2012-2013 Science Planning Summaries
U.S. Antarctic Program - Science Support Section United States Antarctic Program United States Antarctic Program Logo National Science Foundation Logo
Antarctic Search for Meteorites (ANSMET)

Program Manager:
Dr. Thomas Wilch


ASC POC/Implementer:
Leslie Blank / Jessica Jenkins

Dr. Ralph Harvey (Principal Investigator)
http://www.case.edu/ansmetExternal Non U.S. Government Site

Case Western Reserve University
Department of Geological Sciences
Cleveland, Ohio

Supporting Stations:  McMurdo Station
Research Locations:  Southern Transantarctic Mountains

Project Description:
Since 1976, the Antarctic Search for Meteorites (ANSMET) has found more than 17,000 specimens. Meteorites do not fall preferentially on Antarctica; they are just easier to find on the white snow- and ice-scapes and because the ice transport and ablation process leads to accumulation in certain areas. This season, ANSMET will conduct full-scale systematic meteorite recovery from the Miller Range (MIL) Icefields in the Transantarctic Mountains, as well as systematic recovery in the Elephant Moraine (EET) ice fields northwest of McMurdo Station. A total of five previous seasons of systematic searching as well as several shorter reconnaissance visits at MIL have resulted in the recovery of nearly 2,800 meteorite specimens from these icefields, including many rare meteorites such as martian and lunar samples. A large region of blue ice remains unsearched, mostly around a larger icefield on the southern end of the range, as well as some smaller ice fields in the north MIL area. The field team will attempt to cover as much of this area as possible through overlapping systematic transects.

Field Season Overview:
The team will be equipped with standard remote field equipment, living in Scott tents and conducting searches on snowmobiles. CTAM and the Leveritt fuel cache delivered by the South Pole Traverse will be the staging points, along with the potential for open field LC130 landings on the Amundsen and Robison Glaciers to put in and take out the group.

Deploying Team Members:

  • Andrew Beck
  • Joe Boyce
  • James Karner
  • Marianne Mader
  • John Schutt
  • Thomas Sharp
  • Meenakshi Wadhwa

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Curator: Esther L. Hill PhD, Antarctic Support Contract   |   NSF Official: Alexandra Isern, Division of Polar Programs