Chinese scientists will set up two seismic stations in
Antarctica later this year to measure tremors and tectonic
movements on the continent, a geologist said on Friday.
The two broadband seismic stations will be installed at Eagle
Camp, 806 kilometers from Zhongshan Station, one of China's two
permanent exploration stations, and Dome-A, the highest point on
the continent about 4,093 meters above sea level, said An Meijian,
a researcher with the Beijing-based Chinese Academy of Geological
An and 16 other potential Antarctic explorers are currently
receiving a two-week field training program in Tibet that will
prepare them for China's 24th Antarctic expedition scheduled for
Upon their return from the expedition, An said they would have
extracted the first batch of surveillance data. Through an analysis
of the data, they would expect to work out seismic images of the
crust and upper mantle beneath the two observation sites, he
"We'll also refer to data obtained by international scientists
and work out a detailed tectonic map of the Antarctic icecap," he
Worldwide scientists are increasingly keen on the research into
the tectonic movements of Antarctica, which used to be two plates
that pulled away from each other in the northern Ross Sea between
28 and 40 million years ago.
"The two plates have since solidified into one, which is what
confused geologists," said An.
The Chinese expedition team, consisting 219 explorers, will also
fix the site of China's third scientific research station at the
South Pole, a planned observatory with seven telescopes and one
acoustic radar at Dome-A.
Construction of the new station is part of the country's
contribution to International Polar Year (IPY) 2007/2008 which runs
from March 1, 2007, to March 1, 2008.
The observatory will be used for scientific research in summer
but will eventually be developed into a permanent station capable
of accommodating scientific research all year round, said E
Dongchen, director of the Chinese Antarctic Center of Surveying and
Scientists will install a wireless sensor network to monitor
Antarctic glacial changes, said Dr. Cheng Xiao, a remote sensing
specialist of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
(Xinhua News Agency August 25, 2007)