Discovery Metadata System

BEDMAP ice-thickness database


The BEDMAP (Bed Topography of the Antarctic) database contains data collected on surveys over the past 50 years that describe the thickness of the Antarctic ice sheet. This has 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 degrees South 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 degrees South, provides an improved delineation 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.

BEDMAP, Bathymetry, Bed Elevation, Ice Thickness, Water Column Thickness

Basic Information