Antarctica Geography

What is the terrain and geography like in Antarctica?

Geography - note:

the coldest, windiest, highest (on average), and driest continent; during summer, more solar radiation reaches the surface at the South Pole than is received at the Equator in an equivalent period; mostly uninhabitable

Climate:

severe low temperatures vary with latitude, elevation, and distance from the ocean; East Antarctica is colder than West Antarctica because of its higher elevation; Antarctic Peninsula has the most moderate climate; higher temperatures occur in January also

Antarctica Use of Natural Resources

Antarctica Environment

Climate:

severe low temperatures vary with latitude, elevation, and distance from the ocean; East Antarctica is colder than West Antarctica because of its higher elevation; Antarctic Peninsula has the most moderate climate; higher temperatures occur in January also

Terrain:

about 98% thick continental ice sheet and 2% barren rock, with average elevations between 2,000 and 4,000 meters; mountain ranges up to nearly 5,000 meters; ice-free coastal areas include parts of southern Victoria Land, Wilkes Land, the Antarctic Peninsu

Natural Resources:

iron ore, chromium, copper, gold, nickel, platinum and other minerals, and coal and hydrocarbons have been found in small uncommercial quantities; none presently exploited; krill, finfish, and crab have been taken by commercial fisheries

Natural Hazards:

katabatic (gravity-driven) winds blow coastward from the high interior; frequent blizzards form near the foot of the plateau; cyclonic storms form over the ocean and move clockwise along the coast; volcanism on Deception Island and isolated areas of West Antarctica; other seismic activity rare and weak; large icebergs may calve from ice shelf

Environmental Issues:

in 1998, NASA satellite data showed that the antarctic ozone hole was the largest on record, covering 27 million square kilometers; researchers in 1997 found that increased ultraviolet light coming through the hole damages the DNA of icefish, an antarctic fish lacking hemoglobin; ozone depletion earlier was shown to harm one-celled antarctic marine plants; in 2002, significant areas of ice shelves disintegrated in response to regional warming

Antarctica Geography

Geographic Location Antarctic Region
Total Area 5,405,400 Square Miles
14,000,000 Square Kilometers
Land Area 5,405,400 Square Miles
14,000,000 Square Kilometers
Coastline 11,165 Miles
17,968 Kilometers
Geographic Coordinates 90 00 S, 0 00 E
Terrain about 98% thick continental ice sheet and 2% barren rock, with average elevations between 2,000 and 4,000 meters; mountain ranges up to nearly 5,000 meters; ice-free coastal areas include parts of southern Victoria Land, Wilkes Land, the Antarctic Peninsu
Highest Point 4,897 Meters
Highest Point Location Vinson Massif 4,897 m
Lowest Point -2,540 Meters
Lowest Point Location Bentley Subglacial Trench -2,555 m
Natural Resources iron ore, chromium, copper, gold, nickel, platinum and other minerals, and coal and hydrocarbons have been found in small uncommercial quantities; none presently exploited; krill, finfish, and crab have been taken by commercial fisheries
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