US scientists released what they say is the most accurate high-resolution map of Antarctica ever created.
The new map, referred to as the Antarctic Reference Elevation Model (REMA), was created by scientists at Ohio State University in collaboration with the Polar Geospatial Center at the University of Minnesota and the University of Minnesota. University of Illinois.
It has a resolution of two to eight meters, while typical maps have a resolution of 1000 meters, according to Ohio State University. A larger version of the image can be seen here.
REMA Map of Antarctica. CREDIT: OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY
"It is the highest resolution terrain map of any continent," said Ian Howat, professor of earth sciences and director of the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center at the university.
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"So far we have had a better Mars map than that of Antarctica. the most mapped continent. "
The map and its data will change science in Antarctica, particularly how it is updated, Howat said.
"At this resolution, you can see almost everything: in some places we can actually see variations in the snow and over time we can measure changes in the surface of the continent.
" We will see changes in the snow cover, changes in the motion of the ice, we will be able to monitor river discharge, floods and volcanoes. We will be able to see the thinning of the glaciers. "
With a total file size of over 150 terabytes, the map will help scientists plan journeys on insidious terrains on the continent.
" Change the threshold of this You can do it in the comfort of your office compared to what you had to do Doing in the field, "said Howat.
The map was created using photographs taken from a group of polar satellites.
Software developed by Howat and MJ Noh of the Byrd Center were used to process data on" supercomputers " "and assemble overlapping images.
The project was supported by the NAtional Geospatial Intelligence Agency and the National Science Foundation.