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SCAR GSSG - Geodesy (GIANT) Program 2002-2004



There are nine projects in the GIANT Program, these are:

  1. Permanent Geoscientific Observatories;
  2. Epoch Crustal Movement Campaigns;
  3. Physical Geodesy;
  4. Geodetic Control Database;
  5. Tide Gauge Data;
  6. Atmospheric Impact on GPS Observations in Antarctica;
  7. Remote Observatory Technologies
  8. Ground Truthing for Satellite Missions; and
  9. Geodetic Advice on positioning limits of special areas in Antarctica

Program Coordinator: Mr John Manning

Program Objectives:

  1. Provide a common geographic reference system for all Antarctic scientists and operators.
  2. Contribute to global geodesy for the study of the physical processes of the earth and the maintenance of the precise terrestrial reference frame
  3. Provide information for monitoring the horizontal and vertical motion of the Antarctic.

A list of the activities within each project of the GIANT Program for the period 2002 to 2004 is given below, the Project Leader and Members are also identified.

1. Permanent Geoscientific Observatories

Project Leader: Australia - Mr John Manning

Members: Italy, USA

Goal: To develop an infrastructure of permanent geoscientific (ie. seismologic, geomagnetic, geodetic and gravimetric) stations to bring all individual networks to a common datum, and to provide geoscientific information for the global monitoring and analysis of natural earth processes.


  1. Extend the network of permanent observatories to include seismic and geomagnetic techniques which provide data for crustal deformation studies
  2. Post details of all permanent sites on web site
  3. Complete and publish cGPS base station specifications - including guidelines for monumentation
  4. Record survey results of accurate local ties between collocated techniques and add to web site
  5. Collaborate with other SCAR scientists to identify requirements for space geodetic sites

2. Epoch Crustal Movement Campaigns

Project Leader: Germany - Prof Reinhard Dietrich

Members: Italy, Chile, Japan, China, Australia, USA


1. To densify the geodetic infrastructure established from the permanent observatories; and

2. To develop a deformation model for surface movement vectors within a common Antarctic reference frame.


  1. Co-ordinate annual continental or regional epoch campaigns
  2. Maintain orderly data archive and data access from these campaigns
  3. Identify and coordinate integration of regional campaigns (eg. TAMDEF and VLNDEF)
  4. Facilitate GPS connections to tide gauge bench marks
  5. Deliver results to ITRF in conjunction with results from permanent observatories
  6. Collaboration with appropriate IAG Antarctic Crustal Deformation Sub-Commission
  7. Integration of solutions using ITRF guidelines
  8. Provide project results to ANTEC

3. Physical Geodesy

Project Leader: Italy - Prof Alessandro Capra

Members: Germany, Australia, Russia, USA, Japan, Canada

Goal: Compilation and analysis of physical geodesy data, for the development of a new high resolution Geoid for the Antarctic.


  1. Compilation of geodetic data and a gravimetric database (using Russian gravity data, ADGRAV database)
  2. Investigate the ADMAP database and link into the Physical Geodesy database
  3. Collaboration with IAG Antarctic Gravity project and SCAR Solid Earth Working Group
  4. Analysis and validation of observations and database specifically BEDMAP, RAMP (AMM1 & 2), airborne radar profiles
  5. Develop a simulation model & geoid model on a test area in North Victoria Land, in collaboration with IGES.
  6. Coordinate with Project 8 on new satellite gravity data mission

4. Geodetic Control Database

Click on this image to access the Geodetic Control Database of Antarctica

Project Leader: Australia - Mr Glenn Johnstone

Members: Germany, UK, USA

Goal: Maintain the master index for Antarctic positional control, including all levels of accuracy


  1. Maintain database and add in newly acquired data
  2. Italy to provide further details on NVL points (photos, etc)
  3. Collaboration with Steffen Vogt for KGI geodetic control
  4. Australia (Henk Brolsma & John Manning) to help develop guidelines for photo identification (collaboration from Jerry Mullins) – October 2002
  5. Publish guidelines for geodetic control identification on web site

5. Tide Gauge Data

Project Leader: Japan - Dr Kazuo Shibuya

Members: Australia, China, Germany, New Zealand, Italy, Russia, USA (Amos), UK (Woodworth), other specialists as required

Goal: To consolidate the collection of and access to Antarctic tide gauge information


