New Zealand: A new geological map of southern Victoria Land in Antarctica has been released. Covering 84,600sq km, including the largest ice-free area of Antarctica, it replaces a 1962 map generated by New Zealand geologists Bernie Gunn and Guyon Warren. It features the area between Ross Island and the Polar Plateau, in a region where New Zealand’s earth scientists have made their largest contribution to Antarctica.
The map is the twenty-second and last in a series of major regional geological maps at 1:250,000 scale. The maps, called the QMap series, have been produced at a rate of about one a year since 1995. The southern Victoria Land map has involved a compilation of information from about 500 scientific papers and 190 maps, some dating back nearly a century. In addition, geologists undertook new fieldwork and studied satellite data and aerial photos in areas that were poorly known. More than a dozen external reviewers also provided their input.
“The map is arguably the most comprehensive digital geological map of a defined area of Antarctica,” said Simon Cox, lead author, GNS Science.