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Collaborative Research: IPY: GAMBIT: Gamburtsev Aerogeophysical Mapping of Bedrock and Ice Targets

This award supported 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). The data produced by the AGAP team included laser altimetry of ice surface elevation, ice penetrating radar and gravity, all measured from airborne platforms.

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