The world’s first atlas geomorphological continent, scientists have created a St. Petersburg State University.

Atlas of Antarctica — is a set of cards for the first time built-under-ice underwater topography, with the help of which one can judge on a new level of its origin and formation. A unique edition was donated to the Scientific Library named after M. Gorky.

Work on the atlas and its underlying concept of morphodynamic conducted about 25 years a group of researchers led by Professor and Head of the Department of Geomorphology State University, Doctor of Geological and Mineralogical Sciences Alexander Swallow. According to him, the concept of morphodynamic allowed to leave in geomorphology to the next level: to move from a verbal presentation to the quantitative criteria for determining the elements and forms of the earth's surface, and further from their morphology — the genesis, development, and built their processes. And on this basis — to formulate rigorous scientific findings and build a fundamentally new cards.

Almost all of the cards included in the atlas, made for the first time. "Thanks to the new methods we have done what was previously impossible: we have, for example, to map Morphotectonics, ie the development of the surface of the ice and the earth's crust in modern times" — explains Professor Dove. Hence the practical importance: you can, for example, the conclusions about the formation of hydrocarbon accumulations. "We made a map on which are marked subglacial river valleys created by rivers to form ice, — says Alexander Dove. — The river brought the material (mineral — sand, clay, and biogenic — trees, for example) from all over the vast territory not just to the shore, and each in its "point of delivery", located on the edge of the shelf. Thus under these "points" at the foot of the continental slope formed "cones", which was associated with the maximum hydrocarbon reserves. In the future it may come in handy. "

St. Petersburg State University scientists have achieved and still one important purpose. In the most recent maps of Antarctica, published in the West, dramatically reduced the number of Russian names: instead of thousands of names there are only three. Since working on an atlas, scientists have discovered a previously unknown forms of ice surface of Antarctica, they gave them a Russian name. So there University, Mendeleev and Petersburg saddle.

And most probably the main thing: morphodynamic concept upon which is built Atlas of Antarctica, is universal. It should be emphasized that this atlas of Antarctica — the first general atlas geomorphological whole continent. The plans of St. Petersburg State University scientists — to release a similar atlas of the Arctic. St. Petersburg scientists have pioneered and now they have developed on the basis of the methods and concepts can be composed like atlases other continents and regions of the world.

The publication of the atlas is the first visible (mapping), and very impressive result of the work created in November 2010, the laboratory "Geomorphology and paleogeographic study of the polar regions and the oceans" with the financial support of the Government of the Russian Federation. Scientific director of the laboratory — the famous German scientist Jörn Thiede — praised the value of the atlas to the world of science: "The most important discovery — made by my colleagues study the hydrological regime between the ice and the surface of the continent. For the first time collected, compiled and analyzed data on the topography of subglacial-submarine surface of Antarctica. "

Laboratory for their efficiency (a combination of field research analysts on the advanced equipment and mapping) and is equipped with the most modern equipment to perform the isotope-geochronological, geochemical, micropaleontological, geomorphological studies. In addition, according to Thiede, university lab is in pole position because she always gets an influx of young talent.

Source: Press Service of the St. Petersburg State University

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