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© Bruno JOURDAIN / IGE / CNRS Photothèque
Sastrugi field on the surface of the Antarctic ice cap, during the ASUMA (Improving the Accuracy of the SUrface Mass balance of Antarctica) expedition on the continent of Antarctica. Sastrugi are ridges of hard snow formed by the wind. ASUMA is an ANR/IPEV programme under whose auspices a scientific expedition left point D10, a few kilometres from the French Dumont d’Urville base in Antarctica, on 1 December 2016, heading towards the centre of the continent. The goal of this programme is in particular to better understand the current evolution of the snow accumulated on the surface of Antarctica from one year to the next. This would make it possible to reduce uncertainty regarding its current regimen and its possible impact on sea levels. The ASUMA expedition took place in an area still largely unknown from a scientific point of view, because very few measurements have been made on the ground. It is a transition zone between the coast and the Antarctic Plateau.