Australia launches Antarctic mapping Expedition

“A $31 million mission to map the extent of Australia’s underwater territory in the Antarctic has found that the edge of the continental shelf is quite different to previously thought.

Scientists on board the Polar Duke have arrived in Hobart after finishing the first stage of the survey work.

They have recorded the depth and geology of more than 5,000 kilometres of the edge of the continental shelf in Australia’s Antarctic Region.

The program, funded by the Federal Government, is driven by Australia’s need to lodge its claim with the United Nations by 2004.

Project leader Phil O’Brien said a fantastic amount of scientific data is being collected on the way. “