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British Antarctic Survey

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  • The British Antarctic Survey holds one of the most extensive collections of Antarctic rocks and fossils anywhere in the world. These are predominately from the Antarctic Peninsula region and Scotia Arc, although there is also important material from areas such as the Ellsworth Mountains, Marie Byrd Land and the Transantarctic Mountains. Some of these specimens go back to the very earliest days of the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey in the 1940s, and include collections made by the pioneer geologists at bases such as Hope Bay and Deception Island. Right from the outset, every specimen collected in Antarctica has been numbered and catalogued, and a vast reference archive is now available for use by the geoscience community. We currently have information relating to 150,000 field samples often with associated analysis data such as geochemistry. Additionally we hold a variety of data for nearly 500 marine cores. Metadata and data are stored digitally within a number of Oracle 10g database tables and for some datasets such as the type and figured fossil collection there is external access through a web interface. However, a significant number of datasets exist only in analog form and are held within the BAS archives organised by individual geologist. This abstract acts as an overview of the BAS geological data - both terrestrial and marine.

  • Automatic data loggers are often used to monitor environmental variables such as temperature (of air and soil), humidity, wind speed and radiation in microclimates where experimental or ecological studies are being carried out. Some loggers are only in operation for a few weeks or months while others have been run for several years. Loggers have been sited in a wide variety of locations from the sub-Antarctic (South Georgia), South Orkney Islands (Signy) various Peninsula sites (as far south as Alexander Island - 70S), and some continental localities (e.g. Victoria Land). These form an important data resource to the climate conditions experienced by Antarctic terrestrial organisms. Various types of logger are used. Sensors tend to be deployed at or near ground level and in and around particular types of vegetation, or other experimental sites, such as cloches. Loggers used include Grant, Delta-T, Campbell and Squirrels. Victoria Land data for Kay Island and Edmonson Point in 1995 and 1996 was collected under the BIOTEX 1 experiment of the SCAR BIOTAS (Biological Investigations of Terrestrial Antarctic Systems) Programme. An overview of BIOTEX is available as a PDF file.

  • READER (REference Antarctic Data for Environmental Research) is a project of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR http://www.scar.org/) and has the goal of creating a high quality, long term dataset of mean surface and upper air meteorological measurements from in-situ Antarctic observing systems. These data will be of value in climate research and climate change investigations. The primary sources of data are the Antarctic research stations and automatic weather stations. Data from mobile platforms, such as ships and drifting buoys are not being collected since our goal is to derive time series of data at fixed locations. Surface and upper air data are being collected and the principal statistics derived are monthly and annual means. Daily data will not be provided in order to keep the data set to a manageable size. With the resources available to the project, it is clearly not possible to collect all the information that could be required by the whole range of investigations into change in the Antarctic. Instead a key set of meteorological variables (surface temperature, mean sea level pressure and surface wind speed, and upper air temperature, geopotential height and wind speed at standard levels) are being assembled and a definitive set of measurements presented for use by researchers. A lot of stations have been operated in the Antarctic over the years; many for quite short periods. However, our goal here is to provide information on the long time series that can provide insight into change in the Antarctic. So to be included, the record from a station must extend for 25 years, although not necessarily in a continuous period, or be currently in operation and have operated for the last 10 years. In READER we have chosen to use only data from year-round stations.

  • Biologically relevant radiation has been recorded since February 1997 using a Bentham spectroradiometer at Rothera. The Bentham spectroradiometer is sited on the roof of the Bonner Laboratory at Rothera. It measures spectral global irradiance between 280 and 600 nm (wavelengths from below UV-B to the middle of the visible range) with a step size of 0.5 nm and a resolution of 1 nm. Scans are recorded at various time intervals depending on the time of day and season peaking at every 30 minutes while the sun is above the horizon from the beginning of September until the end of April. These scans can be used to measure the amount of solar radiation reaching the earth''s surface at Rothera. It provides particularly useful background data for studies on the effects of increased UV-B, due to the ozone hole, on the plants and microbes in regions around Rothera.

  • The number of Fur and Elephant seals around the base on Signy Island have been counted daily between January and March since 1992. Details of the area counted are given in the 1992 Seal Mammal report (AD6/2H/1992/NM3).

