Demarcation Point, Beaufort Sea

Demarcation Point, Beaufort Sea

by | Jul 3, 2020

Demarcation Point is at the end of a 2.5 miles (4 km) long spit between Demarcation Bay and the Beaufort Sea, about 7.5 miles (12 km) northwest of the Canadian Demarcation Line and 63 miles (102 km) southeast of Kaktovik, Alaska. The point was named by Sir John Franklin on July 31, 1826, because it is located at the boundary between then British and Russian dominions on the northern coast of America.

A trading post at Gordon, 2.5 miles (4 km) east of Demarcation Point, was named for Thomas Gordon, who came to the north coast of Alaska from Scotland in 1888 and became a trader. The area was an important winter rendezvous for natives who call it “Pataktak”, meaning “place where ducks fly low”.

The Alaska-Canada border is now about 8 miles (13 km) further east and is marked by the Demarcation Line that represents one of the greatest feats of wilderness surveying in history. From 1904 to 1913, the 1538 miles long (2480 km) boundary line between Alaska and Canada was surveyed and marked by 202 metal obelisks and a clear-cut swath 20 feet (6 m) wide. Read more here and here. Explore more of Demarcation Point and the Beaufort Sea here:

About the background graphic

This ‘warming stripe’ graphic is a visual representation of the change in global temperature from 1850 (top) to 2021 (bottom). Each stripe represents the average global temperature for one year. The average temperature from 1971-2000 is set as the boundary between blue and red. The color scale goes from -0.7°C to +0.7°C. The data are from the UK Met Office HadCRUT4.6 dataset. 

Credit: Professor Ed Hawkins (University of Reading). Click here for more information about the #warmingstripes.

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