Buried under miles of ice, Antarctica’s mysterious mountain ranges are coming into sharper focus thanks to a new map.
Created by the British Antarctic Survey, Bedmap2 drew upon millions of new measurements of the frozen continent’s surface elevation, ice thickness, and bedrock topography from a wide variety of sources collected over several decades.
Due to technological advances, Bedmap2 is also higher in resolution, more precise, and covers more of the continent than the original Bedmap, produced more than ten years ago, according to Charles Webb, deputy program scientist for cryospheric sciences at NASA headquarters. Earth’s frozen regions are collectively called the cryosphere.
For example, the original Bedmap relied mostly on ground-based measurements, which limited the scientists in terms of how much land they could cover, Webb noted.