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Airborne gravity and other geophysical techniques for understanding the lithosphere beneath the West Antarctic Ice SheetAs part of a program entitled Corridor Aerogeophysics of the Southeastern Ross Transect Zone (CASERTZ), an aerogeophysical platform was developed to study the interaction of geological and glaciological processes in West Antarctica. A de Havilland Twin Otter was equipped with an ice-penetrating radar, a proton precession magnetometer, an airborne gravity system, and a laser altimeter. The 60-MHz ice-penetrating radar can recover sub-ice topography with an accuracy of about 10 m through 3 km of comparatively warm West Antarctic ice, while the laser altimeter profiling of the ice surface is accurate to approximately 1 m. The magnetic field observations are accurate to several nT, and the gravity measurements are accurate to better than 3 mGal. The aircraft is navigated by a local radio transponder network, while differential positioning techniques based on the Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites are used for recovering high-resolution horizontal and vertical positions. Attitude information from an inertial navigation system is used to correct the laser altimetry and a digital pressure transducer is used to recover vertical positions and accelerations in the absence of satellite positioning. Continuous base-station observations are made for the differential GPS positioning and the removal of ionospheric noise from the airborne magnetometer measurements.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Bell, Robin E.
(Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory Palisades, NY, United States)
Blankenship, Donald D.
(Texas Univ. Austin., United States)
Hodge, Steven M.
(Geological Survey Tacoma, WA., United States)
Brozena, John M.
(Naval Research Lab. Washington, DC., United States)
Behrendt, John C.
(Geological Survey Denver, CO., United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
July 1, 1993
Publication Information
Publication: NASA. Goddard Space Flight Center, The First Annual West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Science Workshop
Subject Category
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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