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Buildings on snow.
Photo Credit: Peter Rejcek
The CTAM field camp near the Beardmore Glacier duing the 2010-11 Antarctic field season. The camp supported upwards of 80 people at one time, with 18 science teams passing through over a two-month period.

CTAM 2010-11

Field camp in Transantarctic Mountains supported 18 science projects

Letters in snow.
Click picture for CTAM photo gallery.

Geologists, paleontologists, glaciologists and dozens of other researchers returned once more to the central Transantarctic Mountains (CTAM) to study a host of scientific mysteries, from the tectonic evolution of the region to the sorts of critters that once lived there millions of years ago. The CTAM field camp, constructed in just 18 days, supported upwards of 80 people at a time, with 18 teams of scientists passing through over the two months the camp operated. Located at an elevation of nearly 6,000 feet, the camp included two helicopters, a Twin Otter airplane and a fleet of snowmobiles that carried the scientists across the region to a variety of field sites, where they collected rock samples for dating and fossils that belonged to vertebrates that lived in Antarctica more than 200 million years ago. Several field camps have been located near the Beardmore Glacier since the 1970s, the most recent being in 2003-04. [See special Antarctic Sun edition from Dec. 28, 2003 Link to PDF file.] The National Science Foundation External U.S. government site, which manages the U.S. Antarctic Program External U.S. government site, funded the camp and associated science.

Sample Image
Graphic Credit: Spicer and Chapman, 1990
This chart shows the time periods covered in this series, along with the global mean temperature.

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