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Scientists to retrace Mawson's century old Antarctica expedition

Sydney: Scientists will retrace Sir Douglas Mawson's 1911-14 expedition to Antarctica in November, the University of New South Wales (UNSW) announced today.

A team of 46 researchers and would-be explorers will set out from Hobart, the capital of Australia's southern Tasmania island state, for a six-week journey to repeat measurements made by Mawson's team 100 years ago, including observations of the ocean, wildlife, weather, geology and ice cover, reported Xinhua.

"Antarctica remains one of the last, great unexplored regions on Earth. It is a unique place to monitor the health of our planet. We want to discover just how much has changed since Mawson's time," said Chris Turney, professor at the UNSW Climate Change Research Centre.

The ice breaker L'Astrolabe is seen in the Antarctic sea in this undated handout photo. L'Astrolabe will depart on Friday for a two-month expedition to help restore Sir Douglas Mawson's huts in Commonwealth Bay in the Antarctic.

The ice breaker L'Astrolabe will depart on Friday for a two-month expedition to help restore Sir Douglas Mawson's huts in Commonwealth Bay in the Antarctic. Reuters.

The 1.5 million AU dollars ($1.46 million) privately-funded expedition also aims to recapture and share the excitement of scientific exploration and discovery, using the latest technologies to communicate with school children and the public back home in Australia.

The researchers will take measurements of the ocean water, visit sub-Antarctic islands where they will collect sediment cores from lakes and peat bogs, and study the wildlife.

They will also drill ice cores and take geological samples to study the changing shape of the ice sheet. A drone will survey from the air and some adventurous scientists hope to venture under the ice.

IANS