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Mapping of ocean floor within the Icelandic EEZ for conservation and sustainable use of the benthic biota
by Marine Research Institute, Reykjavik, Iceland (Government)
The Icelandic EEZ is about 754.000 sq.km, whereof some 713.000 sq.km are 100m depth and beyond. For proper future conservation and sustainable utilization of the ocean floor and its marine biota on and above the bottom, it is important to aquire to the extent possible accurate information of the bottom substrate and the bottom biota.

Only 12% of the ocean floor within the Icelandic EEZ has been mapped with high resolution equipment for this purposes, i.e. some 88.000 sq.km outside the 100m depth contour and some 2.600 sq.km within 100m. Therefore the Icelandic Marine Research Institute will lead a 13 year effort (2017-2029) in mapping the Icelandic EEZ with the help of modern multibeam-ecohosounder technique, that provides information on the bottom surface contours and sub-bottom profilers that will provide information beneath the surface, sediment type and lava structures. Other geological measurements will be conducted in part as the project will develop, such as measurements of magnetism.

It is planned that two platforms will be used for the conduct of this work, 70m long R/V rni Fridriksson that will be operating in waters beyond 200m depth contour and deeper, and the smaller 21m coast guard vessel Baldur. In all, it is estimated that in order to complete the measuring in the year 2029, the larger vessel will operate some 60 days and the smaller one 40 days every year. The estimated total cost of the project is in the range of US $ 31.000.000. Included is basic processing and storing of the aquired information, that will be the responsibility of the Marine Research Institute, but excluded is the cost that may follow and relates to further use of the data and dedicated research projects that are likely to arise when the data is made available for use free of charge to organisations, universities and institutions.
Progress reports
By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans
Type of commitment
  • Integrated Coastal Management
  • Ecosystem-based Adaptation
By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information
Type of commitment
  • Other (please specify): Basis for planning such areas
Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries
Type of commitment
  • Scientific, socioeconomic and interdisciplinary research
  • Scientific cooperation
January 2017
Purchase of new equipment
May 2017
Start of measurements
October 2029
End of measurements
Other, please specify
Purchase of equipment- Jan 2017 US$ 1,6 Million
Other, please specify
US$ 1,0 Million/year 2017-2029 (vessel and equiment)
Staff / Technical expertise
US$ 1,36 Million/year 2017-2029
Basic information
Time-frame: 2017 January - 2029 October
Universities in Iceland Academic institution/scientific community Iceland Geosurvey Scientific community Icelandic Coast Guard Government National Land Survey of Iceland Government Icelandic Institute of Natural History Scientific community National Energy Authority Government The Environment Agency of Iceland Government National Planning Agency Government
Ocean Basins
  • North Atlantic
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Contact information
Hedinn Valdimarsson, Head of Division, hedinn.valdimarsson@hafogvatn.is, +354 5752000
Marine Research Institute, Skulagata 4, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland
Other SDGs
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