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SCAR GSSG - Minutes from WG-GGI Cambridge Meeting " /> " /> Updated:

5-9 August 1996

5 - 9th August 1996


Representatives from 15 Antarctic countries were in attendance as per the list in Attachment 1. In summary :

Members or representatives: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Germany, Japan, Italy, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay

Apologies: T. Eiken, Norway, R.Wonnacott, RSA and Dr Hoshino GSI Japan (who was represented by Dr Yoshida as substitute delegate).

Official Observers: International Federation of Surveyors (FIG), International Hydrographic Organisation (IHO).International Association of Geodesy (IAG)

Additional observers: Australia, Germany, Italy, Russia, United States of America. United Kingdom, New Zealand,

Invited presenters : Ken Jesek OSU, David Vaughan BAS, David Walton GOSEAC, Ian Goodwin GLOCHANT, Charles Swinthinbank.


The Chairman, Mr Drew Clarke, opened the meeting at 0910 on Monday 5 August in the seminar room in the Churchill College, after several room changes, and thanked Janet Thomson, as host country representative, for arranging the meeting.

The program for the Working Group meeting was nominally outlined as:

  1. Rapporteur

John Manning (Australia and IAG observer) was appointed rapporteur for the meeting

1.2 Agenda

The draft agenda as circulated was accepted with the addition of the need to confirm the previously circulated minutes:

Mr Clarke spoke of the intention and design of the agenda and said that the main business of the meeting would focus on the program activities, which would be addressed in two sections:

Dr Cisak and Dr Soudakov asked for the meeting to be condensed as much as possible as they needed to leave on Friday morning.

1.3 Minutes of previous meeting

The minutes of the previous meeting, held in August 1994 at Rome, were confirmed with the following amendments.

1.4 GIANT GPS workshop

Mr Clarke outlined the proposed structure for the GPS workshop on Wednesday 7th August which would primarily focus on the results of the very successful SCAR Epoch95 GPS campaign coordinated by Germany as summarised on the SCAR WG-GGI web site which had been running at AUSLIG for a year. More information on the Epoch95 campaign can be found at

1.5 Feedback on WG-GGI report to SCARXXIII at Rome

Mr Clarke said that he had presented the WG report to the SCAR executive meeting at Rome (as printed in SCAR Bulletin No5 ). Only one recommendation to SCAR was made, the Draft Toponymic Guidelines which were submitted for consideration.

Dr Sievers said that several responses had subsequently been returned to him from member nations and others had been sent to the SCAR executive secretary . Mr Clarke said he would chase these up from the SCAR executive so as to have them available for the agenda item on names which was scheduled for Tuesday.


2.1 GIANT - Convenor Australia

Mr Manning tabled a program report, and spoke of the general progress made with this major project. He commented that some of seven elements as set out on the web page had been more successful than others, and suggested that the future program structure should be reviewed.

Significant highlights of the program have been the successful establishment of the six permanent geodetic sites and the completion of the Epoch GPS field campaigns, especially the SCAR95 GPS survey. Data from the permanent sites have already made a major contribution to the development and maintenance of the IRTF and have been praised by the international geodetic community. Another highlight was the success of the absolute gravity meter campaign at McMurdo in 1995.

2.1.1. Permanent Geodetic observation sites

Mr Manning showed a series of overheads illustrating the current status of permanent geodetic observatories. (Appendix 1)

2.1.2 GPS Epoch Campaigns

The SCAR95 epoch GPS survey coordinated by Germany was a great field success and the follow up data for which processing coordination and analysis was outstanding. This element of GIANT will be the subject of a special half day seminar on Wednesday. Prof Dietrich said that the final results will be presented at that time, together with the status of the SCAR96 campaign for which are still being gathered for processing.

2.1.3. Sea Level

A preliminary listing of all known tide gauge sites has now been installed on the WG-GGI web site. This will record meta data on all sites including geodetic connection information to coastal benchmarks for each individual sea level determination. This directory has been set up by extending the information summarised in IHO publication S59.

