GSA Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington, USA - 2017

Paper No. 71-1
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-5:30 PM


COX, Simon1, SIDDOWAY, Christine S.2, MILLIKIN, Alexie3 and SMITH-LYTTLE, Belinda1, (1)GNS Science, Dunedin, (2)Geology Department, Colorado College, 14 E Cache la Poudre, Colorado Springs, CO 80903, (3)Geology, Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO 80903,

The GeoMap Project is building a detailed digital geological dataset of Antarctica, under auspices of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research ( The initiative aims to develop a continent-wide integrated online resource for cross-discipline use, by capturing existing geological map data and enhancing the spatial reliability of bedrock exposures, glacial sequences and geomorphology. The international team is collaboratively classifying and describing around 72,000 distinct areas that cover 51,000 km2 of ‘known geology’ from rock exposures. The digital map data incorporate first-hand geological field observations and laboratory analyses, published geological maps and literature. Glacial deposits and supraglacial features are an important focus, given their potential to provide underutilized records of ice fluctuations, of relevance to climate change. Our poster highlights: (1) Completed digital map database for the entire Ross Sea region and Marie Byrd Land, created at a scale of 1:250,000 (reaching 1:50,000 resolution, in some cases), with geological attributes assigned to all rock polygons. (2) Local legends and tectonostratigraphic schemes that record geological variations. (3) Progress towards a unified classification scheme. (4) Bibliographic links referencing authors of key original work. A large number of hard-copy geological maps and data sources have been utilized, that range in scale, detail, and quality. There is great potential for the dataset to support new inter- and cross-discipline perspectives, through attribute queries and interrogation of continent-wide time-space plots in the context of cryosphere and biosphere geospatial data. The availability of continent-wide geological map data for Antarctica will allow geospatial research questions to be explored, such as: How does geology influence water, minerals and energy availability to sustain biota? Do rock outcrops serve as refugia for at-risk or invasive species? How do rock outcrops affect ice sheet albedo and influence melting? Does higher resolution continent wide mapping of topography and geology contribute to improved climate-ice sheet models? Do volcanic and ice sheet processes correlate, and with what effects on lithosphere, crust and mantle properties?