Airborne geophysical exploration of central East Antarctica

Lead Research Organisation: University of Edinburgh
Department Name: Sch of Geosciences

Abstract

Summary in original application

Publications

10 25 50

Related Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Award Value
NE/F016646/1 01/09/2008 31/07/2012 £1,217,552
NE/F016646/2 Transfer NE/F016646/1 01/08/2012 30/09/2013 £11,275
 
Description New bed data for East Antarctica.

Radar data from our programme was submitted to the new BEDMAP2 depiction of subglacial Antarctica. It represents one of the major new datasets collected in Antarctica over the past 10 years, and has changed our appreciation of topography across of large regions of the Antarctic continent.



Evidence for basal water flowing from the ice sheet interior to the ice margin.

Knowing that subglacial lakes exist at the centre of East Antarctica, and that ice streams at the margin are warm based, we interrogated geophysical data to understand evidence for and against basal water flow from the interior to the edge of the ice sheet. This was possible as a consequence of the data collected, and has never been attempted before. We conclude that there is no evidence against water continuous flow and several datasets in support of it. While none are themsleves conclusive, the balance of probability, based on several independent datasets inspected, means it is very likely that water does indeed flow from the ice sheet interior to the margin in east Antarctica.





Evidence for past significant ice sheet change in East Antarctica.

Radar data was used to determine subglacial topography, which revealed major new information on the Antarctic sub-ice landscape. We use this to show that, in the Aurora basin region, significant former ice sheet changes had taken place, at that in previous times the ice sheet in this region has been far smaller.





New gravity and magnetics data, revealing information on the tectonics of the continent.

We have used gravity and magnetics data from our survey of Antarctica, and coupled it to similar datasets in Australia, to show how they have formerly been connected, how major geological faults and tectononics can be seen in both regions, and geology subsequently has influenced long-term ice sheet flow and form since ice sheet inception 34Ma.


Bed topography

We have revealed a major ocean gateway between the Southern Ocean and the Totten Glacier.
Exploitation Route Our work has been featured in TV/Radio and newspapers on several occasions, due to some high level publications that have received media and public interest. We are keen to promote our work in this way and in particular reach out to children in order to inform them about Antarctica, science and the environment. The Antarctic Treaty forbids the exploitation of Antarctic resources. However, the data collected are freely available for anyone to use.
Sectors Environment

URL http://www.geos.ed.ac.uk/research/ICECAP
 
Description ICECAP 2 fieldwork preparation 
Organisation Australian Antarctic Division
Country Australia, Commonwealth of 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution At our meeting in Goa, we undertook a detailed flight plan assessment for Antarctic fieldwork this coming season. It involved analysis of satellite data, to inspect geophysical targets, and flight profiles to best capture the information needed for their analysis.
Collaborator Contribution Previously, US and Chinese colleagues had collaborated to equip a Basler aircraft with geophysical equipment - at no cost to the project. Chinese, US and Indian colleagues will commence fieldwork, with no operational costs to the programme. Australian colleagues will undertake a complementary geophysical programme, utlising the flight planning work, at no cost.
Impact none
Start Year 2015
 
Description ICECAP 2 fieldwork preparation 
Organisation Beijing Normal University
Country China, People's Republic of 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution At our meeting in Goa, we undertook a detailed flight plan assessment for Antarctic fieldwork this coming season. It involved analysis of satellite data, to inspect geophysical targets, and flight profiles to best capture the information needed for their analysis.
Collaborator Contribution Previously, US and Chinese colleagues had collaborated to equip a Basler aircraft with geophysical equipment - at no cost to the project. Chinese, US and Indian colleagues will commence fieldwork, with no operational costs to the programme. Australian colleagues will undertake a complementary geophysical programme, utlising the flight planning work, at no cost.
Impact none
Start Year 2015
 