Details of the Australian bottom mounted pressure gauge installations is also available on the web via pointers to the Australian Antarctic Division and the National Tidal facility (NTF) web sites. A Southern Ocean sea level Centre was established at NTF with a view to providing information on sea levels in the Southern Ocean.

Six permanent pressure bottom mounted tide gauge sites are currently in operation on the Antarctic continent.

2.1.4. Geodetic Directory

Mr Wonnacott had advised that due to funding restrictions that he could only participate as a corresponding member and apologised that he was unable to attend this meeting.

Little progress was made on this project by South Africa, however Australia has posted an indicative index map and listing of all Australian Geodetic control points. In addition sea level connections to tide gauge benchmarks for all the Australian permanent GPS sites were also put up as an example for development of meta data standard. This information will be linked to the WG-GGI Geographic Information Directory being trialed at USGS.

2.1.5. Geoid & Gravity

Mr Manning said that the maps and background notes on the first two SCAR Geoids was now available on the WG-GGI web site. A new gridded model for interpolation had been developed from OSU91A with a front end program Winter to enable scientist to interrogate the gridded model and calculate n values for any point in Antarctica from the gridded model. This has been developed as a pilot and OSU91A will be replaced by the new DMA geopotential model when it becomes available.

Prof. Sjöberg reported on the need for additional gravity elements to be supplied by members of this and other earth science Working Groups to enable an improved Geoid to be developed. He said that there was still additional gravity around which had not yet been incorporated and mentioned the Russian data archive in St Petersburg. He said the new DMA geopotential would be available for release later this year but of all places on the planet there was a void of gravity information in Antarctica. As Antarctica had become the black hole of earth gravity it may need SCAR support for other space or airborne international gravity programs. Prof Dietrich added that the German satellite gravity CHAMP mission from GFZ was due to fly in 1999 but could only produce long wavelength data so short wavelength data would need to be added by careful airborne campaigns and ground gravity.

2.1.6. Real Time DGPS Stations

Little progress was made in this sub program beyond identifying the USCG specifications for their CORS stations as being the appropriate starting standard. Later Mr Hothem showed details of these standards which would be used to establish the first Antarctic CORS site at Palmer next summer (1996/97). This DGPS approach is likely to be come a significant item in Antarctica over the next decade and the meeting agreed to closely monitor progress and support nations in establishing CORS stations which would produce benefits to field scientists but also generate significant potential safety benefits for shipping and aviation.

2.1.7. Physical Geodesy

This program element was the responsibility of France but unfortunately no report has been received.The meeting noted the importance of connections to sea level by long term recording tide gauges to produce scientific information for climate change and the need to generate geodynamic data to study the internal block structure of Antarctica with remotely operated GPS sites.

2.2 Antarctic Geographic Information Strategy - Convenor New Zealand

Mr Bevin spoke to the activity report, which had been prepared by ICAIR under contract. The key recommendations were:

Mr Bevin said that the standing resolutions had not been reviewed. Mr Clarke said that it was now important for these to be reviewed during this meeting and submitted to the SCAR next week.

2.3 Information Standards - Convenor Norway

Mr Eiken, was unable to attend the meeting and the activity on this program was outlined by Mr Clarke. Additional copies of the proposal for standardising map symbols, data dictionaries, were circulated. The intent was to establish a guideline rather than an obligatory standard

Mr Mullins said that this project needed an urgent outcome as maps were continually being printed in a variety of approaches and the sooner one agreed set is available the better

2.4 Directory of Antarctic Geographic Information - Convenor USA

Mr Mullins presented a progress report on the trial directory work which he has been doing on the WWW and demonstrated the potential for the Directory of Antarctic Geographic Information on this medium. The graphic interface of the US Remote sensing system distribution centre, GLIS, which is linked to a digital data base was shown. Mr Mullins demonstrated the ability to use pointers to easily direct users to other sites such as ICAIR, individual countries geodetic data, or the WG-GGI web site.

He asked for additional comments on the pilot Geographic Directory site. The question of the need for an interim lower-level, electronic mechanism to supplement the INTERNET approach, such as ArcView, was discussed and held over for later consideration.

