Polar Record

Research Article

Finding the Arctic pole of inaccessibility

Gareth Reesa1, Robert Headlanda1, Ted Scambosa2 and Terry Harana2

a1 Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, Lensfield Road, Cambridge CB2 1ER (wgr2@cam.ac.uk)

a2 National Snow and Ice Data Center, CIRES, 449 UCB, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado 80309-0449, USA


The Arctic pole of inaccessibility (API), defined as the point on the Arctic Ocean that is farthest from any land, is commonly asserted to lie at 84° 03′ N, 174° 51′ W. We show that the true position is 85° 48′ N, 176° 09′ E, over 200 km from the traditional location. The reason for this error is unknown.

(Received June 2013)

(Online publication August 13 2013)