Bedmap2 gives scientists a more detailed view of Antarctica's landmass

March 8th, 2013 in Earth / Earth Sciences
A different view: Antarctica without the ice.


A different view: Antarctica without the ice.

Scientists at the British Antarctic Survey have been working with a host of international collaborators to present the most detailed map yet of Antarctica's landmass. Bedmap2 reveals a landscape of mountain ranges and plains cut by gorges and valleys much deeper than previously seen.

In addition, the map allows scientists to analyse, in much greater detail, the bed below the .

Several features of the bed have been revealed for the first time including a new deepest point. The bed under the Byrd Glacier in Victoria Land is 2,870 metres below sea level making it the lowest point on any of the Earth's .

The map was compiled using datasets collected from radio echo sounding measurements, seismic techniques, satellite readings and cartographic data.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

A number of key statistics emerge:

Peter Fretwell, from the , says: "The new Bedmap shows, with unprecedented detail, the bedrock beneath the ice sheets of Antarctica. Before we had a regional overview of the topography, but this new map, with its much higher resolution, shows the landscape itself; a complex landscape of mountains, hills and rolling plains, dissected by valleys troughs and deep gorges."

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

Dr Hamish Pritchard, co-lead author of the study, says: "The Bedmap2 project is about more than making a map of the landscape. The data we've put together on the height and thickness of the ice and the shape of the landscape below are fundamental to modelling the behaviour of the ice sheet in the future. This matters because in some places, ice along the edges of Antarctica is being lost rapidly to the sea, driving up sea level. Knowing how much the sea will rise is of global importance, and these maps are a step towards that goal."

More information: www.the-cryosphere.net/7/375/2… 13/tc-7-375-2013.pdf

Provided by British Antarctic Survey

"Bedmap2 gives scientists a more detailed view of Antarctica's landmass." March 8th, 2013. http://phys.org/news/2013-03-bedmap2-scientists-view-antarctica-landmass.html