2.5 Antarctic Digital Database - Convenor UK

Mrs. Thomson reported that, since Bariloche, 450 copies of the CD ROM had been pressed and some 200 free copies of the first edition digital Antarctic Topographic Database had been circulated. Only a few copies had been sold and she was waiting for more definite numbers from SCAR which handled the distribution. She would further advise on the sales and stock.

With regard to the future revision/expansion of the data base, she has been unsuccessful in finding a commercial sponsor to provide funds for manpower resources to commence this work. Despite the desirability of a version 2 revision to correct anomalies she was having resourcing difficulties and could only work incrementally on the project. Paul Cooper said that the data base can be supplied in UNIX but there would be a small charge for the extra conversion work.

The desirability of a corrected generalised small scale map of the whole continent was raised and the variability of data at the national level was discussed. Mrs. Thomson raised the question for consideration before the new program was developed "do we need a new CD or are there other strategies with WWW capabilities now required eg WWW and FTP downloads?"

2.6 Antarctic Place Names - Joint Convenors Italy/Germany

2.6.1 Gazetteer

Dr. Cervellati presented a report on the status of the composite gazetteer program. For the area south of latitude 60, the file contains some 32 621 names entries (about 16,000 actual features) from the official gazetteers of 16 countries and each entry will need validation by the respective country involved. Following discussion he distributed electronic data to each contributing country and a list of anomalies for checking. In conjunction with Dr Ramorino he tabled a printed composite document which will be used to look at position anomalies of names within the gazetteer.

Dr. Cervellati outlined the strategy Italy used to change the key selection for each name record to a purely numerical entry as requested by the meeting in Rome thus avoiding sensitivity concerning the grounds on which the key name was selected

Dr. Cervellati gave the following statistics on multiple named features, although exactly the same name approved by different names authorities was classed as a multiple name.

No. of approvals
6 235
5 404
3 053

The meeting congratulated Dr Cervelletti and Mrs Ramorino on the excellent progress made by Italy on this major project.

2.6.2 Guidelines

Dr. Sievers circulated responses received by him and by SCAR on the proposed International Toponymic Guidelines for the Antarctic submitted to SCAR for consideration in Rome. Mr. Clarke said that these would be discussed in detail the following day as a major agenda item.

2.7 Atlas of Antarctic Stations - Russia

Dr. Soudakov tabled a status report on the Atlas proposal and said that he had received little response to his draft which had been circulated in February 1995. It appears that not many members had received a copy and so had not provided feedback. He continued that he had resourcing problems with this project and would require funding if it was to be produced and printed in hard copy. Mr. Clarke asked members to look at the content of the proposal and give early feedback to Dr. Soudakov. It was thought that an additional digitl version of the atlas should also be considered.

2.8 Antarctic Remote Sensing - Convenor Germany

Dr. Sievers presented a report on the status of radar remote sensing techniques for Antarctica, its satellite data acquisition, availability, geo-referencing and referencing systems. Of particular interest was the potential use of radar imagery for grounding line detection and he tabled an example for the Filchner Ice Shelf

2.9 Bathymetric Data - Convenor Chile

Prof. Villanueva-Lopez presented a program report on uses of bathymetric data, which was established to :

2.10 GIS Projects Directory - Convenor New Zealand

Mr. Bevin presented a report prepared by ICAIR which established a register for GIS projects for population on the ICAIR web site. This included an input meta data standard approach and query form for free text or structured search on the input fields. It was suggested that the register should be advertised throughout SCAR to obtain more input to the register.


Written national reports on Antarctic activities were circulated and each country presented a short summary of highlights and responded to questions arising. Copies of the reports will be made available to members unable to attend and copies are available on request to the Chairman. A list will be put up on the WG-GGI web page with the minutes.

