Tas van Ommen - driller

Dr Tas van Ommen in the field wearing a yellow Antarctic Division jacket
Dr Tas van Ommen at Law Dome (Photo: Mark Curran)

Australian Antarctic Division

I will participate on the traverse to Aurora Basin (follow my blog), establishing the Aurora Basin camp and leading the drilling of one of the shorter (120 m) cores. The borehole from this core will be used to pump trapped air from the porous snow (firn).


Career highlights

I am Leader of the Climate Processes and Change Program at the Australian Antarctic Division. My specialist expertise is in analysis and interpretation of ice cores with a particular interest in links between Antarctic and Australian climate.

My main research interests centre around ice core palaeoclimate studies generally, and in particular, high resolution palaeoclimate work extending back into the last glacial period. Our ice core group has done much of its work on the deep, high resolution Law Dome core which extends back approximately 90 000 years. The group is also involved in obtaining century-scale records from relatively near-coastal sites that give high resolution records like Law Dome.

I am also interested, and involved through the International Partnerships in Ice Core Sciences (IPICS), in developing plans for recovering the oldest ice from the Antarctic ice sheet. As part of this interest, I am also a lead investigator in the ICECAP airborne geophysical survey work covering East Antarctica out of Casey. This work involves collaboration with ice sheet dynamics researchers to link ice sheet dynamics and ice core data, to identify potential locations where oldest ice might be located, and more generally to understand the history and evolution of the ice sheet.

I have made five field trips to Antarctica, including one flying with the aerogeophysics ICECAP survey.