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  • Metadata record for data from ASAC Project 291 See the link below for public details on this project. From the abstracts of the referenced papers: Ground surveys of the ice sheet in Wilkes Land, Antarctica, have been made on oversnow traverses operating out of Casey. Data collected include surface elevation, accumulation rate, snow temperature, and physical surveys, the data are mostly restricted to line profiles. In some regions, aerial surveys of surface topology have been made over a grid network. Satellite imagery and remote sensing are two means of extrapolating the results from measurements along lines to an areal presentation. They are also the only source of data over large areas of the continent. Landsat images in the visible and near infra-red wavelengths clearly depict many of the large- and small-scale features of the surface. The intensity of the reflected radiation varies with the aspect and magnitude of the surface slope to reveal the surface topography. The multi-channel nature of the Landsat data are exploited to distinguish between different surface types through their different spectral signatures, e.g. bare ice, glaze, snow, etc. Additional information on surface type can be gained at a coarser scale from other satellite-borne sensors such as the ESMR, SMMR, etc. Textural enhancement of the Landsat images reveals the surface micro-relief. Features in the enhanced images are compared to ground-truth data from the traverse surveys to produce a classification of the surface types across the images and to determine the magnitude of the surface topography and micro-relief observed. The images can then be used to monitor changes over time. Landsat imagery of the Antarctic ice sheet and glaciers exhibit features that move with the ice and others that are fixed in space. Two images covering the same area but acquired at different times are compared to obtain the displacement of features. Where the time lapse is large, the displacement of obvious features can be scaled from photographic prints. When the two images are co-registered finer features and displacements can be resolved to give greater detail. Remote sensing techniques can be used to investigate the dynamics and surface characteristics of the Antarctic ice sheet and its outlet glaciers. This paper describes a methodology developed to map glacial movement velocities from LANDSAT MSS data, together with an assessment of the accuracy achieved. The velocities are derived by using digital image processing to register two temporally separated LANDSAT images of the Denman glacier and Shackleton Ice Shelf region. A derived image map is compared with existing maps of the region to substantiate the measured velocities. The velocity estimates from this study were found to correspond closely with ground-based measurements in the study area.

  • This data were collected as part of the Ocean Drilling Program. All data were collected on Leg 119. The cruise for Leg 119 began at Port Louis Harbor, Mauritius, and finished at the Port of Fremantle, Australia. The objective was to complete a transect, along with Leg 120, to study the Late Cretaceous to Holocene palaeoclimatic history of East Antarctic, tectonic history of the Kerguelen Plateau, and the late Mesozoic rifting history of the Indian plate from East Antarctica. Samples are sediments. Good calibration standards for sediments not available. More information can be obtained from the Ocean Drilling Program website. The data obtained from the drilling is available on the Ocean Drilling Program website (see Download Paleontology Data). From the abstract of one of the papers: During Leg 119 of the Ocean Drilling Program, between December 1987 and February 1988, six holes were drilled in the Kerguelen Plateau, southern Indian Ocean, and five in Prydz Bay at the mouth of the Amery Ice Shelf, on the East Antarctic continental shelf. The Prydz Bay holes, reported here, form a transect from the inner shelf to the continental slope, recording a prograding sequence of possible Late Palaeozoic to Eocene to Quaternary glacially dominated sediments. This extends the known onset of large-scale glaciation of Antarctica back to about 36-40 million years ago, the sedimentary record suggesting that a fully developed East Antarctic Ice Sheet reached the coast at Prydz Bay at this time, and was more extensive than the present sheet. Subsequent glacial history is complex, with the bulk of sedimentation in the outer shelf taking place close to the grounding line of an extended Amery Ice Shelf. However, breaks in the record and intervals of no recovery may hide evidence of periods of glacial retreat.

  • In December 2008, the RSV Aurora Australis had an opportunity to visit Heard Island and McDonald Islands. A number of activities took place and included: - An aerial survey (16th December) from the north coast of Red Island (west end) to the end of The Spit. The helicopter flew approximately 1.5 km offshore and at an altitude of about 1900 ft. Then it flew directly to the west coast and surveyed from Henderson Bluff to Kildalke. Video, stereo photos and photos of wildlife colonies and areas of interest were taken. - An aerial survey (17th December) from The Spit travelling along the south coast. Then repeating the aerial survey of the 16th. The survey of the 16th was in dull light and was repeated on the 17th when light was better. - A ship-based survey from Atlas Roads to the north coast of The Spit was made on the 16th December and from Atlas Roads to Red Island on the 17th December. Stereo photos, photos of wildlife and named features and video were taken about 2nm offshore. - A team of people visited Atlas Cove and assessed the huts and ruins, took stereo photos of heritage items and elephant seals. - A small team flew around the Island and assessed and photographed the hut sites. - On the 17th December, the RSV Aurora Australis sailed past McDonald Islands. Visibility was poor so only a few photos were taken. - Water samples were taken for AAS Project 2899. More information is included in documents and spreadsheets, including some GPS locations of where photographs were taken, by whom and photo descriptions.

