2013-2014 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

Event Number: G-058-M
NASA Award

ASC POC/Implementer:
Sune Tamm / Meghan Walker

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:  Miller Range

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:
Eight field team members will live in Scott tents and conduct searches on snowmobiles. LC130 will take the team and its gear Central Trans Antarctic Mountain (CTAM) camp and then they will be shuttled by Twin Otter out to Miller Range. Once in the field, the team will generally be self-sufficient, with at least two resupply flights in mid-season. The field season is expected to last about six weeks.

Deploying Team Members:

  • Stephen Ballou
  • Barbara Cohen
  • Ralph Harvey (PI)
  • Manavi Jadhav
  • James Karner (Co-PI)
  • Alexander Meshik
  • Jani Radebaugh
  • John Schutt

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