Skip to main content

A new bathymetric model for the central Fram Strait


Based on data from R/V Polarstern multibeam sonar surveys between 1984 and 1997 high resolution bathymetry has been generated for the central Fram Strait. The area insonified covers approx. 36,500 km2 between 78–80°N and 0–7.5°E allowing the creation of a Digital Terrain Model (DTM) with 100 m grid spacing. The DTM was utilized for contouring and generation of a new series of bathymetric charts (AWI Bathymetric Charts of the Fram Strait, AWI BCFS) at a scale of 1:100,000. The paper starts with a brief introduction to the regional setting of the study area comprising information on the local links between bathymetry, sea ice transport and water mass exchange. The bathymetric feature names used in this article and how they were chosen is outlined. Next, the input data and processing applied are described. Thereafter the newly created grid and contour data are put into context with existing data sets. Finally the main bathymetric features of the area are characterized and the generated data products available for public disposal are specified.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  • Bourke, R., Tunnicliffe, M., Newton, J., Paquette, R. and Manley, T., 1987, Eddy near the Molloy Deep revisited. J. Geophys. Res. 92(C7), 6773–6776.

    Google Scholar 

  • Crane, K., Sundor, E., Buck, R. and Martinez, F., 1991, Rifting in the northern Norwegian-Greenland Sea: Thermal tests of asymmetric spreading. J. Geophys. Res. 96(B9), 14529–14550.

    Google Scholar 

  • Federal Geographic Data Committee: 1998, Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata. Technical Report FGDC-STD-001-1998, FGDC.

  • Gerdes, R. and Schauer, U., 1997, Large-scale circulation and water mass distribution in the Arctic Ocean from model results and observations. J. Geophys. Res. 102(C4), 8467–8484.

    Google Scholar 

  • IHO/IOC: 2001, Standardization of undersea feature names, No. 6 in Bathymetric Publications. International Hydrographic Bureau.

  • Jakobsson, M., Cherkis, N., Woodward, J., Coakley, B. and Macnab, R., 2000, A new grid of Arctic bathymetry: A significant resource for scientists and mapmarkers. EOS Transact. Am. Geophys. Union 81(9), 89, 93, 96.

    Google Scholar 

  • Johannessen, O., Johannessen, J., Sandven, S. and Davidson, K., 1986, Preliminary results of the Marginal Ice Zone Experiment (MIZEX) summer operations. In: Hurdle B. (ed.): The Nordic Seas. Springer Verlag, pp. 665-679.

  • Kwok, R., Schweiger, A., Rothrock, D., Pang, S. and Kottmeier, C., 1998, Sea ice motion from satellite passive microwave data assessed with ERS SAR and buoy data. J. Geophys. Res. 103(C4), 8191–8214.

    Google Scholar 

  • Manley, T., 1995, Branching of Atlantic water within the Greenland-Spitsbergen passage: An estimate of recirculation. J. Geophys. Res. 100(C10), 20627–20634.

    Google Scholar 

  • Meredith, M., Heywood, K., Dennis, P., Goldson, L., White, R., Falbach, E., Schauer, U. and Osterhus, S., 2001, Freshwater fluxes through the western Fram Strait. Geophys. Res. Lett. 28(8), 1615–1618.

    Google Scholar 

  • Schmitz, W., 1995, On the interbasin-scale thermohaline circulation. Rev. Geophys. 33(2), 151–173.

    Google Scholar 

  • Thiede, J., Pfirman, S., Schenke H. and Reil, W., 1990, Bathymetry of Molloy Deep: Fram Strait between Svalbard and Greenland. Mar. Geophys. Res. 12, 197–214.

    Google Scholar 

  • Vinje, T., Nordlund, N. and Kvambekk, A. 1998, 'Monitoring ice thickness in Fram Strait. J. Geophys. Res. 103(C5), 10437–10450.

    Google Scholar 

  • Zhang, J. and Zhang, X., 2001, Heat and freshwater budgets and pathways in the arctic mediterranean in a coupled ocean/sea-ice model. J. Oceanogr. 57(2), 207–234.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Klenke, M., Schenke, H.W. A new bathymetric model for the central Fram Strait. Marine Geophysical Researches 23, 367–378 (2002).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

  • bathymetry
  • Fram Strait
  • multibeam