Description ICECAP 2 fieldwork preparation 
Organisation British Antarctic Survey
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution At our meeting in Goa, we undertook a detailed flight plan assessment for Antarctic fieldwork this coming season. It involved analysis of satellite data, to inspect geophysical targets, and flight profiles to best capture the information needed for their analysis.
Collaborator Contribution Previously, US and Chinese colleagues had collaborated to equip a Basler aircraft with geophysical equipment - at no cost to the project. Chinese, US and Indian colleagues will commence fieldwork, with no operational costs to the programme. Australian colleagues will undertake a complementary geophysical programme, utlising the flight planning work, at no cost.
Impact none
Start Year 2015
 
Description ICECAP 2 fieldwork preparation 
Organisation Durham University
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution At our meeting in Goa, we undertook a detailed flight plan assessment for Antarctic fieldwork this coming season. It involved analysis of satellite data, to inspect geophysical targets, and flight profiles to best capture the information needed for their analysis.
Collaborator Contribution Previously, US and Chinese colleagues had collaborated to equip a Basler aircraft with geophysical equipment - at no cost to the project. Chinese, US and Indian colleagues will commence fieldwork, with no operational costs to the programme. Australian colleagues will undertake a complementary geophysical programme, utlising the flight planning work, at no cost.
Impact none
Start Year 2015
 
Description ICECAP 2 fieldwork preparation 
Organisation Imperial College London
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution At our meeting in Goa, we undertook a detailed flight plan assessment for Antarctic fieldwork this coming season. It involved analysis of satellite data, to inspect geophysical targets, and flight profiles to best capture the information needed for their analysis.
Collaborator Contribution Previously, US and Chinese colleagues had collaborated to equip a Basler aircraft with geophysical equipment - at no cost to the project. Chinese, US and Indian colleagues will commence fieldwork, with no operational costs to the programme. Australian colleagues will undertake a complementary geophysical programme, utlising the flight planning work, at no cost.
Impact none
Start Year 2015
 
Description ICECAP 2 fieldwork preparation 
Organisation Newcastle University
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution At our meeting in Goa, we undertook a detailed flight plan assessment for Antarctic fieldwork this coming season. It involved analysis of satellite data, to inspect geophysical targets, and flight profiles to best capture the information needed for their analysis.
Collaborator Contribution Previously, US and Chinese colleagues had collaborated to equip a Basler aircraft with geophysical equipment - at no cost to the project. Chinese, US and Indian colleagues will commence fieldwork, with no operational costs to the programme. Australian colleagues will undertake a complementary geophysical programme, utlising the flight planning work, at no cost.
Impact none
Start Year 2015
 
Description ICECAP 2 fieldwork preparation 
Organisation Polar Research Institute of China
Country China, People's Republic of 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution At our meeting in Goa, we undertook a detailed flight plan assessment for Antarctic fieldwork this coming season. It involved analysis of satellite data, to inspect geophysical targets, and flight profiles to best capture the information needed for their analysis.
Collaborator Contribution Previously, US and Chinese colleagues had collaborated to equip a Basler aircraft with geophysical equipment - at no cost to the project. Chinese, US and Indian colleagues will commence fieldwork, with no operational costs to the programme. Australian colleagues will undertake a complementary geophysical programme, utlising the flight planning work, at no cost.
Impact none
Start Year 2015
 
Description ICECAP 2 fieldwork preparation 
Organisation University of Bristol
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution At our meeting in Goa, we undertook a detailed flight plan assessment for Antarctic fieldwork this coming season. It involved analysis of satellite data, to inspect geophysical targets, and flight profiles to best capture the information needed for their analysis.
Collaborator Contribution Previously, US and Chinese colleagues had collaborated to equip a Basler aircraft with geophysical equipment - at no cost to the project. Chinese, US and Indian colleagues will commence fieldwork, with no operational costs to the programme. Australian colleagues will undertake a complementary geophysical programme, utlising the flight planning work, at no cost.
Impact none
Start Year 2015
 
