A new ice thickness and subglacial topographic model of the Antarctic
Sponsored by:
European Ice Sheet Modelling Initiative
Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research

Data describing the thickness of the Antarctic ice sheet collected on surveys undertaken over the past 50 years have been brought together into a single database. These data have allowed the compilation of a suite of seamless digital topographic models for the Antarctic continent and surrounding ocean. The suite includes grids representing;
  • ice-sheet thickness over the ice sheet and shelves
  • water-column thickness beneath the floating ice shelves
  • bed elevation beneath the grounded ice sheet
  • bathymetry to 60°S including the areas beneath the ice shelves.

    These grids are consistent with a recent high-resolution surface elevation model of Antarctica. While the digital models have a nominal spatial resolution of 5 km, such high resolution is not strictly justified by the original data density over all parts of the ice sheet. The suite does however provide an unparalleled vision of the geosphere beneath the ice sheet and a more reliable basis for ice sheet modelling. The bed elevation DEM, which includes the entire geosphere south of 60°S, provides an improved delineation of the boundary of the boundary between East and West Antarctica and sheds new light on the morphology of the contiguous East Antarctic landmass, much of which is buried below an average of 2500 m of ice.

    Information and Background
    Workshop/Symposia Reports
    BEDMAP ice-thickness database
    View gridded data sets
    Download gridded data sets

    A large format map approximately 100x84 cm has been produced at 1:10,000,000 describing the bed elevation of the Antarctic.

    Lythe, M.B., Vaughan, D.G. and the BEDMAP Consortium. 2000. BEDMAP - bed topography of the Antarctic. 1:10,000,000 scale map. BAS (Misc) 9. Cambridge, British Antarctic Survey.

    For further information and any queries please contact Dr David Vaughan, British Antarctic Survey.