International Bathymetric Chart of the Southern Ocean (IBCSO) Expert Group



IBCSO Howard Burton set upOver two consecutive summers, 2013-14 and 2014-15, a collaborative bathymetric survey, employing small science workboats (pictured), collected a high-resolution multibeam sonar dataset covering an area of ca. 33 km2 in the vicinity of the Windmill Islands, East Antarctica, adjacent to the Australian Research Station, Casey. The survey was completed as a joint program by the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD), Geoscience Australia (GA) and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) to improve understanding of the shallow-water near-shore environment adjacent to Australia’s research Stations and to update maritime navigational charts of the region.

IBCSO 3D morainesThese new data permit visualisation of the seafloor morphology in unprecedented detail. A range of geomorphic features are evident, including linear bedrock fault sets, networks of sub-glacial meltwater channels, glacial lineations and sets of ‘push moraines’. Minor post-glacial sedimentation is preserved in several small isolated basins. For further detail see the accompanying flythrough and the recent paper published in Geomorphology.

The bathymetric data collected met or exceeded International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) order 1a specifications and a revised navigational chart has been published by the Australian Hydrographic Office (AUS 601, 4th edition, November 2015). The datasets from the survey can be downloaded from the Geoscience Australia website.



A new Antarctic map, “Bathymetry and Geological Setting of the Drake Passage”, has just been released.  This SCAR product represents an international collaborative effort coordinated by the Spanish Geological Survey (IGME) and the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), working together with the Korea Polar Research Institute (KOPRI), the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) and the United States Antarctic Program (USAP)

The full news release can be found here.

For more details on this SCAR product, see the Drake Passage Bathymetry Map page.



A Poster presentation on the status of the project was presented at XXII ISAES, 16 July 2015.

Open the poster here.



The International Bathymetric Chart of the Southern Ocean (IBCSO) v1.0 was released

See the Release Paper here and check here for data access! 

The printed IBCSO map is available at NGDC.