Geological Map of the Arctic Completed

by Matt Ball on May 8, 2009


A collaborative geological map of Arctic geology across circumpolar countries was completed in November 2008 as part of the International Polar Year. The 1:5,000,000 scale bedrock geology map and related digital data sets relate to the objectives of the Commission for the Geological Map of the World.

The project objectives were to compile details to produce a hardcopy map of the circumpolar Arctic, while also synthesizing data to form a spatial database. The archive will provide the means to create additional digital products. This effort serves as a model for subsurface spatial data collection for other parts of the globe.

The mapping effort includes contributions and data for Sweden, onshore and offshore Russia, the United States in Alaska, Canadian territories Nunavut and Northwest territories, northern Europe, and Greenland. The accompanying vector data include geological contacts, faults, active and extinct spreading ridges. Point features include impact structures, volcanoes, cinder cones and related features, diapirs and kimberlitic rocks.

You can download a free copy of the map from the Natural Resources Canada Geogratis site in MrSid, JPEG2000 and Adobe Acrobat formats.

There’s an interesting story with some background details, and good quotes from the Canadian leader of the project on

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Rosalyn Pereira-Canicula October 12, 2009 at 5:28 pm

We would like to inquire about the Geological Map of Arctic if is it possible to get hold of a digital copy and how much would it cost?

Thank you.

Jinyin J. October 13, 2009 at 6:07 pm

to research of the Actic tectonic history.

Matt Ball October 14, 2009 at 4:10 am

Visit the Geoscience Data Repository for Natural Resources Canada:

Hedy Edmonds January 6, 2011 at 8:54 am

It’s clear how to get a digital copy, but what I can’t figure out is how to get a hard copy/wall poster version. They were listed for sale (“coming soon”) at the CGMW booth at AGU in 2009, but still do not appear to be available.

Matt Ball January 10, 2011 at 8:11 am

Not sure if there is one or that it’s practical to create one in terms of production costs versus demand. As more things move digital, this is an increasing problem. If you’re desperate to get a hard copy, it might be best to source a large-format printing service, although it won’t be cheap.

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