Dr. John K. Hall, visiting scholar at the Center in 2003 and 2004 funded the construction of a hovercraft designed to support mapping and other research in the most inaccessible regions of the high Arctic. The construction of the hovercraft, a 13 m Griffon 2000T called the R/H Sabvabaa, was underwritten by the Blodgett Foundation. The vessel has been operated out of UNIS, a University Centre in Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway since June 2008. Through donations from the Blodgett Foundation, the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping provided a Knudsen 12-kHz Echosounder, a four-element Knudsen CHIRP sub-bottom profiler and a six-channel streamer for the Sabvabaa. Using an air gun sound source, the craft should be capable of profiling the shallow and deep layers of the most interesting areas of the Alpha Rise, a critical component to understanding the origin and history of the Arctic Ocean.
For more information on the R/H Sabvabaa, please visit the hovercraft's website:
Additionally, Dr. Hall's paper entitled, "The R/H Sabvabaa — A research hovercraft for marine geophysical work in the most inaccessible area of the Arctic Ocean," can be found here: