2016-2017 USAP Field Season
Antarctic Search for Meteorites (ANSMET)
Dr. Ralph Harvey
Case Western Reserve University
Project Web Site:
Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
The Antarctic Search for Meteorites (ANSMET) program is a field-based science project that recovers meteorite specimens from Antarctica. Since 1976, teams have recovered more than 21,000 specimens from surfaces along the Transantarctic Mountains. These specimens are a reliable, continuous source of new, non-microscopic extraterrestrial material and support thousands of scientists from around the globe as they seek essential “ground-truth” concerning the materials that make up the asteroids, planets, and other bodies of our solar system. The study of ANSMET meteorites has extended knowledge of the materials and conditions from which our solar system was born and has revealed the geologic nature of asteroids.
Field Season Overview
In the early season, a team to two will travel by Twin Otter aircraft to Elephant Moraine where they will camp in Scott tents for approximately ten days and make day trips by snowmobile to search for and recover meteorites. They will then return to McMurdo by Twin Otter. Later in the season, a team of eight, including two mountaineers, will travel by Basler or Twin Otter to Shackleton Glacier Camp. They will split into two teams to continue the search for meteorites at icefields in relatively close proximity to Shackleton, establishing tent camps at various sites for one to two weeks at each site, and making day trips by snowmobile. The teams will be self-sufficient at all of their sites but will move from site to site by Twin Otter. At the end of their site visits, both teams will return to Shackleton Camp for their return flights, by Basler, to McMurdo.
Deploying Team Members