Open-File Report 2006-1114

Prepared in cooperation with United States Antarctic Program, National Science Foundation

Online only

U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Activities in the Exploration of Antarctica: 1995-96 Field Season

By Tony K. Meunier
Richard S. Williams, Jr., and Jane G. Ferrigno, Editors

This report is available online in pdf format (915 KB): OFR 2006-1114 (Opens the PDF file in a new window. )


The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) mapping program in Antarctica is one of the longest continuously funded projects in the United States Antarctic Program (USAP). This is the 46th U.S. expedition to Antarctica in which USGS scientists have participated. The financial support from the National Science Foundation, which extends back to the time of the International Geophysical Year (IGY) in 1956-57, can be attributed to the need for accurate maps of specific field areas or regions where NSF-funded science projects were planned. The epoch of Antarctic exploration during the IGY was being driven by science and, in a spirit of peaceful cooperation, the international scientific community wanted to limit military activities on the continent to logistical support. The USGS, a Federal civilian science agency in the Department of the Interior, had, since its founding in 1879, carried out numerous field-based national (and some international) programs in biology, geology, hydrology, and mapping. Therefore, the USGS was the obvious choice for these tasks, because it already had a professional staff of experienced mapmakers and program managers with the foresight, dedication, and understanding of the need for accurate maps to support the science programs in Antarctica when asked to do so by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. Public Laws 85-743 and 87-626, signed in August 1958 and in September 1962, respectively, authorized the Secretary, U.S. Department of the Interior, through the USGS, to support mapping and scientific work in Antarctica. The USGS mapping and science programs still play a significant role in the advancement of science in Antarctica today. Antarctica is the planet's 5th largest continent (13.2 million km2 (5.1 million mi2)), it contains the world's largest (of two) remaining ice sheet, and it is considered to be one of the most important scientific laboratories on Earth. This report provides documentation of USGS scientific activities in the exploration of Antarctica during the 1995-96 field season (Mullins and Meunier, 1995).



Scientific Objectives for the 1995-96 Field Season

Scientific Accomplishments

USGS, NOAA, and Contractor Personnel in Antarctica in 1995-96 participating in USGS Science and Mapping Projects

References Cited

Relevant Websites



This report is available online in pdf format (915 KB): Open-File Report 2006-1114 (Opens the PDF file in a new window. )
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