I want to define different study areas and want to do this here, for example, using the Nordic Seas.

According to the definition, this area lies north of Iceland and south of Svalbard.

However, are there precise coordinates somewhere that are based on a standardised system (preferably scientifically recognised)?


1 Answer 1


Yes, check the Arctic and Antarctic Regional Masks for Sea Ice and Related Data Products. You will need to create an account to be able to download files (masks), for example in NetCDF format, with spatial definitions of Arctic regional seas. Files are available in multiple resolutions.

Here is a short part of their metadata describing several (sea-ice) regions:

netcdf NSIDC-0780_SeaIceRegions_PS-N25km_v1.0 {
    y = 448 ;
    x = 304 ;
    ubyte sea_ice_region(y, x) ;
        sea_ice_region:_FillValue = 255UB ;
        sea_ice_region:standard_name = "region" ;
        sea_ice_region:long_name = "sea ice region mask" ;
        sea_ice_region:grid_mapping = "crs" ;
        sea_ice_region:valid_range = 0UB, 18UB ;
        sea_ice_region:_Unsigned = "true" ;
        sea_ice_region:flag_values = 0UB, 1UB, 2UB, 3UB, 4UB, 5UB, 6UB, 7UB, 8UB, 9UB, 10UB, 11UB, 12UB, 13UB, 14UB, 15UB, 16UB, 17UB, 18UB ;
        sea_ice_region:flag_meanings = "ocean_no_region_specified central_arctic beaufort_sea chukchi_sea east_siberian_sea laptev_sea kara_sea barents_sea east_greenland_sea baffin_bay_and_labrador_seas gulf_of_st_lawrence hudson_bay canadian_archipelago bering_sea sea_of_okhotsk sea_of_japan bohai_and_yellow_seas baltic_sea gulf_of_alaska" ;
  • $\begingroup$ I take it there's file that aren't just the parts of those that are covered in ice, but the sea shapes themselves? $\endgroup$ Mar 19 at 17:07
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thanks for your answer, but do you know after which rules these borders were choosen? All the best $\endgroup$
    – Weiss
    Mar 19 at 17:28

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