Østervold, commenced seismic reflection acquisition within a week after receiving the license. This is an infill survey for the survey from 2001, with acquisition parameters specifically designed for sub-basalt imaging with a 10 km streamer towed at a depth of 12 m and a 4,100 cu. inch source at a depth of 10 m.

Multibeam Bathrymetry

A8-2008 – Dataset Overview [2173]

Research in the Dreki Area In June, the ocean research ship Árni Fridriksson set out on an 18-day expedition on behalf of the Marine Research Institute in the northern part of the Dreki Area. The objective was to map the area with a multibeam echo sounder, conduct ADCP current measurements and service both a mooring with current meters and a weather buoy that had been in the area since November 2007. This research was part of an overall project to collect information about the area for the Ministry of Industry in connection with oil and gas exploration.