The Development of a New Generation Gravity Map of Antarctica
The goal of this project is to develop a Web-based Antarctic gravity database to globally facilitate scientific use of gravity data in Antarctic studies. This compilation will provide an important new tool to the Antarctic Earth science community from the geologist placing field observations in a regional context to the seismologist studying continental scale mantle structure. The gravity database will complement the parallel projects underway to develop new continental bedrock (BEDMAP) and magnetic (ADMAP) maps of Antarctica. An international effort will parallel these ongoing projects in contacting the Antarctic geophysical community, identifying existing data sets, agreeing upon protocols for the use of data contributed to the database and finally assembling a new continental scale gravity map. The project has three principal stages. The first stage will be to investigate the accuracy and resolution of currently available high resolution satellite derived gravity data and quantify spatial variations in both accuracy and resolution. The second stage of this project will be to develop an interactive method of accessing existing satellite, shipboard, land based, and airborne gravity data via a Web based interface. The Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory RIDGE Multi-beam bathymetry database will be used as a template for this project. The existing online RIDGE database allows users to access the raw data, the gridded data and raster images of the seafloor topography. A similar structure will be produced for the existing Antarctic gravity data. The third stage of this project will be to develop an international program to compile existing gravity data south of 60°S. This project will be discussed with leaders of both the ADMAP and BEDMAP efforts and the appropriate working groups of SCAR. A preliminary map of existing gravity data will be presented at the Antarctic Earth Science meeting in Wellington in 1999. A gravity working group meeting will be held in conjunction with the Wellington meeting to reach a consensus on the protocols for placing data into the database. By the completion of the project, existing gravity data will be identified and international protocols for placing this data in the on-line database will have been defined. The process of archiving the gravity data into the database will be an ongoing project as additional data become available.
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