ICECAP

ICECAP (Investigating the Cryospheric Evolution of the Central Antarctic Plate) is the first detailed airborne geophysical survey to cover large areas of central East Antarctica. Extensive radio-echo soundings are enabling us to measure the ice thickness, englacial structure, subglacial topography, subglacial lakes and basal thermal conditions of the region for the first time. Simultaneous airborne magnetic and gravity surveys are giving a first look at the detailed crustal structure of the central Antarctic Plate and aiding in the interpretation of its gross lithology. The collection of this data will fill one of the largest gaps in our knowledge of Antarctica and represents a significant step forward in our understanding of the past, present and future behaviour of the largest ice sheet on Earth.

ICECAP is a fully endorsed programme of the International Polar Year (IPY) and is possible as a consequence of international collaboration. The results will fundamentally advance our understanding of the ice sheet and geological history of Antarctica.

Data will be made available to the scientific community from the ICECAP website and, as with previous collaborative UK-US RES in East Antarctica, they will be a vital resource for many years in the future.





[from the ground]

[International Polar Year] [Natural Environment Research Council] [US Antarctic Program] [Australian Antarctic Division] [NASA OIB] [IPEV]




[season one plan]








Season 2 (2009/10): During season two we will fly radial lines emanating from McMurdo Station (right). This area covers the southern part of the Wilkes Subglacial Basin and links in with work by other groups at Dome C and Vostok. A 50 km grid over the Aurora basin and a 25 km grid over Law Dome and the lower part of Totten Glacier will also be surveyed.










[season three plan]












Season 1 (2008/9): In the first year we will concentrate on lines radiating from the Casey station of the Australian Antarctic Division in Wilkes Land, west of Law Dome (left). This area encompasses the Aurora Subglacial Basin and the grounding line region near the mouth of the Totten Glacier, one of the largest in Antarctica, as well as the Astrolabe Basin where the thickest ice in Antarctica is located.










[season two plan]








Season 3 (2010/2011): In the third season flights out of McMurdo Station will survey a 25 km grid (left) over the southern part of the Wilkes Basin.