The Arctic Ocean is the last unknown geologic provinces on Earth. The scientific importance of Arctic deep-sea drilling for retrieving paleoceanographic, climatic and tectonic data is well understood, but the lack of adequate site survey data hampers the development of mature drilling proposals. For the precise planning of future drilling campaigns including site selection, evaluation of proposed drill sites for safety and environmental protection aspects, etc., comprehensive site survey data are needed. The lack of good site survey data and age control for existing seismic reflection records is one of the biggest limitations for the development of Arctic Ocean scientific drilling proposals.

In order to plan the future of scientific drilling in the Arctic Ocean the international Magellan workshop “Overcoming barriers to Arctic Ocean Drilling: the site survey challenge”was held in Copenhagen November 1 – 3, 2011. About 33 scientists from Europe, US, Canada, Russia and Korea participated in the workshop. Funding of the workshop was provided by European Science Foundation (ESF); International Arctic Science Committee (IASC)/ Marine Working group; and the European Consortium for Ocean Research Drilling (ECORD).