July 2000-February 2003
Level of Access
US ITASE is effectively a polar research vessel. It offers the ground-based opportunities of traditional style traverse travel coupled with the modern technology of GPS, crevasse detecting radar, satellite communications and multi-disciplinary research. By operating as a ground-based transport system US ITASE offers scientists the opportunity to experience the dynamic environment they are studying. US ITASE also offers an important interactive venue for research (currently eleven integrated science projects) similar to that afforded by oceanographic research vessels and large polar field camps, without the cost of the former or the lack of mobility of the latter. More importantly the combination of disciplines represented by US ITASE provides a unique, multi-dimensional (x, y, z and time) view of the ice sheet and its history. Over the past four field seasons (1999-2003) US ITASE sampled the environment of West Antarctica into East Antarctica over spatial scales of >5000 km, depths of >3000 m, heights in the atmosphere of >20 km, and time periods of several hundred years (sub-annual scale) to hundreds of thousands of years (millennial scale).
Mayewski, Paul, "Science Management for the United States Component of the International Trans-Antarctic Expedition" (2003). University of Maine Office of Research and Sponsored Programs: Grant Reports. 173.