Antarctic Science

Earth Sciences

A new high-resolution bathymetry model for the Terre Adélie and George V continental margin, East Antarctica

Robin J. Beamana1 c1, Philip E. O’Briena2, Alexandra L. Posta2 and Laura De Santisa3

a1 James Cook University, PO Box 6811, Cairns, QLD 4870, Australia

a2 Geoscience Australia, GPO Box 378, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia

a3 Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia edi Geofisica Sperimentale, Sgonico 34010, Italy


The Collaborative East Antarctic Marine Census (CEAMARC) surveys to the Terre Adélie and George V continental margin highlight the requirement for a revised high-resolution bathymetry model that can be used as a spatial tool for improving information on the physical environment of the region. We have combined shiptrack singlebeam and multibeam bathymetry, coastline data, and land and ice sheet topographic data to develop a new regional-scale bathymetry grid, called GVdem (short for George V digital elevation model). The GVdem grid spans an area between 138–148°E and 63–69°S, with a cell pixel size of 0.001-arcdegree (c. 100 m). The revised digital elevation model is a large improvement over previously available regional-scale grids from the area, and highlights seabed physiographic detail not formerly observed in this part of East Antarctica. In particular, the extent and complexity of the rugged inner-shelf valleys are revealed, and their spatial relationship with large shelf basins and adjacent flat-topped banks. The new grid also reveals further insight into the spatial distribution of the submarine canyons found on the continental slope.

(Received December 10 2009)

(Accepted August 05 2010)

(Online publication September 24 2010)