The Chinese National Antarctic Research Expedition (GHINARE) carried out three traverses from Zhongshan station to Dome A, Princess Elizabeth Land and Inaccessible Area, East Antarctic ice sheet, during the 1996/97 to 1998/99 Antarctic field seasons. The expeditions are part of the Chinese International Trans-Antarctic Scientific Expedition program. In this project, glaciological investigations of mass balance, ice temperature, ice flow, stratigraphy in snow pits and snow/firn ice cores, as well as the glaciochemical study of surface snow and shallow ice cores, have been carried out. In the 1998/99 field season, CHINARE extended the traverse route to 1128 km inland from Zhongshan station. The density profiles show that firnification over Princess Elizabeth Land and Inaccessible Area (290–1100 km along the route) is fairly slow, and the accumulation rate recovered from snow pits along the initial 460 km of the route is 4.6–21 cm (46–210 kg m–2a–1 ) water equivalent. The initial 460 km of the route can be divided into four sections based on the differences of accumulation rate. This pattern approximately coincides with the study on the Lambert Glacier basin (LGB) by Australian scientists. During the past 50 years, the trends of both air temperature and accumulation rate show a slight increase in this area, in contrast to the west side of the LGB. Data on surface accumulation rates and their spatial and temporal variability over ice-drainage areas such as the LGB are essential for precise mass-balance calculation of the whole ice sheet, and are important for driving ice-sheet models and testing atmospheric models.