New Australian Antarctic Territory Coastine dataset

26 November 2002

Logo of the Antarctic Digital Database

Logo of the
Antarctic Digital Database

Highly accurate, detailed vector topographic data covering the entire extent of the Australian Antarctic Territory (AAT) is now available and can be downloaded free from the Antarctic Digital Database (ADD) .

The new data is the result of a two year collaborative effort between Geoscience Australia and the Department of the Environment and Heritage's Australian Antarctic Division to establish a new determination of the coastline of the AAT. This new definition of the coastline was developed to provide a more accurate, consistent and detailed representation of the AAT between longitudes 45ºE and 160ºE, to replace existing inaccurate data. Although accurate and highly detailed coastline definitions existed for some areas, such as those in the vicinity of Australian Antarctic stations, none existed for the entire extent of the AAT.

A number of remote sensing techniques were used to interpret, validate and map the AAT coastline. These included the digitising of the coastline from satellite imagery such as Landsat 7 ETM+, Landsat 4 and 5 TM, and Radarsat Synthetic Aperture Radar.

More specialised analysis techniques were also required to assist in validating highly complex and uncertain areas, such as the boundary between where permanent ice is grounded and where it starts to float - also referred to as the Grounding Zone. Some of the techniques used included interferometric analysis of SAR imagery and analysis of signals obtained from aircraft-mounted ice radar.

The new coastline data set was submitted to the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) in June 2001 for inclusion into Version 4.0 of the SCAR Antarctic Digital database which was released to the public in August 2002.

Topic contact: Last updated: October 4, 2013