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Summer Institute for Historical Geophysics, Åland Islands


The character and activities of the institute

Publication series: Small Publications in Historical Geophysics

Book: The Changing Level of the Baltic Sea during 300 Years: A Clue to Understanding the Earth

Book: Where on Earth are We? Using the Sky for Mapping the Nordic Countries 1500 - 2000

A few words about the person behind



The character and activities of the institute

The Summer Institute for Historical Geophysics, located on the self-governing Åland Islands in the Baltic Sea, started its activities in 1993. It is my one-man-institute, performing research, issuing publications and now and then giving lectures within the field of historical geophysics. Most of the research is published in the series "Small Publications in Historical Geophysics", in the book "The Changing Level of the Baltic Sea during 300 Years: A Clue to Understanding the Earth" and in the book "Where on Earth are We? Using the Sky for Mapping the Nordic Countries 1500 - 2000".

Originally, the institute mostly operated during summers, but nowadays it operates more or less the year around. (During winters, however, I am mostly occupied with giving lectures in nautical geophysics within the maritime education on Åland.) The institute normally works in the village of Haraldsby, some 500 m from a bay of the Baltic Sea. When the weather is nice I sometimes like working outdoors on a rock at the shore, preferably in the Åland archipelago with a view over the sea and its islands.

The scientific research of the institute deals with historical geophysical data and their use in geophysics as well as history. Emphasis is on the Nordic countries and the Baltic Sea area. Geophysically, the research is concerned with positioning, gravity, postglacial rebound, tides, sea level changes, and climate changes. Historically, it is concerned with the times from the Vikings up till today, with a concentration on the last three centuries. A considerable work has been carried out on the world's longest sea level series, that of Stockholm commencing in 1774, and its relation to climate changes.

Publication series: Small Publications in Historical Geophysics

The institute's series "Small Publications in Historical Geophysics" hitherto contains more than 20 publications, which are accessible below. They are also issued in print; separate copies of these can be ordered free of charge. Further publications in the series are in preparation.

  1. Ekman, M: Postglacial uplift of the Åland Islands, and the world's oldest preserved sea level gauge. 1995.
  2. Ekman, M: Extreme annual means in the Baltic Sea level during 200 years. 1996. (Partly superseded by no. 12 below.)
  3. Ekman, M: Anomalous winter climate coupled to extreme annual means in the Baltic Sea level during the last 200 years. 1997. (Partly superseded by no. 12 below.)
  4. Ekman, M, & Mäkinen, J: An analysis of the first gravimetric investigations of the Earth's flattening and interior using Clairaut's theorem. 1998.
  5. Ekman, M: Long-term changes of interannual sea level variability in the Baltic Sea and related changes of winter climate. 1998. (Partly superseded by no. 12 and 14 below.)
  6. Scherneck, H-G, & Ekman, M: Analysis of tidal observations in the Arctic Ocean made during the Vega expedition. 1999.
  7. Ekman, M: Determination of global sea level rise and its change with time. 2000.
  8. Ekman, M: Computation of historical shore levels in Fennoscandia due to postglacial rebound. 2001.
  9. Ekman, M: An investigation of the tidal conditions at the loss of the world's most impressive sailing ship. 2002.
  10. Ekman, M: The visibility of the midwinter sun at the first Viking settlement in America - calculations compared with the Icelandic sagas. 2002.
  11. Bergström, H, & Ekman, M: A period of anomalous winter climate and the Scandinavian glacier maximum in the 1700s. 2002.
  12. Ekman, M: The world's longest sea level series and a winter oscillation index for northern Europe 1774 - 2000. 2003.
  13. Ekman, M: A royal Swedish-Norwegian Viking fleet conflict studied by postglacial rebound and other calculations. 2004.
  14. Ekman, M: Changes in winter climate variability deduced from the Baltic Sea level, and the winter that never arrived. 2005.
  15. Ekman, M: The first land uplift map that could have been constructed - but never was. 2006.
  16. Ekman, M: A secular change in storm activity over the Baltic Sea detected through analysis of sea level data. 2007.
  17. Ekman, M: CPS - A forerunner to GPS invented by an Åland traveller in the 1700s. 2008.
  18. Ekman, M, & Ågren, J: A study of Tycho Brahe's astronomical latitude determination of Uranienborg using satellite positioning and deflections of the vertical. 2009.
  19. Olsson, P-A, & Ekman, M: Crustal loading and gravity change during the greatest storm flood in the Baltic Sea. 2009.
  20. Ekman, M: An investigation of a pioneering triangulation across the Åland Islands. 2009.
  21. Ekman, M, & Ågren, J: Reanalysing astronomical coordinates of old fundamental observatories using satellite positioning and deflections of the vertical. 2010.
  22. Ekman, M: A geophysical and astronomical analysis of an old painting of the Stockholm sluice. 2011.
  23. Ekman, M, & Ågren, J: A study of Celsius’ astronomical latitude determination of the Uppsala observatory using satellite positioning and deflections of the vertical. 2012.
  24. Ekman, M: Postglacial rebound modelling during 300 years based on Fennoscandian sea level data. 2012.
  25. Ekman, M: An investigation of Celsius’ pioneering determination of the Fennoscandian land uplift rate, and of his mean sea level mark. 2013.
  26. Ekman, M, & Ågren, J: A partial reanalysis of the French arc measurement at the Arctic Circle to prove Newton’s theories. 2013.
  27. Ekman, M: An investigation of the first determination of heights of Nordic lakes above sea level. 2014.
  28. Ekman, M: On the first conformal projection in official topographic mapping. 2015.
Book: The Changing Level of the Baltic Sea during 300 Years: A Clue to Understanding the Earth

