Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder

Barry Eakins

Research Interests

  • Scientific and legal analysis of the outer limits of continental shelves
  • Development and evaluation of high-resolution, integrated bathymetric–topographic digital elevation models (DEMs)
  • Impact of DEM gridding techniques and elevation uncertainty on tsunami inundation modeling results
  • Evolution of oceanic volcanic islands, particularly their growth and collapse through submarine landslides
  • Structure and formation of oceanic rifted margins, and evolution of accreting plate-boundaries

Current Research

I am a lead scientist for the U.S. Extended Continental Shelf (ECS) Project. The mission of this multi-agency, decades-long project is to establish the full extent of the U.S. continental shelf, in accordance with the provisions of Article 76 of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The ECS is that portion of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles from shore, which for the United States is almost 1 million square kilometers (roughly twice the size of California). The documentation required to demonstrate that extent totals some 1500 pages, including hundreds of maps and figures. This project is led by the Department of State, NOAA, and USGS, with contributions from numerous other U.S. agencies. Since 2003, NOAA has mapped more than 3 million square kilometers of the ocean floor in support of the project, while USGS has acquired 28,105 linear kilometers of seismic data.

Honors and Awards

  • 2021 CIRES Gold Award “for successful orchestration of seafloor mapping & data science initiatives imperative to fulfill U.S. Extended Continental Shelf (ECS) project goals.”
  • 2016 CIRES Bronze Award “for planning and establishing a multi-departmental U.S. Extended Continental Shelf Project Office to define and document U.S. territorial limits.”
  • 2013 U.S. Department of State Superior Honor Award for “meticulous research and interagency collaboration in leading an Integrated Regional Team of the U.S. Continental Shelf Project.”

View Publications

  • Pockalny R; Barth G; Eakins B; Kelley K; Wertman C. (May 2021). Multiple melt source origin of the Line Islands. Geology. 10.1130/g49306.1
  • Mesick S; Gottfried S; Eakins B; Ruby C; Lienesch A; Edrington C; Varner J; Cromwell M. (Mar 2020). Playing FAIR: Enabling Ocean Exploration Through Open Data Sharing. Oceanography , 33(1), 74-77.
  • Ruby CA; Varner J; Dahl F; Cromwell M; Eakins B. (Jan 2020). Enhanced Geospatial Functionality for NOAA's Ocean Exploration Data. 10.1109/IEEECONF38699.2020.9389136
  • Eakins, B; Gottfried, S; Murphy, P; Lovalvo, D; Sowers, D. (Mar 2019). It Takes a Village! Managing Data from Okeanos Explorer. OCEANOGRAPHY , 32(1). 10.5670/oceanog.2019.supplement.01
  • Amante, CJ and BW Eakins. (Dec 2016). Accuracy of Interpolated Bathymetry in Digital Elevation Models. JOURNAL OF COASTAL RESEARCH. 10.2112/SI76-011
  • Eakins, BW, ML Bohan, AA Armstrong, M Westington, J Jencks, E Lim, SJ McLean and RR Warnken. (Dec 2015). NOAAs Role in Defining the US Extended Continental Shelf. MARINE TECHNOLOGY SOCIETY JOURNAL , 49(2). 10.4031/MTSJ.49.2.17
  • Eakins, BW and PR Grothe. (Sep 2014). Challenges in Building Coastal Digital Elevation Models. JOURNAL OF COASTAL RESEARCH , 30(5). 10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-13-00192.1
  • Hare R; Eakins B; Amante C. (Nov 2011). Modelling bathymetric uncertainty. International Hydrographic Review (6), 31-42.
  • Dunbar, PK, KJ Stroker, VR Brocko, JD Varner, SJ McLean, LA Taylor, BW Eakins, KS Carignan and RR Warnken. (Dec 2008). Long-Term Tsunami Data Archive Supports Tsunami Forecast, Warning, Research, and Mitigation. PURE AND APPLIED GEOPHYSICS , 165(12-Nov). 10.1007/s00024-008-0419-4
  • Coombs M; Eakins B; Cervelli P. (Mar 2006). Growth and collapse of Hawaiian volcanoes. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research , 151(1-3), VII-VIII. 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2005.07.022
  • Eakins BW; Miller SP; Helly J; Zelt B. (Mar 2006). The Fully Electronic IODP Site Survey Data Bank. Scientific Drilling , 2, 40-42. 10.5194/sd-2-40-2006
  • Eakins, B.W. and J. E. Robinson. (Jan 2006). Submarine geology of Hana Ridge and Haleakala Volcano's northeast flank, Maui. , 151.
  • Robinson, J.E. and B.W. Eakins. (Jan 2006). Calculated volumes of individual shield volcanoes at the young end of the Hawaiian Ridge. , 151.
  • van Geen A; Zheng Y; Bernhard JM; Cannariato KG; Carriquiry J; Dean WE; Eakins BW; Ortiz JD; Pike J. (Dec 2003). On the preservation of laminated sediments along the western margin of North America. Paleoceanography , 18(4). 10.1029/2003PA000911
  • Lipman PW; Eakins BW; Yokose H. (Oct 2003). Ups and downs on spreading flanks of ocean-island volcanoes: Evidence from Mauna Loa and Kilauea. Geology (Boulder) , 31(10), 841-844. 10.1130/G19745.1
  • Eakins BW; Lonsdale PF. (Sep 2003). Structural patterns and tectonic history of the Bauer microplate, Eastern Tropical Pacific. Marine Geophysical Researches: an international journal for the study of the earth beneath the sea , 24(3-4), 171-205. 10.1007/s11001-004-5882-4