Dynamic 3D Visualization of Merged Geophysical and Geological Data Sets from the Arctic


Bringing together geophysical and geological data sets in a dynamic 3D-environment can greatly enhance our ability to comprehend earth processes. The relationship between, for example, seafloor topography and measured gravity anomalies can easily be visualized as well as the distribution of magnetic anomalies in oceanic crust and their varying offset due to seafloor spreading. In this presentation the gravity derived from ERS-1 satellite altimetry by Laxon and McAdoo (1994) and the magnetic compilation by Verhoef et al. (1996) of the Arctic Ocean is co-registered with the International Bathymetric Chart of the Arctic Ocean (IBCAO) bathymetry and brought into a dynamic 3D-environment for visualization and analysis. This exercise provides information of great value when we address the geologic origin of the Arctic Ocean physiographic provinces. Furthermore, since the ERS-1 gravity and IBCAO bathymetry are two entirely unrelated datasets the gravity may also be used for validating seafloor features seen in the IBCAO compilation that are based on sparse data. For instance, at the eastern most end of the Gakkel Ridge Axial Valley the IBCAO bathymetry is based on digitized contour information from a Russian bathymetric map published in 1999 by the Russian Federation's Head Department of Navigation and Oceanography (HDNO) with no available trackline sources. In the bathymetry, the Axial Valley is clearly seen to continue towards the continental slope of the Laptev Sea and this continuation is supported by the ERS-1 gravity. Another example of bringing together geological and geophysical data sets is from northern Russia, where huge ice lakes were dammed by the Early Weichselian ice sheet at about 90 000 years ago (Mangerud et al., 2001). The damming resulted from blocking the Russian north flowing rivers, supplying most of the fresh water to the Arctic Ocean, by the Ice Sheet margin. These proglacial lakes are reconstructed in our dynamic 3D-environment based on field data from lake shorelines, the Early Wheichselian Ice Sheet extension and modeled ice thickness of the ice that blocked the rivers and dammed the lakes. A possible catastrophic outburst of one of these lakes, Lake Komi, is currently being tested and 3D-visualization has been of great value for determining possible flow paths. Laxon, S., and McAdoo, D., 1997, Arctic Ocean Gravity Field Derived from ERS-1 Satellite Altimetry: Science, v. 265, p. 621-624. Mangerud, J., Astakov, V., Jakobsson, M. and Svendsen, J. I., 2001, Huge Ice-Age lakes in Russia, Journal of Quaternary Science, v. 16, no. 9, p. 773-777. Verhoef J, Roest WR, Macnab R and Arkani-Hamed J, 1996. Magnetic anomalies of the Arctic and North Atlantic Oceans and Adjacent landmasses, CD-ROM and Report, GSC Open File 3215a/b.


Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping

Publication Date


Journal or Conference Title

Fall Meeting, American Geophysical Union (AGU)


83, Issue 47

Conference Date

Dec 6 - Dec 10, 2002

Publisher Place

San Francisco, CA, USA


American Geophysical Union Publications

Document Type

Conference Proceeding