A report on the physical environment-based classification for the whole Antarctic Continent. This classification built on the success Landcare Research scientists have achieved in developing a classification of New Zealand's terrestrial environments (Land Environments of New Zealand or LENZ - Leathwick et al. 2002b). The classification was designed to provide a data-derived, spatially explicit delineation of environmental variables in Antarctica, to be used for a range of management activities including identification of priority sites for protection, environmental monitoring, and assessment of risks associated with human activities.
Download contents include PDF of the report and vector and raster shapefiles.
Environmental parameters used
Air temperature (mean annual and seasonal), wind, mean annual wind speed, solar radiation, period of year with normal diurnal pattern, slope, land and ice cover, geology.
Descriptive labels have been assigned to each environment classified within the resulting raster data layer. There are as follows;
A. Antarctic Peninsula northern geologic
B. Antarctic Peninsula mid-northern latitudes geologic
C. Antarctic Peninsula southern geologic
D. East Antarctic coastal geologic
E. Antarctic Peninsula and Alexander Island main ice fields and glaciers
F. Larsen Ice Shelf
G. Antarctic Peninsula offshore island geologic
H. East Antarctic low latitude glacier tongues
I. East Antarctic ice shelves
J. Southern latitude coastal fringe ice shelves and floating glaciers
K. Northern latitude ice shelves
L. Continental coastal-zone ice sheet
M. Continental mid-latitude sloping ice
N. East Antarctic inland ice sheet
O. West Antarctic Ice Sheet
P. Ross and Ronne-Filchner ice shelves
Q. East Antarctic high interior ice sheet
R. Transantarctic Mountains geologic
S. McMurdo - South Victoria Land geologic
T. Inland continental geologic
U. North Victoria Land geologic
The sizes of the environments are extremely varied - from 3.7 million square kilometres down to a comparatively small 966 square kilometres.