Project Information
Continuation of Activities for the Support Office for Aerogeophysical Research (SOAR)
Start Date:
End Date:

This award, provided jointly by the Antarctic Geology and Geophysics Program, the Antarctic Glaciology Program, and the Polar Research Support Section of the Office of Polar Programs, provides funds for continuation of the Support Office for Aerogeophysical Research (SOAR). From July 1994 to July 2000, SOAR served as a facility to accomplish aerogeophysical research in Antarctica under an agreement between the University of Texas at Austin and the National Science Foundation's Office of Polar Programs (NSF/OPP). SOAR operated and maintained an aerogeophysical instrument package that consists of an ice-penetrating radar sounder, a laser altimeter, a gravimeter and a magnetometer that are tightly integrated with each other as well as with the aircraft's avionics and power packages. An array of aircraft and ground-based GPS receivers supported kinematic differential positioning using carrier-phase observations. SOAR activities included: developing aerogeophysical research projects with NSF/OPP investigators; upgrading of the aerogeophysical instrumentation package to accommodate new science projects and advances in technology; fielding this instrument package to accomplish SOAR-developed projects; and management, reduction, and analysis of the acquired aerogeophysical data. In pursuit of 9 NSF-OPP funded aerogeophysical research projects (involving 14 investigators from 9 institutions), SOAR carried out six field campaigns over a six-year period and accomplished approximately 200,000 line kilometers of aerogeophysical surveying over both East and West Antarctica in 377 flights.

This award supports SOAR to undertake a one year and 8 month program of aerogeophysical activities that are consistent with continuing U.S. support for geophysical research in Antarctica.
- SOAR will conduct an aerogeophysical campaign during the 200/01 austral summer to accomplish surveys for two SOAR-developed projects: "Understanding the Boundary Conditions of the Lake Vostok Environment: A Site Survey for Future Studies" (Co-PI's Bell and Studinger, LDEO); and "Collaborative Research: Seismic Investigation of the Deep Continental Structure Across the East-West Antarctic Boundary" (Co-PI's Weins, Washington U. and Anandakrishnan, U. Alabama). After configuration and testing of the survey aircraft in McMurdo, SOAR will conduct survey flights from an NSF-supported base adjacent to the Russian Station above Lake Vostok and briefly occupy one or two remote bases on the East Antarctic ice sheet.
- SOAR will reduce these aerogeophysical data and produce profiles and maps of surface elevation, bed elevation, gravity and magnetic field intensity. These results will be provided to the respective project investigators within nine months of conclusion of field activities. We will also submit a technical manuscript that describes these results to a refereed scientific journal and distribute these results to appropriate national geophysical data centers within approximately 24 months of completion of field activities.
- SOAR will standardize all previously reduced SOAR data products and transfer them to the appropriate national geophysical data centers by the end of this grant.
- SOAR will convene a workshop to establish a community consensus for future U.S. Antarctic aerogeophysical research. This workshop will be co-convened by Ian Dalziel and Richard Alley and will take place during the spring of 2001.
- SOAR will upgrade the existing SOAR in-field quality control procedures to serve as a web-based interface for efficient browsing of many low-level SOAR data streams.
- SOAR will repair and/or refurbish equipment that was used during the 2000/01 field campaign.

Support for SOAR is essential for accomplishing major geophysical investigations in Antarctica. Following data interpretation by the science teams, these data will provide valuable insights to the structure and evolution of the Antarctic continent.
Person Role
Blankenship, Donald D. Investigator
Holt, John W. Co-Investigator
Carter, Sasha P. Co-Investigator
Antarctic Earth Sciences Award # 9911617
Antarctic Glaciology Award # 9911617
AMD - DIF Record(s)
Data Management Plan
None in the Database