Reports presented were:

Argentina, Australia, Chile, China, Germany, Japan, Italy, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay


4.1 SCAR/COMNAP Planning Group on Antarctic Data Management

Mr. Clarke as the SCAR-nominated co-chair of this ad hoc group and described the work of the group over the past two years, which developed an international strategy for communication between national Antarctic data centres using a DIF-based linkage via INTERNET. Any metadata standards developed by WG-GGI must be compatible with DIF. The WG-GGI could for example, provide records to the Antarctic Master Directory (possibly one each for maps, charts, digital data, analogue imagery, digital imagery, geodetic stations, etc) through local National data centres or centralised through the WG-GGI Directory. Essentially the initial task was now complete with the Antarctic Master Directory site at ICAIR and he was recommending that the ad hoc group be terminated and replaced with a permanent committee of National Data Centre managers. This group would then hold an initial meeting at Christchurch early in 1997.

4.2 Cooperation with the IHO Permanent Working Group on Cooperation in Antarctica (PWGCA)

Mr. Walpole (representing IHO) apologised for Admiral Angrisano for missing the meeting but IHO were forced to move accommodation in Monaco at this time. He reported on success of the INTCHART program which had commenced joint publication (eg the NZ chart) and outlined the schedules for the next two years; 93 charts has been proposed. He also noted that the ADD and the SCOUT program developed for the SCAR composite gazetteer were being used effectively by the IHO. He also circulated a draft copy of the S59 publication which was ready for final publication. The meeting complimented IHO on the growing success of the Antarctic INTChart scheme. Mr. Manning said that he had attended the recent IHO PWGCA meeting in Australia where he had submitted a WG-GGI report and a request for Digital Bathymetric data. He emphasised the benefit in face to face interaction with the IHB at Monaco. Mr Walpole reported that the PWGCA was to become a Regional Commission and that SCAR requests for digital hydrographic data should b submitted through the IHO.


Ian Goodwin, executive secretary of GLOCHANT gave a presentation on the structure and objectives of GLOCHANT in interactively coordinating and promoting involvement of a number of Antarctic climate related programs. He invited WG-GGI to take a leading role in the integration of fundamental geographic data sets to meet Antarctic research requirements into global climate change.

The fundamental digital data sets were :


David Vaughan of BAS presented an initial proposal to upgrade the SPRI bedrock definition published in 1983. the meeting considered that this was an important data set but it needed to be integrated with a surface elevation. Any project of this type logically should be SCAR endorsed to avoid duplication and maximise the resources available.

4.4 RAMP

Ken Jesek from OSU introduced a NSF funded project to produce a planimetric map of Antarctica using Radarsat imagery. He required assistance with ground control points and a DEM of the continent to rectify the Radar imagery. The meeting considered that this project should be SCAR endorsed to avoid duplication and to maximise the joint resources available.


David Walton gave a presentation on the problem of mapping for Specially Protected Areas. Specifications for legal and field use mapping was urgently required by September 1996 and could the WG-GGI help. The concept of how to meet the legal requirements were discussed. The meeting agreed to assist in this task. Mr Clarke asked New Zealand to coordinate a response, with the help of the UK and Australia.

4.6 FIG

Larry Hothem, Chair (1994-1998) of Commission 5 : Geodetic Positioning and Measurement presented an outline of FIG activities and asked if a joint FIG/SCAR session could be arranged during the Brighton FIG meeting 20-24 July 1998. The meeting agreed to consider the benefits arising for such a session.

FIG Web site is :

4.7 IAG

Mr Manning outlined the growing focus on Antarctica by the geodetic science community especially IAG and related science associations. IAG through IUGG is a sister association with SCAR in the ISCU fraternity. The next meeting of IAG will be held at Rio de Janeiro in September 1997 and Prof Dietrich had been appointed convenor of a special session on Antarctic Geodesy. There has been an approached from IAG to make this a joint IAG/SCAR symposium session and the meeting considered this to be an important opportunity for the joint program. This would also be an opportunity for a mini GIANT interperiod meeting.

Prof Dietrich then outlined the five main sections of IAG and the growing interest in Antarctica by special study groups in each commission such as those concentrating on global reference frames, sea level, and gravity. The five sections are :

Prof Sjoberg is the coordinator of the SSG 4.170 Dynamic Isostasy. Despite a new geopotential model about to be released it is accepted that Antarctica is a void in gravity limiting the accuracy of the global Geoid model.

