From a geographic standpoint, the primary ASOF domain may be defined as the belt of subarctic seas that connect the Arctic Ocean with the North Atlantic. Specifically, the domain includes the Canadian Archipelago, the Nordic Seas and the subpolar North Atlantic Ocean. Upstream and downstream areas - like the Arctic continental shelves and the western subtropical Atlantic - are also considered in so far as the directly feed, or respond to changes in these regions.
ASOF has a unique geographical coverage, unique international collaboration, and a unique scientific mission. However, it has strong links to SEARCH (ASOF is a sub-program of International SEARCH), CLIVAR (an endorsed program), CliC (an endorsed program), and DAMOCLES (which has substantial overlap with ASOF). Looking ahead ASOF expects to closely work with THOR (as well as ESSAS and AOMIP), among other programs. Note that neither WOCE nor ACSYS provided coverage of the subarctic seas: WOCE did not extend beyond the Greenland-Scotland ridge, or onto continental shelves, and ACSYS was focused north of Fram Strait and the Canadian Archipelago.