Report by survey staff on the Lambert Glacier Basin Traverse in summer of 1989/90. Includes original photographic prints.
The Lambert Glacier Basin Traverse was one of the projects included in the 1989/90 summer programme of the Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition (ANARE) that involved significant survey involvement. The project is an important part of the on-going research ... programme of the Glaciology section, Antarctic Division.
The Lambert Glacier is the largest glacier on Earth. Lying in MacRobertson Land of the Australian Antarctic Territory it drains an area almost half the size of Australia. Recent programs by the Antarctic Division have investigated the glacier itself, however to achieve the overall objective of establishing the Mass Budget of the Lambert system and all its related mechanisms, a study of the catchment was necessary. To this end the first of a series of glaciological traverses was undertaken in the 1989/1990 summer season to make various measurements including ice movement, ice thickness, gravity, magnetometer and snow accumulation.
The over snow traverse was effected using three specially built D7H tractors hauling a series of sleds for transport and manned by a party of six. In two and a half months the party, often as two separate units, travelled eight hundred kilometres into the interior of MacRobertson Land along the 2500 metre contour in temperatures ranging between -15 and -38 degrees centigrade.
The first priorities were to set up and accurately position ice movement stations to establish rates of flow into the glacier, and to depot fuel to facilitate further traversing over the next few years. Geodetic measurements were effected using four WM102 dual frequency GPS receivers and two MX1502 Transit receivers in a survey network carefully planned to overcome a series of anticipated problems, many being peculiar to operations in polar regions.