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British Antarctic Survey

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  • READER (REference Antarctic Data for Environmental Research) is a project of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR and has the goal of creating a high quality, long term dataset of mean surface and upper air meteorological measurements from in-situ Antarctic observing systems. These data will be of value in climate research and climate change investigations. The primary sources of data are the Antarctic research stations and automatic weather stations. Data from mobile platforms, such as ships and drifting buoys are not being collected since our goal is to derive time series of data at fixed locations. Surface and upper air data are being collected and the principal statistics derived are monthly and annual means. Daily data will not be provided in order to keep the data set to a manageable size. With the resources available to the project, it is clearly not possible to collect all the information that could be required by the whole range of investigations into change in the Antarctic. Instead a key set of meteorological variables (surface temperature, mean sea level pressure and surface wind speed, and upper air temperature, geopotential height and wind speed at standard levels) are being assembled and a definitive set of measurements presented for use by researchers. A lot of stations have been operated in the Antarctic over the years; many for quite short periods. However, our goal here is to provide information on the long time series that can provide insight into change in the Antarctic. So to be included, the record from a station must extend for 25 years, although not necessarily in a continuous period, or be currently in operation and have operated for the last 10 years. In READER we have chosen to use only data from year-round stations.

  • Automatic data loggers are often used to monitor environmental variables such as temperature (of air and soil), humidity, wind speed and radiation in microclimates where experimental or ecological studies are being carried out. Some loggers are only in operation for a few weeks or months while others have been run for several years. Loggers have been sited in a wide variety of locations from the sub-Antarctic (South Georgia), South Orkney Islands (Signy) various Peninsula sites (as far south as Alexander Island - 70S), and some continental localities (e.g. Victoria Land). These form an important data resource to the climate conditions experienced by Antarctic terrestrial organisms. Various types of logger are used. Sensors tend to be deployed at or near ground level and in and around particular types of vegetation, or other experimental sites, such as cloches. Loggers used include Grant, Delta-T, Campbell and Squirrels. Victoria Land data for Kay Island and Edmonson Point in 1995 and 1996 was collected under the BIOTEX 1 experiment of the SCAR BIOTAS (Biological Investigations of Terrestrial Antarctic Systems) Programme. An overview of BIOTEX is available as a PDF file.

  • The British Antarctic Survey holds one of the most extensive collections of Antarctic rocks and fossils anywhere in the world. These are predominately from the Antarctic Peninsula region and Scotia Arc, although there is also important material from areas such as the Ellsworth Mountains, Marie Byrd Land and the Transantarctic Mountains. Some of these specimens go back to the very earliest days of the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey in the 1940s, and include collections made by the pioneer geologists at bases such as Hope Bay and Deception Island. Right from the outset, every specimen collected in Antarctica has been numbered and catalogued, and a vast reference archive is now available for use by the geoscience community. We currently have information relating to 150,000 field samples often with associated analysis data such as geochemistry. Additionally we hold a variety of data for nearly 500 marine cores. Metadata and data are stored digitally within a number of Oracle 10g database tables and for some datasets such as the type and figured fossil collection there is external access through a web interface. However, a significant number of datasets exist only in analog form and are held within the BAS archives organised by individual geologist. This abstract acts as an overview of the BAS geological data - both terrestrial and marine.

  • Biologically relevant radiation has been recorded since February 1997 using a Bentham spectroradiometer at Rothera. The Bentham spectroradiometer is sited on the roof of the Bonner Laboratory at Rothera. It measures spectral global irradiance between 280 and 600 nm (wavelengths from below UV-B to the middle of the visible range) with a step size of 0.5 nm and a resolution of 1 nm. Scans are recorded at various time intervals depending on the time of day and season peaking at every 30 minutes while the sun is above the horizon from the beginning of September until the end of April. These scans can be used to measure the amount of solar radiation reaching the earth''s surface at Rothera. It provides particularly useful background data for studies on the effects of increased UV-B, due to the ozone hole, on the plants and microbes in regions around Rothera.

  • These spreadsheets contain the EME-AFC fractional crystallisation and assimilation model discussed in Burton-Johnson et al. (2019). EME-AFC is based on the model of Grove and Donnelly-Nolan (1986) but developed to model expected variation of all major and minor elements of each fractionating phase whilst simultaneously modelling the trace elements and isotopic compositions of the fractionating assemblage, evolving melt and bulk cumulate composition. These spreadsheets are supplementary to the following manuscript. For further details refer to the manuscript and its supplementary material: Burton-Johnson, A., Macpherson, C. G., Ottley, C. J., Nowell, G. M. & Boyce, A. J. (2019). Generation of the Mt Kinabalu granite by crustal contamination of intraplate magma modelled by Equilibrated Major Element Assimilation with Fractional Crystallisation (EME-AFC). Journal of Petrology. Two files are included: a blank template for completion by the user and, for illustrative purposes, a completed spreadsheet containing the data used to model the evolution of Mt Kinabalu, Borneo.

  • This data set contains bed and surface elevation picks derived from airborne radar collected during the WISE/ISODYN project. This collaborative UK/Italian project collected ~ 61000 line km of new aerogeophysical data during the 2005/2006 austral summer, over the previously poorly surveyed Wilkes subglacial basin, Dome C, George V Land and Northern Victoria Land.

  • The number of Fur and Elephant seals around the base on Signy Island have been counted daily between January and March since 1992. Details of the area counted are given in the 1992 Seal Mammal report (AD6/2H/1992/NM3).

  • Rock samples were collected from the northern LeMay Range, southern Douglas Range and the Lully Foothills of Alexander Island during the 2004-2005 field season, and transferred to the Open University (OU) via the British Antarctic Survey. Samples were stored in the OU rock store during preparation for isotopic work.

  • The British Antarctic Survey holds magnetic data measuring the plasmaspheric mass loading on magnetic field lines in Antarctica. The network of Low Power Magnetometer (LPM) instruments consists of permanent and temporary sites. The data is collected in 3 D fluxgate at up to 1 second and 1 nT resolution. Samples are taken once a second for 150 milliseconds at maximum power. This decreases to once a minute if power is low over the winter. Time and position is measured using an attached GPS system.

  • Marine debris washing up on beaches on Bird Island has been monitored since 1989 with over 9,000 items of debris recovered up until present day. In addition to the raw data, a summary of the data by year or by debris description is available. Occasions when no debris was found, or it was not possible to carry out a survey, are recorded in the metadata. This data is submitted to the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) as part of their Marine Debris Programme.