One hundred and fifteen Chinese scientists left the Shanghai Minsheng Port for the South Pole by a ship named "snow dragon" at 10:25 AM Friday, starting China's 22nd Antarctic scientific expedition.
Dr. Yang Huigen, vice director of China Polar Region Research Center, said the team will make research on the data collected at China's Changcheng and Zhongshan stations and tour the hinterland of the ice cap during their 130-day expedition.
The expedition projects include monitoring the environment in Antarctic, inspecting the geology in the iceless zones, making an international joint testing of GPS and doing other researches on the glaciers and biology in the region.
The team will also launch China's fourth inspection of the world famous Grove Mountain in one month time, said Yang, who was appointed chief scientist of the team.
Situated inside the Princess Elizabeth Land, Grove Mountain is located about 460 kilometers from China's Zhongshan Station.
The 3,200-square-km area is composed of more than 60 islands and mountains which are not covered by ice and snow, and it is regarded one of the most spectacular areas in the South Pole.
Researchers will collect and study the aerolites and carry out climate and geological researches in the Grove Mountain area.
During the past three explorations, Chinese scientists collected 4,480 aerolites in the Grove Mountain, ranking world third after Japan and the United States.
Yang said they will also do some researches and investigation in the area for the establishment of China's third scientific station in Antarctic.
The team is composed of 144 members in total and is headed by Wei Wenliang, secretary of the Chinese Communist Party for State Oceanic Administration's polar region inspection office.
China founded its first scientific expedition station Changcheng Station on King George Island in 1985 and established the second Zhongshan Station on Larsemann Hills in 1989.
(Xinhua News Agency November 19, 2005)