Collaborative Research: IPY: GAMBIT: Gamburtsev Aerogeophysical Mapping of Bedrock and Ice Targets
This award supports an aerogeophysical study of the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains (GSM), a Texas-sized mountain range buried beneath the ice sheets of East Antarctica. The project would perform a combined gravity, magnetics, and radar study to achieve a range of goals including: advancing our understanding of the origin and evolution of the polar ice sheets and subglacial lakes; defining the crustal architecture of East Antarctica, a key question in the earth's history; and locating the oldest ice in East Antarctica, which may ultimately help find ancient climate records. Virtually unexplored, the GSM represents the largest unstudied area of crustal uplift on earth. As well, the region is the starting point for growth of the Antarctic ice sheets.
Because of these outstanding questions, the GSM has been identified by the international Antarctic science community as a research focus for the International Polar Year (2007-2009). In addition to this study, NSF is also supporting a seismological survey of the GSM under award number 0537371. Major international partners in the project include Germany, China, Australia, and the United Kingdom. For more information see IPY Project #67 at IPY.org. In terms of broader impacts, this project also supports postdoctoral and graduate student research, and various forms of outreach including a focus on groups underrepresented in the earth sciences.
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