Simon Cox1, Matilda Ballinger2, Jacqueline Halpin2, SCAR GeoMAP Action Group3
1GNS Science, Dunedin, New Zealand, 2Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University Of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia, 3www.scar.org/ssg/geosciences/geomap,
The SCAR GeoMap action group has been building a detailed digital geological dataset of Antarctica. We have been capturing existing geological map data, refining its spatial reliability, improving representation of glacial sequences and geomorphology. The initiative is aimed towards continent-wide perspectives and for cross-discipline use, our international team is collaboratively classifying and describing around 72,000 distinct areas that cover 51,000 km2. The dataset will describe ‘known geology’ of rock exposures rather than ‘interpreted’ sub-ice features. Glacial deposits are an important focus for their potential to contain records of ice fluctuations of relevance to climate change. Here we present background on: (1) Degree of completion toward the first version of a continent-wide dataset. All rock outcrops will have geological attributes assigned to them in GeoSciML suitable for use at 1:250,000 (or more-regional) scale. (2) The large number of hard-copy geological maps and data sources, which range in scale and quality. (3) Development of local legends, which highlight geological variation across the region. (4) Progress towards a unified classification scheme. (5) Bibliographic links referencing authors of key original work. (6) Potential for the dataset to provide fresh perspectives, for example, through combined geological legends and interrogation of continent-wide time-space plots. It is our expectation that the dataset will be ideal to constrain and develop models of heat flow in the Antarctic continent.