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XXVII SCAR, Shanghai - Recommendations to SCAR from GSSG GIG " /> " /> Updated:


GIG recommends that SCAR XXVII adopt the following recommendations.

Amendment to the existing recommendation (XXVI-2)

1. Place Names

Noting that the SCAR Composite Gazetteer of Antarctica (CGA):

Also noting the increasing importance being placed on names for operational and research purposes there is a requirement for a greater accuracy of the coordinates

Considering that, in the interests of both scientific clarity and operational safety, the general principle of ‘one name per feature’ should apply for all new feature names;

The Expert Group on Geospatial Information (GIG) recommends to SCAR that:

National Committees, directly or through their national Antarctic naming authority:

  1. refer to the CGA in considering all proposals for new place names;
  2. avoid adding new place names to features already named;
  3. submit all new approved place names to GIG for inclusion in the CGA;
  4. provide existing data to the GIG for inclusion in the CGA.


Amending existing recommendation (XXVI-3)

2. Bathymetric Data

Noting that the lack of bathymetric information in large areas of the Southern Ocean is a limiting factor in bathymetric mapping and nautical charting;

Noting the initiative from the IHO for an improved International Bathymetric Chart for the Southern Ocean (IBCSO)

Further noting the key role of the IHO Data Center on Digital Bathymetry (DCDB) located at the US National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) in Boulder, CO, and the efforts of the IOC/IHO organizations for updating and maintaining the General Bathymetric Chart of the Ocean (GEBCO);

Considering the need for bathymetric maps for the morphological interpretation of the sea-floor structure and general oceanographic studies, the geo-location of scientific data, and the general requirements for precise nautical charts to ensure the safety of navigation in Antarctic waters;

The GIG recommends that:

  1. SCAR supports the acquisition of echo-sounding data on all vessels operating in Antarctic waters and the delivery of the gathered measurements to the IHO DCDB for further use in bathymetric mapping;
  2. wherever possible, vessel transits should be planned through oceanic regions where few bathymetric data exist in order to gather additional bathymetric information.


Amending existing recommendation (XXVI-11)

3. Geodetic and Geographic Information

Noting the Antarctic Treaty Article III (1c) requirements regarding data exchange,

Recognising that the information products produced by the SCAR Geoscience Standing Scientific Group are all derived from the work of National Committees and Programmes:

SCAR recommends that National Committees request National Programmes to provide continuing access for all SCAR members to fundamental geodetic and geographic information, including:


Amending existing recommendation (XXVI-12)

4. Airborne Gravity Data for Geoid Computation

Noting that determination of a high resolution geoid in Antartica benefits research of the ice density of the Antarctic ice sheet, determination of surface elevation relative to mean sea level, and the calibration and validation of satellite missions;

Recognising that there is a major gap in gravity data required for the computation of a high resolution geoid in Antarctica;

Considering the current lack of gravity data, the need to acquire gravity data at close intervals (optimally spaced between 10 and 50 km), that new satellite gravity missions will leave a gap from 82 to 90 degrees south, and that airborne gravity observation is considered the most cost effective and reliable method for collecting data;

SCAR recommends that National Committees request National Programmes:


New Recommendations

5. Geodetic observations at remote locations

Recognising the technological advances being made in low power operation, data storage capacity and data communication at remote Antarctic sites

The Expert Group on Geospatial Information:

Recommends that National Committees, where possible, place long-term GPS observatories on remote bedrock features (as identified by the SCAR ANTEC group – to provide information on the current tectonic motion of the Antarctic plate.


6. King George Island Geographic Information System

Noting the SCAR recommendation XXVI-6 concerning rationalization of scientific activities on King George Island the Geospatial Information Group of Experts

Recognising that a Geographic Information System for the whole island has been produced and is now available on the internet

Recommends that countries with program activities on King George Island should make use of this integrated system for science activity, environmental planning and logistic operations.

And further recommends that National Committees, through their National Programmes, continue providing spatially referenced data to the GIS for the mutual benefit of all National Programmes with activities on the island.