  • 1992 Wintering Field Season at Heard Island. Taken from the report: Genesis of the Expedition The concept of the 1992 expedition arose from the need to gain access to animals at Heard Island for research at precise times of the year to deploy and retrieve time-depth recorders. An Antarctic Science Advisory Committee workshop on the Southern Ocean Ecosystem was held on 10-11 September 1989 to discuss future plans for ANARE areas of operation. The workshop was attended by myself (KG - Ken Green) and Harry Burton (HRB) for the Land-based Biology section. It became apparent that the two consecutive summers needed to deploy and retrieve the recorders (one leaving Heard Island in the autumn, the next arriving early in the spring) could not be accommodated in the planning process because of planned commitments in the eastern sector of the Australian Antarctic Territory. The suggestion was therefore made by us that if two summers were impossible then perhaps the best solution was a wintering party. A memo to this effect was drafted by us and submitted on 26 September 1989. This was considered at a Heard Island Committee meeting on 18 October 1989 when changes to the shipping program were suggested that would allow two consecutive summers on Heard Island and it was concluded that "this arrangement should.....negate the need for a wintering program in the near future". The suggested rearrangement did not fully match the times required and the Land-based Biology section was loathe to deploy equipment in one summer without guaranteed access to the animals in the following spring. It was felt that this could only be assured if the biologists were on the island through the whole period. An additional advantage was that dietary studies of the main fish predators could be continued throughout the winter period. To this effect the proposal for a wintering party was re-submitted on 26 February 1990 with the suggested personnel being three biologists and three people in support. The proposal was re-submitted in more detail on 4 May 1990 and was examined by the ANARE Annual Planning Committee who referred it to the Assistant Director (Science) to "examine the options for conduct of this program and that following this the Heard Island Planning Committee and to the Assistant Director (Science) who was requested to prepare a paper for distribution to committee members for consideration at a meeting to be held on 17 July 1990. At this point the maiden voyage of the Aurora Australis took place with one aim being to deploy a party of four on Heard Island for a period of one month to undertake research into seals and penguins. This party included two of the subsequent wintering party (see Green 1990). This expedition returned in time for the Heard Island Planning Committee meeting which was held to hear reports on the 1990 expedition and to consider the proposals for 1993. A reduced complement of four expeditioners was suggested in a proposal appearing under the signature of the acting Assistant Director (Science). The committee voted to forward the proposal to the ANARE Annual Planning Committee on 26 July 1990 with the suggested alteration in timing so that the wintering expedition occurred in 1992 rather than 1993 to avoid clashing with science requirements for the Lambert Traverse. The ANARE Annual Planning Committee referred the matter to the executive and on 27 August 1990 the Heard Island Planning Committee agreed to "support a limited winter program on Heard Island in 1992 on the condition that it is to be a purely land-based exercise with work restricted to the Spit Bay area" with "a final decision on the conduct of a Heard Island wintering program (to) be made by the Executive in the near future.". Approval was given at the Heard Island Committee meeting of 24 September 1990, subject to approval by the Antarctic Research Evaluation Group (AREG) of the major programs suggested by the Land-based Biology section. At the Heard Island Planning Committee meeting of 12 December 1990 it was confirmed that AREG had provisionally approved the Land-based Biology programs and that the Executive "have supported the program subject to ASAC endorsement of the three proposals put forward." At this stage the Heard Island expedition was expected to proceed on that basis with additional programs to be considered by AREG. From this point the expedition had sufficient momentum to keep going and subsequent meetings of the Heard Island Committee dealt mainly with questions of logistics, infrastructure and procedures (these are covered in Antarctic Division file number 89/754). The final composition of the personnel for the party was not settled until 14 October 1991. The expedition sailed from Hobart on 8 January 1992 on board the Aurora Australis. Assessments of the possibility of landing by zodiac at Spit Bay were made on 24 and 28 January and on 28 January the party was deployed at Atlas Cove using three inflatable rubber boats. For a narrative of the expedition see the Log (later in the report). Scientific Background A commercial Soviet fishery has existed in the Iles Kerguelen region from the early 1970s and catches averaged about 20,000 tonnes per year between 1979 and 1986, dropping to 7886 tonnes in 1987 and 773 tonnes in 1988. Before 1978, the benthic species Notothenia rossi and N. squamifrons were mainstay of this fishery. The icefish, Champsocephalus gunnari increased in importance after that to constitute the majority of the catch. There has been little commercial fishing around Heard Island, and none since a 200 nautical mile Australian Fishing Zone (AFZ) was declared in 1979 (Williams and Ensor 1988). Catches of icefish by the Soviet research vessel RV Professor Mesyatsev on banks to the north-east of Heard Island indicated concentrations of this species in commercial interest, but other species, including benthic fishes also occurring in the diet of the seals, are not sufficiently abundant for commercial interest at this time (Williams and Ensor 1988). Results from the 1987/88 Heard Island ANARE suggested that there was a potential for competition between the increasing numbers of Antarctic Fur Seals and any future commercial fishery (Green et al 1990). Winter data were, however, lacking. In 1990 the first ANARE expedition to be present on the island into the winter period since the 1954 wintering expedition took place, with the main program being an attempt to examine the winter diet and feeding areas of Antarctic Fur Seals. Subsequent assessment of the diet of Southern Elephant Seals comparing Macquarie and Heard Islands (Green and Burton in press) also showed this species to be a potential competitor, both with Antarctic Fur Seals and with a potential fishery. Bearing in mind the possibility that a request for commercial fishing rights within the Heard Island AFZ might be made in the foreseeable future, probably as an adjunct to the Kerguelen or Antarctic fishery rather than a new venture, a full assessment of the role of fish predators was indicated. The analysis of a potential interaction between wildlife and fisheries depends on the collection of three primary sets of data: the availability of commercial fish species, the diet of the predator, and the spatial overlap in the demands of the two competing interests. The aim of the 1992 ANARE was therefore to collect all of these data. The Marine Science cruises to the area collected data on fish location and relative abundance, continuing the work of previous voyages such as Professor Mesyatsev and the Aurora Australis on its maiden voyage. The work of the shore party would be to investigate the diet of fish predators through scat collections and examination of stomach contents. The main objectives of the 1992 ANARE program on Heard Island were therefore to collect data on the feeding ecology of the major warm-blooded predators of fish in the Heard Island region (excluding whales), to provide baseline data in their ecology in the absence of a nearby fishery, and to provide an estimate of the degree of interaction between these animals and a potential fishery. This was considered to be a major scientific program, both in resources and time and was expected to net valuable scientific information from a very small deployment of personnel. In addition to the main objectives, a number of additional research programs were to be conducted by the wintering party including meteorological observations, glaciology, coastal erosion surveys and marine debris surveys. Field Party Erwin Erb, Medical Officer Ken Green, Biologist Geoffrey Moore, Biologist David Slip, Biologist Attila Vrana, Engineer

