Geoscience

Extending our outer limits: Canada’s 2019 Arctic Ocean continental shelf submission to the United Nations

The Arctic Ocean is a vast, cold, isolated and utterly fascinating part of the northern hemisphere. Beneath its surface, thousands of metres below, is an extension of our country known as the continental shelf. And now, based on massive amounts of geoscientific data measuring the seafloor, an additional 1.2 million square kilometres could be added to Canada’s land area of 9.98 million km2.

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Living fossils meet modern technology

The world’s oceans in their great vastness support an incredible diversity of aquatic species. But how much do we really know about life beneath the surface? For instance, in the deep waters off the coasts of B.C. and Alaska, a truly unique community of organisms combines to form glass sponge reefs that were once thought to be extinct — a discovery so unexpected that scientists often compare it to finding a herd of dinosaurs still roaming the earth.

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