| Share
 

Antarctica

The second smallest continent, mostly south of the Antarctic Circle.

Area: 14.2 million sq. km (5.5 million sq. mi.).

Geographic South Pole: Earth's southernmost point, at latitude 90°S, where all lines of longitude meet.

Magnetic South Pole: The magnetic South Pole shifts about 5 miles (km) a year and is now located at about 66°S and 139°E on the Adélie Coast of Antarctica.

Terrain: About 98% thick ice sheet and 2% barren rock; glaciers form ice shelves along about half of the coastline, and floating ice shelves constitute 11% of the area of the continent. Ice sheet: The continental ice sheet contains approximately 7 million cubic miles (30 million cu km) of ice, representing about 90% of the world's total. Major ice shelves: Amery, Filchner, Larsen, Ronne, Ross. Ice shelves make up about 10% of Antarctica's ice, and are floating sheets of ice attached to land that project out into coastal waters.

Climate: The coldest, windiest, driest continent.

Regions: East Antarctica (c. 3,000,000 sq. mi./7,770,000 sq. km), the largest portion of the continent, is a high, ice-covered plateau. West Antarctica (c. 2,500,000 sq. mi./6,475,000 sq. km), is an archipelago of mountainous islands connected by ice. A mountain range divides them.

Elevation extremes: Lowest point: Bentley Subglacial Trench –8,327 ft. below sea level (–2,538 m)—the lowest land elevation is hidden within the trench. Highest point: Vinson Massif 16,066 ft. (4,897 m), Ellsworth Mountains.


Information Please® Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Polar RegionsThe Arctic

More on Antarctica from Infoplease:

  • Iceberg News - Icebergs Ahoy Monster bergs on the loose by Holly Hartman Send this Page to a Friend! Antarctic ...
  • Antarctica - Map of Antarctica & articles on flags, geography, history, statistics, disasters current events, and international relations.
  • Antarctica - Antarctica Antarctica , the fifth largest continent, c.5,500,000 sq mi (14,245,000 sq km), ...
  • ANTARCTICA - The freezing, inhospitable continent of Antarctica was the last place on Earth to be explored. It is a vast, mountainous land mass at the South Pole,
  • Falkland Islands - Information on Falkland Islands — geography, history, politics, government, economy, population statistics, culture, religion, languages, largest cities.

24 X 7

Private Tutor

Click Here for Details
24 x 7 Tutor Availability
Unlimited Online Tutoring
1-on-1 Tutoring