A book with the above title is issued by the institute. In this book sea level data from the Baltic Sea spanning nearly 300 years are used to draw conclusions about the Earth as a whole: its interior, its oceans, and its atmosphere. For buyers within the Nordic countries the book can be ordered from www.adlibris.com or other Nordic booksellers; for buyers outside the Nordic countries it can be ordered from an ordinary bookshop or directly from the author (see contact information below). The book is also available here as a pdf file.

Specifications of the book:

Author: Ekman, M
Title: The changing level of the Baltic Sea during 300 years: A clue to understanding the Earth
Publisher: Summer Institute for Historical Geophysics
Year: 2009
Details: Hard cover, 155 pages, 10 tables, 40 figures
ISBN: 978-952-92-5241-1

Book: Where on Earth are We? Using the Sky for Mapping the Nordic Countries 1500 - 2000

A book with the above title is also issued by the institute. In this book data from positionings towards celestial bodies during 500 years are used to draw conclusions about the mapping of the Nordic countries and its development up till today’s satellites. For buyers within the Nordic countries the book can be ordered from www.adlibris.com or other Nordic booksellers; for buyers outside the Nordic countries it can be ordered from an ordinary bookshop or directly from the author (see contact information below). The book is also available here as a pdf file.

Specifications of the book:

Author:Ekman, M
Title:Where on Earth are We? Using the Sky for Mapping the Nordic Countries 1500 – 2000
Publisher:Summer Institute for Historical Geophysics
Year:2011
Details:Hard cover, 138 pages, 17 tables, 25 figures
ISBN:978-952-92-9137-3

A few words about the person behind

I myself am Martin Ekman, raised in western Sweden. I am educated at the University of Uppsala and hold a Ph.D. in geodesy and am a so-called unpaid associate professor in geophysics. I have worked as a geodesist in Sweden, but am nowadays a freelance lecturer, scientist and author on Åland, where I thus run the Summer Institute for Historical Geophysics. Lectures have been given by me primarily for geoscientific state authorities - geodetic, geological, oceanographic and meteorological - mostly in Sweden but also in other Nordic countries. More regular lectures I give within the maritime education on Åland. In addition I have given expert advise to the governments of Åland and Finland concerning Åland's maritime borders according to international law.

My scientific papers, besides the ones above, are published in various international journals (mainly Geophysical Journal International, Journal of Geophysical Research, Pure and Applied Geophysics, Geophysica, Global and Planetary Change, Terra Nova, Bulletin Géodésique and Marine Geodesy). I have also written three text books in Swedish, the first one dealing with reference systems and map projections in geodesy, hydrography and navigation, the second one dealing with astronomical, oceanographic and meteorological variations in sea level, and the third one dealing with atmospheric and oceanic circulations.

If somebody wants to contact me you can reach me by ordinary mail at the address

Martin Ekman
Summer Institute for Historical Geophysics
Äppelträdgården E
Haraldsby
AX - 22 410 Godby
Åland

or by e-mail at the address

martin.ekman[sign]ha.ax.