Thursday, January 24, 2008

Map of the Week 109-Russian Claims in the Arctic

Put in your claim before it's too late! This is an excerpt from a story that appeared on the BBC this past August (2007). The text below the map explains the numbers.

"The Russians are leading a new 'gold rush' in the high north, with a bold attempt to assert a claim to oil, gas and mineral rights over large parts of the Arctic Ocean up to the North Pole."

1) North Pole: Russia leaves its flag on the seabed, 4,000m (13,100ft) beneath the surface, as part of its claims for oil and gas reserves
2) Lomonosov Ridge: Russia argues that this underwater feature is an extension of its continental territory and is looking for evidence
3) 200-nautical mile (370km) line: Shows how far countries' agreed economic area extends beyond their coastline. Often set from outlying islands
4) Russian-claimed territory: The bid to claim a vast area is being closely watched by other countries. Some could follow suit

Some interesting solutions that appear in this story:

The "median line method", supported by Canada and Denmark, would divide the Arctic waters between countries according to their length of nearest coastline. This would give Denmark the Pole itself but Canada would gain as well.

The "sector method" would take the North Pole as the centre and draw lines south along longitudes. This would penalise Canada but Norway and, to a lesser extent, Russia, would gain.


MvW said...

I like the disclaimer at the bottom and may have to start using it on my maps, too. "All locations approximate" covers pretty much everything, doesn't it?

Michael5000 said...

Could you add a link to instructions for how we as individuals can stake our own claims? I want to get in on the action.