The World Map of Extended Continental Shelf Areas depicts areas of ECS asserted by coastal States worldwide, as of the date of publication of this map.  Combined, these ECS areas cover approximately 9% of the ocean’s seabed.

Download World Map of ECS Areas

Sources and Notes

Preferred Citation

U.S. Extended Continental Shelf Project Office, World Map of Extended Continental Shelf Areas, December 2023, version 1.0.

Software

The World Map of Extended Continental Shelf Areas was created in ArcGIS Pro 3.2.

Primary Map Parameters

  • Projection:  Robinson, Central Meridian 25°W
  • Datum:  WGS 1984
  • Scale:  1:100,000,000

Arctic Inset Map Parameters

  • Projection:  North Pole Stereographic, Central Meridian 145°W
  • Datum:  WGS 1984
  • Scale:  1:100,000,000

Data Sources

  • ECS outer limit points:  (1) Deposits made by coastal States to the United Nations, available from the website of the UN Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (DOALOS); (2) Executive summaries of submissions (including revised or amended executive summaries, or addenda thereof) made by coastal States to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS), available from the DOALOS website; (3) Executive summary for the U.S. ECS outer limits, available on the U.S. ECS Project website.
  • Other maritime limits & boundaries:  (1) National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (approved for public release, NGA-U-2023-02852); (2) maritime boundary treaties of coastal States, including those communicated to the United Nations, available from the online database maintained by DOALOS; (3) U.S. ECS Project.
  • Bathymetric data: GEBCO Compilation Group (2023) GEBCO 2023 Grid
  • Topographic data: Natural Earth SRTM Plus Prisma SR-50

Note 1

ECS areas shown reflect the following:

  • Deposits of the coordinates of the outer limits of the continental shelf made by coastal States to the United Nations pursuant to Article 76(9) or Article 84(2) of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea following recommendations made by the CLCS;
  • Submissions (including revised or amended executive summaries, or addenda thereof) made by coastal States to the CLCS; and
  • The U.S. ECS areas described by the United States.

Consistent with the above, the ECS areas shown for most coastal States reflect their respective assertions and not necessarily the recommendations of the CLCS.

Note 2

Coastal States define the outer limits of their continental shelf by straight lines connecting fixed points.  To represent ECS areas, it is necessary to connect the ECS outer limit lines to one or more 200 nautical mile limit lines and/or to established maritime boundaries. In cases where the published coordinate lists did not include such connections, ECS areas were constructed taking into account the information available in coastal State submissions and, if applicable, preliminary information documents.  In some cases, an ECS area was constructed by connecting a terminal ECS outer limit point to either (1) a 200 nautical mile limit by a line of shortest distance or (2) an equidistant line with a neighboring coastal State.

Note 3

Some ECS areas shown are asserted by more than one coastal State.  The areas where the ECS of more than one coastal State overlap are not identified on the map.

Note 4

ECS areas pertaining to Antarctica are not depicted.

Note 5

ECS areas asserted by Nicaragua, the People’s Republic of China (with respect to the East China Sea), the Republic of Korea, and Somalia are partly or entirely located within the 200 nautical mile limits of neighboring States.  These ECS areas within the 200 nautical mile limits of a neighboring State are not depicted.

Note 6

Areas located within the exclusive economic zone limit depicted on the map include all maritime areas within 200 nautical miles, including the exclusive economic zone, continental shelf, territorial sea and, for some coastal States, archipelagic waters and internal waters.

Note 7

Nothing depicted in this map indicates acceptance by the United States government of the ECS or other maritime areas of any coastal State.  Areas of U.S. ECS shown are without prejudice to the delimitation of maritime boundaries between the United States and neighboring States.  Likewise, nothing depicted on this map indicates acceptance of ECS areas by other States.

Questions?

Feedback on the World Map of Extended Continental Shelf Areas can be provided to: OES-Press@state.gov.

U.S. Department of State

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