IAG web site is :


This special session was arranged to consider responses from national committees to the draft report tabled at SCAR XXIII in Rome. The meeting was joined by additional invited observers :

Janet Thomson tabled a 1:250 000 map of the Trinity peninsula which had been prepared as a pilot using the principles set out in the one feature one name principle draft guidelines as a cooperative project with Germany and the UK. She explained the approach used in selecting the first applied name and using in its original romanised form. A few anomalies had need special consideration the remainder had fitted within the guidelines. There was extended discussion and the chairman canvassed each country representative in turn on their official approach to the draft guidelines. All present were prepared to accept the one feature one name principle for new names if a practical methodology of checking whether any names had been applied to the feature before approving a new name.

However Russia, United States and Uruguay required to translate the generic part of the name to their language to be acceptable within their existing names policy. This defined a division of opinion and the chairman developed a compromise solution which encouraged the acceptance of the name in its original romanised form but left an option for translation of the generic where necessary.

The meeting accepted advise from John Heap on procedures and options for both Treaty and SCAR options. It decided to ask for SCAR to adopt general principles and to propose their adoption by COMNAP and the Treaty nations.

The chairman developed the following principles :

Further the working group recommends that SCAR, COMNAP and the Treaty formally request to develop comprehensive Antarctic Toponymic Guidelines base on the above principles.

The meeting formally thanked the chairman for his outstanding facilitation on this sensitive item.


Mr Manning as convenor of the GIANT program, facilitated the Symposium, which summarised the results from the 1990-1992 Epoch field GPS surveys, but principally focused on analysis of the SCAR 95 epoch campaign.

The symposium program as advertised on the web was :

GPS SEMINAR - Cambridge

Wednesday 7 August 1996.

0900 - 1230hrs

1. Australian processing of SCAR
1990-1992 Epoch Data. J.Manning 0900 hrs

2. Swedish processing of 1992 data. L.Sjoberg 0915

3. The SCAR95 Campaign : R.Dietrich 0930- 1015
- Objectives
- Data Processing
- Combined solution

Coffee break 1015-1035

4. Scientific interpretation of SCAR95 results : 1035 -1210
- Sensitivity analysis of network H.J.Kutterer
- Geodetic investigations at O'Higgins J.Ihde
- Geodesy, glaciology and geodynamics in the Forster Region R. Dietrich
- Marine geoscientific interpretation H.W.Schenke
- Tectonic movement in Antarctic Peninsula region W.Niemeier

5. Linkages to IAG and other bodies R.Dietrich 1210-1215

6. Future Epoch programs : H.W.Schenke 1215-1225
- SCAR96
- SCAR97
- Other WG requirements

7. Closing Summary J.Manning 1225-1230

The presentations were well received and the GIANT convenor said that SCAR95 was an excellent project producing outstanding results. In closing the symposium the meeting congratulated Prof. Dietrich as program coordinator, and the German institutes involved on the effective field work and the high quality of the processed results.

The results will serve as an excellent base for future reoccupations to validate the GPS positions in ITRF and subsequently produce velocities on the rock sites for geodynamic analysis of the Antarctic Peninsula region.


The chairman reviewed the success and shortcomings of the program structure over the past two years. It was generally felt that the approach had been a considerable success particularly in the integrated GIANT project but individual projects had been working in isolation.

The collaborator groupings were viewed by the meeting as unproductive and the meeting felt that too many scattered projects had been undertaken often with little real effective results. The chairman considered that some fine tuning of the overall structure was required to better achieve the right balance in the overall program objectives

7.1 Program Structure 1996 -1998

The chairman presented a draft grouping of the projects into three main streams similar to the old GIANT approach. Each program would have a coordinator and a series of project managers within the program, all members of WG-GGI would be regarded as potential collaborators. After discussions the meeting approved this general approach and an outline structure was developed. As :

The main components of the programs were summarised as :

Geodesy (GIANT)

Standards & Directories

Geographic Data

7.1.1 GIANT

Project element : Permanent Observatories project manager : John Manning

Objective: Develop a coordinated permanent network of geodetic stations using GPS, VLBI,. absolute gravity, relative gravity and tide gauge techniques and contribute data into global science programs

Target outputs 1996-1998

Program element : SCAR epoch campaigns (project manager Prof Dietrich)

Objective: Manage and integrate summer GPS field campaigns and monitor access to data and results.

