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BBAS-AGASEA: Aerogeophysical survey of the Pine Island Glacier and Amundsen Sea Embayment, West Antarctica

Start date
11 December, 2004
End date
21 January, 2005

The BBAS science programme was a British Antarctic Survey-funded project, part of the wider BBAS-AGASEA collaboration between BAS, the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics (UTIG), and the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF).

The aim of the programme was to conduct a systematic geophysical survey of the entire Amundsen Sea embayment using comparable airborne survey systems mounted in Twin Otter aircraft. The BBAS-part of the wider BBAS-AGASEA programme focused on acquiring aero-geophysical data over the poorly surveyed Pine Island Glacier to better understand its subglacial topography and assess its potential instability in the light of climate change. In total, this field campaign collected ~35,000 line-km of aero-geophysical data (including gravity, magnetics and radar data) over the Pine Island Glacier Basin and upper Thwaites Glacier.


Graphical user interface
BBAS survey – Flight coverage
A person sitting in an aeroplane

Tom Jordan

Aerogroup Gravity STEM A

Geology and Geophysics team

A man in front of a research station

Carl Robinson

Head of Airborne Survey Technology STEM A

Antarctic marine engineering team

Twin Otter aircraft

The Twin Otter is a high-wing, twin-engine, turbo-prop aircraft. They are used all over the world and are known for their rugged construction, reliability and short take-off and landing performance. …

Aerogravity system

BAS has developed an aerogravity system that can be mounted in one of its aircraft. The system has been used to collect over 100,000 km of data since it was …

Polarimetric Radar

The radar system is composed of a complex waveform generator, signal processor, data handler and data store. It includes a high power transmitter (up to 66dBm or 4kW), a low …