Field camp in Transantarctic Mountains supported 18 science projects
Posted April 8, 2011
Last Updated: April 15, 2011
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 .] The National Science Foundation , which manages the U.S. Antarctic Program , funded the camp and associated science.
Graphic Credit: Spicer and Chapman, 1990
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