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GeoMAP Action Group Report 2020

Geological Mapping Update of Antarctica (GeoMAP) Action Group 2018-2020 Report

Action Group of the Geosciences Group 

Report Author(s): Simon Cox (New Zealand), Paul Morin (USA), Christine Siddoway (USA)


Summary of activities from 2018-20

A GIS dataset describing exposed bedrock and surficial geology of Antarctica has been constructed by the SCAR GeoMAP Action Group. Work started from a continent-scale, low density, attribute-poor dataset in 2015 that was added to and improved through multiple iterations during 2018-2020. It involved capturing existing geological map data, refining its spatial reliability, then improving representation of glacial sequences and geomorphology. GeoMAP depicts ‘known geology’ of rock exposures rather than ‘interpreted’ sub-ice features and is aimed towards continent-wide perspectives and cross-discipline interrogation.

A beta version (v.201907) of GeoMAP was made available at XIII ISAES in Korea (July 2019) – primarily for comment and peer review and is still available as a webmap or download via the SCAR website (see It has since had 3 iterations of improvement by GNS Science.  

Plans to formally release the first version of GeoMAP at the Hobart Open Science Conference were scuppered by Covid-19.  The action group now plans to release GeoMAP together with a journal ‘data paper’ in late 2020. Data will be archived with a doi and delivered from a number of websites – potentially also GeoMAP pages on the SCAR website. The action group can now be wound up due to cancellation of the OSC, and do not need to use funds allocated for 2020. We propose data should continue to be delivered from a dedicated page on SCAR’s website, and GeoMAP move to be recognised as a formal SCAR product.