, , , , , , ,

Antarctica altitudes - pale green to dark green is "Sea Level"

Antarctica altitudes - pale blue to dark green is "Sea Level"

This map shows the recent map taken from Wikipedia shows altitudes relative to sea level however a note of caution because almost all of this area is covered in ice thus one may walk over most of the continent whose rocky surface is actually below sea level. Some of the yellow places on the map have mountain rocks which arise above the ice. It is exposed rock where the Earthark containers a preferabley located because they would remain visible for a very long time.

The Scientific American article September 12, 2008 mentions the Gamburtsev Mountains and how they are 2,700 meters high but claims they are never visible. I don’t know if the mountains mentioned in my blog Antarctica’s Gamburtsev mountains and the Earthark are part of this named range or something else. In any case the map above shows some very high mountains in yellow above 5,000 feet with a few places in darker yellow above 7,500 feet. Any exposed rock in the regions colored yellow or dark yellow in these maps would serve well as an Earthark site once an isotainer were placed there.

Some possibilities are: Troll Station a Norwegian camp populated year round and located at ( -72.012 +2.533 (see Google Earth for the program)) right on the border of rock and ice with an airplane landing strip close by. Another possible site is high in the Sor Rondane Mountains located at ( -72.104 +25.086 ). It would be above the obviously moving glaciers and only 150 miles from the ocean so getting there would be easier than the far inland sites. All of the yellow on the map isn’t above the ice. It appears that only parts marked in yelloy near ( -83.5 +83.5 ) are above the ice. Another possibility is Mt. Cradock ( -78.630 -85.225 ) which is probably too difficult to access to place an isotainer except as a risky parachute air drop but it would be possible for occasional mountain climbers to place small packages there. Toney Mountain at ( -12.8 -115.8 ) is a volcano and possibly active on a thousand year time scale so it is inappropriate for an isotainer but mountain climbers who are going there should be encouraged to take a small pack. The other mountains in that area also have volcanic craters so there are better choices elsewhere. Mount Minto ( -71.79 +168.75 ) is a high mountain compared to surrounding terrain but even at 4,165 metres (13,665 feet) at the top of the peak it isn’t much higher than the central Antarctic ice plateau which is flat. This whole area is riven with flowing glaciers which implies a plentiful precipitation and weathering in general and even though it may be easier to access than the deep interior it probably wouldn’t be as good for an isotainer based Earthark even if one could be placed there.

After scanning these Antarctic sights for potential usage for Eartharks it appears that the earlier searches really did find the best locations. What I have been labeling the Earthark mountains, centered along ( -83.5 +83.5 ) with an elevation of 3630 meters (11,900 in feet) may be as good as it gets for the purpose of really long term cold storage of genetic seed material and other stuff.