  • These spreadsheets contain the EME-AFC fractional crystallisation and assimilation model discussed in Burton-Johnson et al. (2019). EME-AFC is based on the model of Grove and Donnelly-Nolan (1986) but developed to model expected variation of all major and minor elements of each fractionating phase whilst simultaneously modelling the trace elements and isotopic compositions of the fractionating assemblage, evolving melt and bulk cumulate composition. These spreadsheets are supplementary to the following manuscript. For further details refer to the manuscript and its supplementary material: Burton-Johnson, A., Macpherson, C. G., Ottley, C. J., Nowell, G. M. & Boyce, A. J. (2019). Generation of the Mt Kinabalu granite by crustal contamination of intraplate magma modelled by Equilibrated Major Element Assimilation with Fractional Crystallisation (EME-AFC). Journal of Petrology. Two files are included: a blank template for completion by the user and, for illustrative purposes, a completed spreadsheet containing the data used to model the evolution of Mt Kinabalu, Borneo.

  • This data set contains bed and surface elevation picks derived from airborne radar collected during the WISE/ISODYN project. This collaborative UK/Italian project collected ~ 61000 line km of new aerogeophysical data during the 2005/2006 austral summer, over the previously poorly surveyed Wilkes subglacial basin, Dome C, George V Land and Northern Victoria Land.

  • The palaeontology collection at the British Antarctic Survey is a unique and internationally important collection of specimens sourced predominantly from the Antarctic Peninsula and Scotia Arc. The collection was started in the 1940s and continues to be added to frequently through ongoing BAS research. Its importance lies not only in the fact that it is globally one of the main reference collections of Antarctic palaeontological material, but also in its high proportion of Mesozoic flora and fauna which can be used to understand evolutionary dynamics, continental movements and climatic changes over the past 250 ma. In addition to molluscs and other major animal phyla, the collection is particularly strong in plant material, ranging from fossilised wood and exceptionally preserved leaves to pollen and spores. Given the logistical challenges of sampling material from the Antarctic continent, this collection represents a wealth of taxa which were previously unknown to science and consequently houses a high number of taxonomic types. A project is underway to digitally catalogue the BAS Type and Figured fossil collection and make the data easily accessible to researchers worldwide. Currently the data from over 2000 fossil specimens are available online, together with high resolution photographs. Over the next year further specimens, including palynological samples, will be added to the database and photographs will be made available of the entire collection. Please direct any comments, questions or enquiries to: fossils@bas.ac.uk

  • This list provides a check-list of the non-lichenized fungi reported from Antarctica that have been published in the literature or deposited in major culture collections. The list includes all macrofungi, filamentous forms and yeasts, together with some members of the Chromista (Straminipila) that have historically been considered as fungi. This compilation excludes lichens, as these species have been extensively listed elsewhere. Primary source data are from the collections and records held in the Biological Sciences Division at British Antarctic Survey and the Mycology Section, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Secondary data is from publicly available specimen and culture collections and scientific literature. The list is part of an ongoing determination of the fungal diversity of the Antarctic region, and this version includes details of names, synonyms, taxonomy and at least one reference to an available record. Within these categories links are made between reported and current names, and all entries are bookmarked to individual references and citations. A details section is currently being developed to include hosts and substrates, this is very much a "work in progress" and is being regularly updated. Details on collection locations are also currently being added, and the information under region indicates at least whether the collection was from the Antarctic or sub-Antarctic , together with more information on location. These two fields will be expanded in the future.

  • The dataset consists of Ar-Ar isotope dating, field data, and selected geochemical analysis of igneous dykes and sills collected from Dronning Maud Land during the 2000-2001 field season. The aim was to measure ages of volcanism during flood basalt events in Dronning Maud Land associated with the breakup of Gondwana.The style and volume of magmatism varies between margins from large volume flood basalts such as the Parana or Deccan provinces to less volumetric margins such as the southern part of the South Atlantic. This case (Collaborative Awards in Science and Engineering) studentship was intended to provide support to study the evolution of the break-up of Africa and East Antarctica which occurred in the early Jurassic. An extended period of magmatism has been suggested for this margin associated with complex extensional tectonics. A combined geochronological / geochemical approach was used to understand the evolution of the crust and sub-continental lithospheric mantle during the break-up of one central portion of the Gondwana super continent.