  1. Revise information on the web to benchmark values and connections to IGS GPS observations sites GPS stations
  2. Gather information on history of establishment and operation of Antarctic tide gauges
  3. Research and list all permanent and significant tide gauges established for hydrographic information and scientific studies. [Also available is tide gauge instrumentation information and tide gauge reference information
  4. List all known sea level determinations, dates and accuracy estimates for all significant tide gauges
  5. Identify benchmark values and connections to GPS observations sites
  6. Facilitate index data into the Geodetic data base
  7. Post meta data on web
  8. Produce ‘best-practice’ guidelines on establishment and calibrating on bottom mounted and acoustic type gauges in Antarctic conditions.
  9. Investigate GLOSS guidelines and compatibility with Antarctic conditions

6. Atmospheric Impact on GPS Observations in Antarctica

Project Leader: Poland - Dr Jan Cisak

Members: Germany, Italy, USA, Australia (IPS), Norway, China, IGS

Goal: To understand the iononspheric and tropospheric impact of the atmosphere on the quality of GPS observations in Antarctica


  1. Facilitate access to GPS observations from permanent GPS sites and SCAR GPS epoch campaigns for computation of atmospheric delay to GPS signals
  2. Examine the correlation with magnetic storms
  3. Research impact of differing levels of solar and meteorological activity on Antarctic GPS observations
  4. Report on participation in international studies
  5. Report on project findings
  6. Continue collaboration with Iono_WG of IAG
  7. Search for existing research (PhD) that is currently being conducted – may be able to assist with data analysis
  8. Develop recommendations for future GPS observations to minimise impact on GPS network surveys

7. Remote Observatory Technologies

Project Leader: USA - Mr Larry Hothem

Members: Japan (GSI), Australia, Italy, Netherlands (Swartz)

Goal: Identify technology and monitor developments for the deployment of geophysical and geodetic measurement sensors, and ancillary support equipment, at unattended remote (no existing infrastructure for power, shelter and communications) Antarctic localities.


  1. Power generation: monitor and report on developments and experiences in use of solar, wind, fuel cells, and other methods of power generation. Includes information on voltage regulation devices, voltage control devices, temperature sensors, and other ancillary devices used for power systems.
  2. Batteries: compile information on type and make of batteries deployed at remote sites.
  3. Data communications: monitor and report on developments for controlling operations and retrieving data from remote sites via satellite communication techniques, such as IMARSAT, Iridium, ARGIS, etc.
  4. Engineering factors: investigate component heating requirements, static discharge hazards, benefits of redundant systems, solar mounting options, reliability of wind generators, etc.
  5. Annual status report: summarize at end of each austral summer status, developments and experiences in deploying instruments and support systems at remote unattended sites in Antarctica, to include list of stations, names, locations, country sponsor, initial and ending deployment dates, specifics (if available) on hardware deployed, data communication systems (if any), and URLs for additional information. What worked and what failed (why). Provide report to Outreach and Communication Group by March 2003 and March 2004.
  6. Experiences in Arctic polar regions: monitor experiences in deployment of sensors at remote unattended sites. Include in annual status report.
  7. Information dissemination: provide for incorporating at Geosciences SSG website, URLs linking to information on "remote observatory technologies," that will include technical publications, projects reports, manufacturers, key contacts, etc.

8. Ground Truthing for Satellite Missions

Project Leader: Germany - Prof Reinhard Dietrich

Members: Italy, Australia, USA (U of Texas)

Goal: To ensure new satellite missions are integrated with the Antarctic geodetic system


  1. To identify and report on new satellite missions that will provide geodetic data or require geodetic support (eg. ICESAT, CryoSat, Envisat)
  2. Coordinate ground truthing campaigns in Antarctica with other known researchers
  3. Liaison with satellite mission principal investigators and ANTEC
  4. Facilitate the transfer of satellite mission data to the Antarctic community

9. Geodetic Advice on positioning limits of special areas in Antarctica

Project Leader: Chile - Tnt Col Jorge Perez

Members: Germany, Australia, USA

Goal: To provide advice to SCAR, through the Geoscience Standing Scientific Group on the geodetic aspects of protected area definitions.


  1. Undertake a scoping study on how limits are described for protected areas and the accuracy of the coordinates (September 2003)
  2. Liase with former GOSEAC, CEP and other relevant groups
  3. Identify difficulties / problems related to coordinates (September 2003)
  4. Identify pilot project areas (September 2003)
  5. Develop guidelines for surveying and describing limits (SCAR XVIII)

[In Chile a Work Group will be set up consisting of Mrs Loreto Advis, and Mr Carlos Iturrieta, being lead by Tnt Col Jorge Perez. We have developed GPS field work in King George Island as a pilot project area.]