Accession Number:



Using Ground-Penetrating Radar to Delineate Regions of Massive Ice at McMurdo Station, Antarctica

Descriptive Note:

Technical Report

Corporate Author:

ERDC HANOVER United States

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



In November through December 2015, ground-penetrating-radar GPR data were collected at McMurdo Station, Antarctica, to better understand the near-surface geology, to find and delineate regions of excess or massive ice, and to inform future construction efforts. Of the 55 km of data collected, approximately 40 were analyzed and described in previous studies. In this study, we processed and analyzed the remaining data located within proposed areas for future construction. Both 400 and 200 MHz antennas were used for data collection, with depth penetrations reaching 5 and 10 m for each antenna, respectively. Near-surface features detected include massive or excess ice, bedrock, and buried utilities. Ground-truth data, including soil pits and borehole logs, corroborate our interpretations. A considerable amount of near-surface excess ice likely has anthropogenic origins from runoff refreezing in shaded areas. Our results show that the subsurface of McMurdo is characterized by a substantial amount of frozen ground that will require navigation in both the planning and construction efforts associated with rebuilding McMurdo Station.

Subject Categories:

  • Snow, Ice and Permafrost

Distribution Statement: