Measured properties of the Antarctic ice sheet derived from the SCAR Antarctic digital database
The completion of the SCAR Antarctic digital database (ADD) has provided a new basis for statistical calculations for Antarctica: data-sets are available at the scale of the original source material, and generalised to 1:1,000,000, 1:3,000,000, 1:10,000,000, and 1:30,000,000. The new descriptive statistics presented are based on the ADD 1:1,000,000 data-set since this is the largest scale at which source maps provided complete cover of the coastline and ice-free areas. The statistics include the total length and proportions of coastline types and the total area of Antarctica with the proportions of its constituent feature types. The areas of the Ross and Filchner-Ronne ice shelves have also been computed. Whilst the total area of Antarctica has remained static compared with previous studies, the relative proportions of coastline types and constituent feature types within the total area show significant changes. In particular the calculated area of ice-free ground is only approximately one-seventh of that often quoted from previous studies. The changes reported result from improved mapping, reinterpretation of data, and actual changes of coastline.