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Smooth Sheet Bathymetry of Norton Sound

February 25, 2015

Our smooth sheet bathymetry covers Norton Sound, west to the eastern point of St. Lawrence Island, south to the Yukon River delta, and north along the Seward Peninsula and around the point of Cape Prince of Wales (Fig. 1). The earliest hydrographic surveys in Norton Sound were conducted in the late 1890s and early 1900s; more recent work started again in 1950, and a few modern multibeam surveys have also been conducted in the region.

Observed by Captain James Cook in 1778, Norton Sound was named after Speaker of the British House of Commons, Sir Fletcher Norton (Griffith 1999). The oldest outpost in the area was a Russian trading post at St. Michael founded in 1833, the first Russian settlement north of the Aleutians (Collier et al. 1908, Whymper 1868). Prior to the 1898 discovery of gold at Anvil Creek on the Seward Peninsula, only a few non-Natives were present in the area (Schrader and Brooks 1900). The subsequent gold rush led in 1901 to an influx of 12,000-20,000 people into the area which would eventually become Nome. In just 13 years, over $60 million in gold was recovered from the gold mines at Nome and surrounding sites on the Seward Peninsula (OCS 1990). As of 2010, there were less than 3,600 people living in Nome and less than 10,000 people living in the entire region (U.S. Census Bureau 2010).

Last updated by Alaska Fisheries Science Center on 07/08/2021

Alaska Groundfish Research