  • At Loewe Massif and Amery Oasis, samples were taken; - for sediment analysis (XRF geochemistry and grain size) - for geochronology (cosmogenic isotope analysis). The custodian for these samples is Dr Damian Gore, Macquarie University. Lake sediment samples were taken from Lake Terrasovoje, Radok Lake and Beaver Lake. The custodian for these lacustrine samples is Dr Martin Melles, Leipzig University. The dataset also includes weather/meteorological observations. Further work in project 1071 was also completed as part of PCMEGA. The fields in this dataset are: Date Site Latitude Longitude Time Altitude Temperature Pressure Wind direction Wind Speed Cloud Relative Humidity

  • Report of the 1985 A.N.A.R.E to Heard Island. This document contains the following scientific reports: Zoology - elephant seals, fur seals, General Zoology - leopard seals, fish, insects, birds; Botany - lant communities, lichens and mosses; Limnology - Zooplankton and phytoplankton; Earth Sciences - meteorology, geomagnetism, glaciology, general mapping, general phenomena; Miscellaneous Collections; History; Environmental Impact Assessment; Site Clean up; Building report and Camp inventory; Logistics; Field Operations; Recommendations; Bibliography; Appendix. Taken from the report: The 1985 ANARE to Heard island was of greater duration than any since 1963, although brief stopovers have been made by other ANAREs more recently. It was also the first time since the 1950s that biological research was the major scientific endeavour of two ANARE parties working simultaneously at both ends of the island. This reflects renewed interest in The Territory of Heard Island and The McDonald Islands and its surrounding Exclusive Economic Zone, which has a significant fishery potential. As studies on the population of the Island's Elephant Seals may offer methods of monitoring major changes in the relative balance of high level consumers in the marine ecosystem (See below), the expedition had as its highest priority the thorough censusing of Elephant Seals on the Island over the pupping period, as part of an international program aimed at monitoring the total population of these seals. A census of the whole island, by counting seals hauled out on beaches, necessitated two parties; one at Atlas Cove and the other at Spit Bay. The expedition was also given the tasks of carrying out a limited clean up of the old Atlas Cove camp (following an explicit brief which recognised its heritage value), of making a site survey for the proposed camp, and of producing an Environmental Impact Assessment of the proposed site. Other tasks included the deployment of magnetometers and the regular measurement of absolute magnetic values, a comparative meteorological program at either end of the island, an assessment of seal blubber by ultrasound, a collection of Elephant Seal blood samples for electrophoretic analysis, a Fur Seal census, a botanical survey and a general biology program made up of many small sections.

