Ice Stories
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Big Ice

CAPE ROYDS, ROSS ISLAND, ANTARCTICA– When you first come to Antarctica you are overwhelmed with the amount of ice. Every direction you turn you are surrounded by it dominating and controlling the landscape, white against white. Beautiful and powerful, this visual element controls every byte of memory you will take away with you, and every photo. The first time you stand on sea ice which extends to the horizon in all directions you feel the enormity and significance of this place and finally understand what they mean when they say “Antarctica’s ice influences the global system.” This place has a lot of ice.

Icebergs are broken off pieces of glaciers and contain snow that fell 10 000’s of years ago. When you move close to one, what you see is several 100 feet tall and yet only 10% of its actual size and you come to understand not only how much ice there is here, but also how long it has been here.

Sea ice to the horizon.

The end of a glacier as it comes off the land. Here you see frozen ocean holding the edge of the glacier ice in place. This wall of ice is 200 feet high with 9 times that much under water. That’s a lot of ice!

This is also part of a land glacier which has moved off the land over the ocean. It is called an ice shelf because although it is still attached to the land portion of the glacier it is floating on water. This shelf is the size of France and a couple thousand feet thick. That’s a lot of ice!!!

Icebergs off the coast of Beaufort Island. What you see is several 100 feet high, and only 10% of its size. These are enormous pieces of glacier that broke off from the ice shelf above, floated around for a while and are now grounded. Much of the year the frozen ocean holds them in place.

There is a lot of ice in Antarctica.

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One Response »

  1. These are awesome. Hii Ron, thanks for sharing with Marcia. Look forward to learning more about your experiences. Myrna