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What we know about the Gamburtsevs

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History of exploration

1958: The mountains were discovered by a Soviet expedition using seismic sounding. They were named after Grigoriy A. Gamburtsev (1903-1955) a Russian geophysicist. At this point, the mountains were known from a very small number (10 or so) of spot soundings; no detail known.

1974: Radio Echo Sounding conducted by a joint project between Scott Polar Research Institute, National Science Foundation and Technical University of Denmark gave more detail. However, the survey lines are very widely spaced in this region, so there are a few detailed profiles through the mountains but no “3-D” coverage.

1983: Glaciological and Geophysical Folio published by Scott Polar Research Institute was the best subglacial map of Antarctica at the time and indicated the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains.Gamburtsev Mountains beneath the ice

2000: The BEDMAP consortium, project managed by British Antarctic Survey, produced the best subglacial map of Antarctica to date. It provided little new information in region of Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains, but improved methods for interpolation of data used.

The use of the generic term “Subglacial Mountains” is to distinguish the Gamburtsev Mountains from visible mountain ranges such as the Transantarctic Mountains. Similarly the correct name for Lake Vostok is “Vostok Subglacial Lake”.