  • The SCAR Spatial Data Model has been developed for Geoscience Standing Scientific Group (GSSG). It was presented to XXVII SCAR, 15-26 July 2002, in Shanghai, China. The Spatial Data Model is one of nine projects of the Geographic Information Program 2000-2002. The goal of this project is 'To provide a SCAR standard spatial data model for use in SCAR and national GIS databases.' Activities within this project include: 1. Continue developing the SCAR Feature Catalogue and the SCAR Spatial Data Model 2. Provide SCAR Feature Catalogue online 3. Creation and incorporation of symbology 4. Investigate metadata / data quality requirements 5. Ensure compliance to ISO TC211 and OGC standards Source: Spatial data are increasingly being available in digital form, managed in a GIS and distributed on the web. More data are being exchanged between nations/institutions and used by a variety of disciplines. Exchange of data and its multiple use makes it necessary to provide a standard framework. The Feature Catalogue is one component of the Spatial Data Model, that will provide the platform for creating understandable and accessible data to users. Care has been taken to monitor the utility of relevant emerging ISO TC211 standards. The Feature Catalogue provides a detailed description of the nature and the structure of GIS and map information. It follows ISO/DIS 19110, Geographic Information - Methodology for feature cataloguing. The Feature Catalogue can be used in its entirety, or in part. The Feature Catalogue is a dynamic document, that will evolve with use over time. Considerable effort has gone into ensuring that the Feature Catalogue is a unified and efficient tool that can be used with any GIS software and at any scale of geographic information. The structure includes data quality information, terminology, database types and attribute options that will apply to any GIS. The Feature Catalogue is stored in a database to enable any component of the information to be easily viewed, printed, downloaded and updated via the Web.

  • Heard Island Expedition, 16 November 1986 to 21 January 1987, report written by Rod Ledingham, Officer in Charge. Taken from the report: The 1986-87 expedition was the second in a series of three consecutive expeditions planned to conduct new scientific work and to check on changes since the early wintering years from 1948-1954 and more recent sporadic visits by various government and private expeditions. We were dropped off at Heard Island on the 14th November 1986 by the Nella Dan. The main thrust of this expedition was originally to have been geological but this was later expanded to cover biology and archaeology. Transport was provided by three Hughes 500 helicopters, old faithfuls VH-BAD piloted by John Robertson and VH-BAG piloted by Doug Crossan, and a new arrive from NZ, VH-HED flown by Phillip Turner, to provide speedy access to all areas of rock, either coastal or at high altitude on the mountain. Of particular interest to the geologists were the lavas of the January 1985 Big Ben eruption spotted by observers including Dick Williams, on the French vessel Marion Dufresne. Despite some initial doubts about the possibility of flying, or even holding, aircraft at Heard for any length of time, and numerous relatively minor problems with weather and wind blown volcanic sand, the operation went very well and a great deal of new ground was covered, including several flights to the summit of Big Ben and the discovery of a new active crater and the expedition lava flows on the south-western slopes at Cape Arkona. Two geologists accompanied the expedition, Jane Barling and Graeme Wheller. Geological mapping of the whole island was carried out by Jane where access was not too difficult or dangerous. Jane had previously worked on the samples brought back from Long Ridge and the summit by the Heard Island Expedition (private) on Anaconda II in 1983. The original map produced by Ainsworth in 1947 will be greatly improved when the material has been studied in more detail. The second geologist Graeme studied the relationships of the more recent lavas and attempted to get samples from the summit vent. The failure to do so was somewhat ameliorated by the finding of the new lava which it appears had emanated from the summit vent pipe and samples of summit rock were therefore available from 700m above Cape Arkona. Further information about the botanical and biological work is available in the report.

  • The snapshot (originally produced on CD for a conference) was produced by the Australian Antarctic Data Centre for distribution to Heard Island expeditioners in the 2003/2004 season. The snapshot contained all publicly available data held by the Australian Antarctic Data Centre related to Heard Island at the time of production. The snapshot also contained all metadata held by the AADC at the time of production. Furthermore, information is also included from: AADC's gazetteer biodiversity database satellite image archive gis shapefiles heard island wilderness reserve management plan Finally, freely available software needed to browse some of the data are also included.