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Prehistoric Scratchpad

A hilly area of Antarctica near the start of the Trans-Antarctic Mountains. Has martian and lunar meteors, blue ice cores dating 2.4 million years, and a fossilized forest from the Triassic period.


1 Million Years Ago[]

The Mid-Pleistocene Transition occurred where ice age cycles of the Earth changed at about this time (from every 41,000 years to every 100,000 years), probably caused by a drop in CO2. It is hoped that ice that accumulated at this time at this time that is undisturbed until the present is found, which will help scientists understand the atmospheric compositions during this transition. Currently, the oldest continuous ice core dates back from 800,000 years.

Earlier History[]

The meteor ALH84001 is thought to have formed from crystallized rock on Mars 4.091 Billion Years ago, possibly from the Eos Chasma in Valles Marineris canyon.

A meandering stream flowed here 220 Million Years ago during the Triassic and supported a forest, which later became fossilized.

All of Antarctica went from ice free to encased in ice 34 million years ago over 100,000 years.

The ALH84001 meteor was blasted off of Mars' surface by a meteor impact 17 million years ago.

The earliest ice fragments from this area date to 2.7 million years ago, buried several hundred feet below the surface.

Later History[]

ALH84001 fell to earth about 13,000 years ago.

The Allan Hills were mapped in 1957-58 by a New Zealand party.

Modern History[]

In the 1970's, martial and lunar meteors were beginning to be found here.

In 1996, martian meteor Allan Hills 84001 was found, with tantalizing evidence of early life on Mars.

In 2017, a 2.7 million year old blue ice core fragment was found in the 2010's by a Princeton University team.

In 2016, University of Washington researchers traveled to McMurdo Station and then flew to this field site, with the hopes of finding million year old ice cores.


Allan Hills Web Pages[]

Allan Hills In the News[]

Second Known Fossilized Antarctic Forest Found (2015)[]

2.7 Million Year Old Ice Core Fragment Found (Aug 2017)[]

Key Climate Change 1 Million Years Ago Due to Decline in C02 (Nov 2017)[]

A promising target for a 1-million-year-old Antarctic ice core (2018)[]



Ice core 2.7 million years from Antarctica.

2.7 million year old ice core fragment found.


Allan Hills Antarctica video

Scientists study fossils from the Permian to Triassic eras.


Approaching Allan Hills Nunatak, East Antarctica

Aerial movie of Trans-Antarctica Mountains en route to Allan Hills Blue Ice Areas.

Google Earth[]