Description ICECAP 2 fieldwork preparation 
Organisation University of Delhi
Country India, Republic of 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution At our meeting in Goa, we undertook a detailed flight plan assessment for Antarctic fieldwork this coming season. It involved analysis of satellite data, to inspect geophysical targets, and flight profiles to best capture the information needed for their analysis.
Collaborator Contribution Previously, US and Chinese colleagues had collaborated to equip a Basler aircraft with geophysical equipment - at no cost to the project. Chinese, US and Indian colleagues will commence fieldwork, with no operational costs to the programme. Australian colleagues will undertake a complementary geophysical programme, utlising the flight planning work, at no cost.
Impact none
Start Year 2015
 
Description ICECAP 2 fieldwork preparation 
Organisation University of Texas at Austin
Country United States of America 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution At our meeting in Goa, we undertook a detailed flight plan assessment for Antarctic fieldwork this coming season. It involved analysis of satellite data, to inspect geophysical targets, and flight profiles to best capture the information needed for their analysis.
Collaborator Contribution Previously, US and Chinese colleagues had collaborated to equip a Basler aircraft with geophysical equipment - at no cost to the project. Chinese, US and Indian colleagues will commence fieldwork, with no operational costs to the programme. Australian colleagues will undertake a complementary geophysical programme, utlising the flight planning work, at no cost.
Impact none
Start Year 2015
 
Description ICECAP2 fieldwork 
Organisation Polar Research Institute of China
Country China, People's Republic of 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution UK Scientists defined the field season plan, to undertake the geophysical survey of Princess Elizabeth Land in East Antarctica, to maximize scientific return.
Collaborator Contribution Chinese partners undertook the fieldwork (including logistics, fuel and aircraft time). US partners provided equipment and personnel for the fieldwork.
Impact The first paper was published by the international team in January 2016. Jamieson, S.S.R., Ross, N., Greenbaum, J.S., Young, D.A., Aitken, A.R., Roberts, J.L., Blankenship, D.D. and Siegert, M.J. A large subglacial lake and canyon system in Princess Elizabeth Land, East Antarctica. Geology, 44, 87-90. doi:10.1130/G37220.1 (2016). [Article received worldwide media coverage: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-35303779].
Start Year 2015
 
Description ICECAP2 fieldwork 
Organisation University of Texas at Austin
Country United States of America 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution UK Scientists defined the field season plan, to undertake the geophysical survey of Princess Elizabeth Land in East Antarctica, to maximize scientific return.
Collaborator Contribution Chinese partners undertook the fieldwork (including logistics, fuel and aircraft time). US partners provided equipment and personnel for the fieldwork.
Impact The first paper was published by the international team in January 2016. Jamieson, S.S.R., Ross, N., Greenbaum, J.S., Young, D.A., Aitken, A.R., Roberts, J.L., Blankenship, D.D. and Siegert, M.J. A large subglacial lake and canyon system in Princess Elizabeth Land, East Antarctica. Geology, 44, 87-90. doi:10.1130/G37220.1 (2016). [Article received worldwide media coverage: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-35303779].
Start Year 2015
 
Description Conference presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Academic talk, The polarimetric radar wave and its propagating in anisotropic ice sheet, generated questions during and afterwards

Discussion will influence the papers being written subsequently
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://isaes2015goa.in/docs/Programe%20-%2013%20July_corrections%20marked.pdf
 
Description Inaugural Lecture 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Lots of questions from the public

Emails and twitter questions
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=AwrBT.E48QNWo04AaNhXNyoA;_ylc=X1MDMjc2NjY3OQRfcgMyBGZyA3lzZXRfY...
 
Description Pint of Science 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Many questions from the public about my talk

Emails, and social media contact, from the public about my talk
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://pintofscience.co.uk/event/undiscovered-origins/
 
Description Royal Society Meeting on Subglacial Lake Exploration 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation workshop facilitator
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact International dialogue on the future of Antarctic subglacial lake exploration.
Article in Eos on the findings of the workshop.
A white paper detailing the 20 year future for subglacial lake exploration, fed to the Antarctic Roadmap Challenge to integrate with other long-term plans for exploration.
A Royal Society book to document progress and plans.

A high degree of community shared knowledge.
A meeting with the Korean Antarctic Programme on subglacial exploration.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://royalsociety.org/events/2015/03/subglacial-antarctic-lakes/