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Pressure Ridges

MCMURDO STATION, ANTARCTICA– Today I visited the (New Zealand) Scott Base. The New Zealand base is next to some spectacular pressure ridges, which are caused by tides where the sea ice meets the land – the ice literally buckles and rises upwards. While I was there I was invited to walk around this spectacular sight. (You have to be invited by a member of the New Zealand base.)

Members of the New Zealand base use flags to map out a safe route. The ice was starting to get soft and they were about to close down trips, but luckily the paths were still open.

Where the sea ice meets the land, the ice buckles and rises upwards under tidal forces, forming these pressure ridges.

Pressure ridges with Mount Erebus in the background.

Another view of the pressure ridges.

During the trip we encountered a Weddell seal lying close to the path. It was cute.

That’s me posing with the Weddell seal.

In the background, you can see a new feature on the Antarctic landscape: Scott Base has built three windmills for power.
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2 Responses »

  1. Loved the pictures and the seal too.

  2. Dear Mark,
    Hope you can spread the word about Global Belly Laugh Day January 24 to all the stations. On January 24 at 1:24 p.m. (local time) smile, throw your arms in the air and laugh out loud. Join the Belly Laugh Bounce ‘Round the World.
    The symbol for Global Belly Laugh Day is a smiling sun with seven rays, dimples 1 and 24.
    Laughter is the sunshine that transforms our moments seven days a week on the seven continents.
    Your laughter is wonderfully contagious. We look forward to catching your laugh from Antarctica.
    with a smile and a belly laugh,
    Elaine Helle