Windows through the ice: geological maps of the Australian Antarctic Territory

08 February 2013


Fieldworker at Beaver Lake,
Jetty Peninsula in Antarctica
© Geoscience Australia


Much of Antarctica’s geology remains hidden beneath the thick Antarctic ice cap, but our geological knowledge has recently increased following the release of a detailed map which describes some of the rare large exposures of ancient bedrock.

Extending our understanding of this remote part of the world, Geoscience Australia has produced a 1st edition
1:25 000 scale geological map of the northern Jetty Peninsula region in Mac.Robertson Land, Antarctica.

Project Leader Dr Chris Carson said “less than two percent of the Antarctic continent has exposed bedrock not covered by the ice cap, and the new maps provide privileged glimpses into the complex geological evolution of the Antarctic continent”.

“For example, the northern Jetty Peninsula is made up of rocks formed from elevated temperatures and pressures experienced during episodes of titanic geological upheaval over the past billion years, he said.

Mapping these regions helps to fulfill Australia's international commitments under the Antarctic Treaty System to continue to enhance and share our scientific understanding of the Antarctic.

This special-edition series of maps, produced in part from previously unpublished legacy data, also represents important environmental baseline data that will help inform the development of environmental protection and management protocols for the Australian Antarctic Territory.

Future map releases of the Australian Antarctic Territory will include the Beaver Lake region of the Prince Charles Mountains, the Rauer Group near Davis Station and the Windmill Islands near Casey Station.

The northern Jetty Peninsula map was produced in collaboration with the Australian Antarctic Division. It is available free as a PDF download or can be purchased through the Geoscience Australia Sales Centre.

Topic contact: media@ga.gov.au Last updated: October 4, 2013