The story appears on

Page A7

October 27, 2009

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Nation

Scientists to complete land map of Antarctica

SCIENTISTS from China's 26th Antarctic expedition are expected to complete the world's first land cover map of Antarctica at the end of this year.

It will be the most accurate map of the continent, presenting various land features, they said aboard the icebreaker Xuelong.

The research team will collect a wide range of field spectral data to create the map.

The map, with the application of high resolution remote sensing technology, will for the first time in the history show the distribution of key features on the continent, including sea ice, snow, blue ice, rocks, soil marshes, lakes and ice crevices.

Remote sensing technology is one of the most effective ways of mapping. It has been widely used in China's polar expeditions during the past decade and has made great contributions to Antarctic studies in the fields of mapping, biology research and communication.

High precision

The map is also based on 1,073 remote sensing images acquired from the United States satellite Landsat that were taken mainly during the austral summer from 1999 to 2002, Cheng Xiao, deputy dean of the College of Global Change and Earth System Science, Beijing Normal University, said via e-mail.

"The precision of the map is 15 meters, about 20 times more than former Antarctic maps made by other countries," Cheng said. "It will greatly advance our geographic knowledge of Antarctica."

The map will provide not only more accurate ground parameters for scientists to forecast global change or global warming with climate system models, but also important data for detection on changes of Antarctica land cover in a long run, Cheng said.

The 26th expedition team began its journey on October 11 from Shanghai. Xuelong reached Australia's Coral Sea on Sunday.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend