Arctic Coastal Dynamics

7th Arctic Coastal Dynamics Newsletter

May 2007

The purpose of this newsletter is to inform you, as an Arctic researcher interested in coastal dynamics, about the progress and activities of the Arctic Coastal Dynamics (ACD) project.


  1. 6th ACD Workshop, October 22-26, 2006
  2. Science and Implementation Plan
  3. GIS Mini-Workshop and Data Quality Assessment
  4. ACD Data Centre
  5. 7th ACD Workshop and the Arctic Coastal Zones at Risk Workshop, Tromsø, October 1-4, 2007
  6. ACCO-Net Update
  7. Upcoming Meetings

1. 6th ACD Workshop in Groningen, Netherlands, October 22-26, 2006

Participants in the 6th ACD Workshop 

The 6th ACD Workshop took place at the Arctic Centre in Groningen, Netherlands. This workshop marked the end of ACD’s first 5 years, and the beginning of ACD II. The workshop was a great success. Participants worked towards defining science goals and implementation strategies for the next five years of Arctic coastal research. A report summarizing the workshop will be published in the Reports on Polar Research series. Efforts to integrate human dimensions research into ACD activities was bolstered at the workshop when Kathleen Parewick, a coastal community planner, accepted an invitation to join the ACD Steering Committee.

2. Science and Implementation Plan

The ACD II Science and Implementation Plan is currently in review by the Steering Committee and will be released shortly. It outlines the science goals and strategies for achieving them over the next five years of ACD activities, with a focus on the coastal observatory network, mapping of subsea permafrost, modelling of erosion and fluxes in the nearshore, and a project on human response to coastal change. The Science and Implementation Plan will be announced and imade available on the ACD website.

3. GIS Mini-Workshop and Data Quality Assessment

On May 2-4, 2007, Frits Steenhuisen, Rune Strand Odegard, Hugues Lantuit, Paul Overduin and Nicole Couture met in Potsdam, Germany to integrate Svalbard data into the ACD GIS and to plan out the completion and release of the database. Following the 6th ACD Workshop, regional experts were asked to assess the quality of the quantitative data in the ACD GIS database. These assessments are being collected and integrated into the GIS. Release of the GIS is planned for late 2007.

4. ACD Data Centre

To date, the ACD GIS has been maintained by Frits Steenhuisen and housed at the Arctic Centre at the University of Groningen. Frits will shortly be leaving his position at the Arctic Centre to pursue other opportunities and AWI Potsdam will now become the single data centre for the ACD GIS. AWI Potsdam benefits from Frits' legacy: the scaleable format of the coastal GIS and its consistency across the Arctic Seas. We wish him the best in his new functions.

5. The 7th ACD Workshop and the Arctic Coastal Zones at Risk Workshop, Tromsø, Norway, October 1-4, 2007

The Polar Environmental Centre in Tromsø, Norway will host the Arctic Coastal Zones at Risk Workshop on October 1-3, 2007. In conjunction, ACD will hold a oneday meeting on October 4th, 2007. The deadline for expressing interest and submitting an abstract is June 15, 2007. Please send abstracts to: , and indicate whether you wish to be considered for financial assistance (travel, registration, accommodations).

The Arctic Coastal Zones at Risk workshop is being organized by AMAP (Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme), IASC (International Arctic Science Committee), and LOICZ (Land-Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone), with the sponsorship of the International Permafrost Association (IPA). More information is available from the workshop website at:

IASC is offering Young Scientist financial support to help cover the cost of attending the workshop. Please send nominations to and include the candidate’s name, affiliation (institute), and age (under 40 years).

Participants in the Tromso meeting 

6. ACCO-Net Update

ACCO-Net (IPY full proposal #90) is a project to establish an internationally coordinated circum-Arctic network of coastal observatories to monitor physical, ecological, biogeochemical, and socio-economic parameters and processes. It is hoped that ACCO-Net will play a part in the multi-national Sustained Arctic Observatory Network (SAON). ACD has submitted an expression of interest to SAON and an SAON workshop will be held this November. National level IPY proposals for new ACCO-Net observatories or expansion of ACD key sites were not funded in Russia, Norway or Canada. But support for ACCO-Net has come from the European Space Agency, which has awarded imagery to the IPY Arctic coastal observatory effort under a proposal submitted by the ACCO-Net community (PI Overduin). The imagery includes archived and new SPOT images from 1986 until 2008, and ALOS PRISM (Panchromatic triplets) and AVNIR-2 data that will be acquired in 2007 and 2008.

 The project includes 24 ACD Key Sites as well as an additional 17 sites. Immediate potential uses for the data include the creation of digital elevation models (DEMs) at up to 1:25,000 scale and the extraction of coastline positions with 2.5 m ground resolution from the past two decades, including its present position during IPY. Further uses include vegetation indices and landcover classifications. Satellite imagery data will be distributed to the individual regional experts for use in conjunction with the overarching ACCO-Net goals. It is critical that selected key parameters (e.g. coastline position) of the dataset be processed in a uniform manner to allow comparison between sites. The ultimate goal of the project is to assemble a catalogue of coastal observatory sites to serve as a reference and a snapshot of the Arctic coast during IPY.

Example of SPOT imagery (from Bykovsky Peninsula, Laptev Sea)

The ACD regional experts associated with each key site should select archived SPOT satellite images for each observatory site. These images can be browsed using the SPOT online catalogue SIRIUS ( Please use the SPOT catalogue to 1) select SPOT images that cover the coastline at your key site, and 2) confirm the co-ordinates for your site by sending us the SPOT Full Scene descriptions for your sites. To order the ALOS images for 2007 and 2008, we need these accurate co-ordinates for your observatory and key sites! Please send coordinates and selected SPOT scenes to: before June 15, 2007.

Data needs for the imagery will be coordinated at the fall ACD workshop in Tromsø, Norway and a further workshop funded by the International Space Science Institute (ISSI) in the second week of April, 2008 in Bern, Switzerland. The ISSI support is specifically related to the European Space Agency award, and covers the venue, accommodation, and associated workshop costs.

7. Upcoming Meetings

  • International Conference on the Cryogenic Resources of Polar Regions, June 17-20, 2007 in Salekhard, Russia.

  • 7th ACD Workshop at the Arctic Coastal Zones at Risk Workshop, October 1-4, 2007, Tromso, Norway.

  • Arctic Circumpolar Coastal Observatory Network (ACCO-Net) remote sensing workshop, April 7-13 (tentative), 2008, Bern, Switzerland.

  • Ninth International Conference on Permafrost (NICOP), June 29-July 3, 2008, Fairbanks, Alaska. The abstract deadline for NICOP is September 1, 2007. Papers are due six weeks later, on October 15, 2007. ACD plans to sponsor at least one special session on Arctic coastal dynamics at NICOP, and to hold an ACD workshop during the conference.

Edited by: Paul Overduin

Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Science, Potsdam, Germany

and Nicole Couture McGill University, Montreal, Canada


Arctic Portal International Permafrost Association International Arctic Science CommitteeLand-Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone Alfred Wegener Institute

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