Great news for the Earthark project! It was reported today that a team has been to Antarctica mapping the very region which is perfect for the placement of the isotainers. This appears to be the mountains which I have been talking about in my blogs for months and have been unable to find their name. But now they and the local area has been carefully mapped with ice penetrating radar and other scientific instruments. The above image was taken from the MountEverest.net site Feb 25, 2009. It is labeled “Gamburtsev sub-glacial mountains: AGAP mission accomplished.” Gamburtsev Mountain Range ( -80.5 +76.0 ) is as much as 2.5 kilometers deep beneath the ice and is made visible with radar. The mountain range for the Earthark project is 300 kilometers closer to the south pole than the center of their map but it appears that the exposed mountains which are most valuable for the Earthark Project are within the region they mapped.
By projecting the red square of the picture above onto Google Earth map of Antarctica it appears that its corners are at ( -83 +10) ( -75 +30 ) (-75 + 70 ) ( -83 + 90 ). These coordinates give close to 1000 kilometers to each side of the rectangle. The picture of the mountains, in their picture above, shows 250 km by 700 km but that size doesn’t compare well to the red square and it appears to be only be a portion of the area scanned. The white dot at the center of the picture is at about ( -80 +50 ) which is about 630 km from the Earthark mountains shown at the black dot. A line from ( -83 +90 ) to ( -83 +10 ), the bottom red line, traverses directly over the center of the Earthark mountain arc and hopefully there is excellent mapping of some of that exact region. For an easy number to remember go for ( -83.5 +83.5 ) because it puts one near the center of the Earthark mountains. Seen in the closeup below are the mountains protruding from the ice. Also to be considered near perfect are the mountains at ( -83 +60 ) and ( -85.5 +55 ). They are all good sites for deep cold storage of Earth essentials.
The problem with deep freeze in the Antarctic shouldn’t be the winter temperatures because they will be well below -50°C most of the time. The potential problem is with summer temperatures when the sun shines directly upon these exposed Earthark isotainers. Then the temperature may rise above -20°C for the surface of an isotainer placed on the surface but a modest amount of burial or insulation would maintain a more constant lower temperature inside. If they were placed in shaded locations they wouldn’t heat up but the sun circles all 360° around the horizon so it would be best if the isotainers were located in a natural hollow. It appears that such a site is at ( -82.37 +81.90 ) although over the hill at ( -83.48 +82.00 ) would have a lower sun angle during the summer. This average temperature is easy to check, if you were there, by taking sub surface temperature readings a meter below the surface which would give an accurate year round average temperature. There are quite a few similar sites with similar analysis possible but all of them in this area would work quite well for 1,000 year cold storage potential.
I am looking forward to seeing the new maps and hopefully some closeup photographs of these mountains.