Target outputs 1996-1998

Program element : Antarctic Geoid Project manager Prof Sjoberg

Objective: Develop a new Geoid map of Antarctica and recommend n values for scientist from other disciplines using GPS who need conversion to sea level based orthometric heights.

Target outputs 1996-1998

Program element : Antarctic Geodynamics project manager John Manning

Objective: Development of a velocity model for Antarctic tectonics in conjunction with other SCAR working groups

Target outputs 1996-1998

7.1.2 Standards & Directories

Program elements:

7.1.3 Geographic Data

Program elements:

7.1.4 Detailed work programs with progress milestones

The individual programs will be further developed by coordinators in consultation with individual project managers. Work programs should show an objective, a description or outline of the program, and a work plan showing milestones (ie specific outcomes and dates). The Chairman will liaise with program coordinators to develop and circulate the work programs by January 1997 as well as posting on the web site. Progress reports should be provided to all members in July 1997 and then on a six monthly cycle.


8.1 Review of Standing Resolutions

In view of the work program of the Standards and Directories program which would develop extensive standards, Mr Clarke tabled an interim review of the existing standing resolutions and presented a new set of Standing resolutions for submission to SCAR. The meeting noted the need for the extensive review and accepted Mr Clarke's interim proposal with a slight interim modification. (Attachment 3)

8.2 Recommendations to SCAR

The meeting approved three WG-GGI recommendations for SCAR consideration, in summary:

The report to SCAR is shown in Attachment 4.

8.3 Proposed meetings

The WG-GGI decided to propose to SCAR that it holds its next full meeting at XXV SCAR, Concepion Chile in 1998. This meeting should be structured to :

A WG-GGI GIANT symposium is planned at the time of the IAG meeting at Rio in 1997, where a joint IAG/SCAR session will be held in the main conference. The WG-GGI is also considering other mid term meeting possibilities for the Geographic data and the Standards and Directories programs.

8.4 Report to SCAR

The meeting agreed that the Chairman would present the WG-GGI report to the full SCAR meeting next week.


9.1 Election of officers

Discussion took place on the most suitable structures for the working group. The meeting considered that with the development of the three major programs that coordinators for these programs would replace the need for a deputy chair.

Observer Mr Mullen passed a vote of appreciation for the work of the outgoing chairman and the way which he has expertly handled the sensitive issues during this meeting. this was heartily endorsed by the meting. Mr Mullen then conducted an election for the chair for the period 1996-1998 and Mr Clarke was elected for this period. Mr Clarke thanked the meeting for its support and in response to queries clarified the working groups preferred procedures for secretarial assistance which he will employ for the next two years

9.2 Formal meeting closure

The Chairman thanked members for their participation in what was a very productive meeting and closed the meeting at 1245 on Friday 9 August 1996.


  1. All members wishing to use or make GPS campaign data available on INTERNET to contact Prof Dietrich or John Manning for details.
  2. Germany to circulate details of GPS campaign programs SCAR97 and SCAR98 to all WG members.
  3. All members to check draft composite gazetteer and return comments to Dr Cervellati by 31 March 1997. All members will also provide historical details of the approval date or first use on official maps for each approved name
  4. Italy to transport the draft composite gazetteer to a web site with searching capabilities
  5. Chairman to liaise with program coordinators concerning development and distribution of revised program work plans by November 1996.
  6. Coordinators to arrange for six monthly progress reports from program managers for initial circulation and web placement in January 1997.
  7. Chairman to present the WG report to the SCAR Executive.


Minutes of 1994 Rome meeting

Program Reports 94-96

National Reports 1994-96

Other reports

  1. List of WEB site addresses

J Manning


21 August 1996