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AORA Seabed Mapping Working Group


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The Atlantic Seabed Mapping International Working Group (ASMIWG) was established by the Trilateral Galway Statement Implementation Committee to identify the steps required to implement a seabed mapping strategy to underpin the objectives of the Galway Statement.

The key objectives include identifying the issues and priorities that need to be addressed by seabed mappers in order to prepare a unified seabed map of the shared Atlantic, focusing on the need for an Atlantic seabed map; to progress data availability, harmonization and standards; and improve communication and sharing of best practices.

The inaugural meeting of the Working Group was held in Brussels on February 24, 2015.

Some achievements to date:

  • Terms of Reference and Rules of Procedure for the Working Group
  • White paper on Improving Sharing, Discovery and Access of Seafloor Data in the North Atlantic
  • White paper on Understanding the characteristics of the seafloor and sub-surface of the North Atlantic – Technology Considerations
  • Establishment of a process to share data
  • A North Atlantic Data Portal and prototype Data Viewer
  • Collaborative Atlantic Ocean Transect Missions
  • Creation of and recruitment into a Research Vessel Coordinator position
  • Scoping of an International seabed mapping pilot
  • Advancements in ocean awareness and ocean literacy


7th Atlantic Seabed Mapping International Working Group Meeting, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH, February 2017.

The Working Group has met a total of 7 times and is working along four main themes:

  1. Leveraging existing ocean exploration knowledge, infrastructure and programs;
  2. Integrating mapping, observation and forecasting initiatives. Communicating sharing of best practice and action on survey planning, a distributed data warehouse, data sharing and seabed mapping outputs;
  3. Mapping the seabed of the Atlantic Ocean (specifically the North Atlantic), and identifying target pilot areas and the minimum data required for reconnaissance; and
  4. Ocean literacy: Raising awareness of the need for mapping the Atlantic Ocean seafloor and the value of trans-Atlantic collaboration, and communicating support for existing Atlantic initiatives, and policies.

The following are members of the Atlantic Seabed Mapping International Working Group:

Andy Armstrong

Co-Director
NOAA/UNH Joint Hydrographic Center.
 USA

Colin Devey

Ocean Volcanism, GEOMAR – Heimholz Centre for Ocean Research. Germany

Tommy Furey

INFOMAR, Advanced Mapping Services, Marine Institute, Ireland.

Paul Brett, Head

School of Ocean Technology, Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University, Newfoundland, Canada

Jennifer Jencks

Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at University of Colorado at Boulder and NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information. USA

Gordon Johnston

International Federation of Surveyors/ Fédération Internationale des Géomètres/ Internaionale Vereinigung der Vermessungsingenieure (FIG), UK

Stephen Locke

Director, Geological Survey of Canada (GSC), Natural Resources Canada.

Nuno Lourenco

Portuguese Institute for the Ocean and Atmosphere (IPMA), Portugal

Larry Mayer

Director, School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering, University of New Hampshire (UNH).  Director of the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping and C-director of the NOAA/UNH Joint Hydrographic Center at UNH.

Glenn Nolan

Secretary General, European Global Ocean Observing System – EuroGOOS, Belgium

Jacques Populus

Ifremer,  France

Terry Schaefer

International Activities Office, Office of Ocean and Atmospheric Research, NOAA. USA

Luis Somoza

Head of Marine Geological Resources Division.,

Geological Survey of Spain (IGME)

Daniel-Constantin Strugariu

European Commission, DG Research & Innovation.

David Wyatt

Assistant Director Survey and Operations, International Hydrographic Bureau, Monaco