The geographical position of Antarctica: an overview

geographical position of Antarctica - the only thing that virtually no doubt among many travelers in ancient times goes in search of the sixth continent.Unexplored land was located, in their opinion, to the south of Africa and Australia.It was discovered in 1820, Antarctica.The geographical position of the continent is now well known.That it largely determines the severity of the climate and other conditions on the continent.

Antarctica Geographical location: general information

In antiquity, Aristotle believed in the existence of the distant continent in the south.The opinion he supported the theory of symmetry land Continent needs to balance its surplus in the north.And, indeed, icy continent located in the southern polar region.The location, opposite the Arctic region of the globe, even reflected in its title.The prefix "anti" in ancient Greek means "against."

geographical position limited area of ​​Antarctica called the Antarctic.It lies within 48-60º S.w.The area occupied by the mainland,

estimated at 13,975 square kilometers.Within this figure, and ice shelves, and attached to the island continent.When calculating the area of ​​the continental shelf, and to take into account, the figure rises to 16,355 thousand. Km2.

Edge and center

geographical position of Antarctica is characterized by a long peninsula that stretches toward South America.Here is the northernmost point of mainland.This Cape Sifre.It reaches 63º13 'south latitude.On the opposite side of the peninsula area of ​​the ice continent is not issued so far into the ocean.

coordinates of the center of Antarctica - about 84º S.N and 64º in.d. It was called the "Pole of Inaccessibility."Opinions about its exact location of several diverge.In science, the Pole of Inaccessibility is the point most remote from transport routes in the case of the six continents - from the coast.However, certain factors, including the particular geographical situation of Antarctica, led to the fact that its location is not easy to determine.The line of the coast can be carried out on the "meeting place" of land and water, or ice shelves and the ocean.Because of this, the exact coordinates of the Pole of Inaccessibility is not defined.Often it is associated with the same name by Soviet station, located on 82º06 'lat.w.and 54º58 'c.d.

In any case, locate the center of the continent does not coincide with the location of the South Pole.If the true select a first of said coordinates, the distance between them is approximately 660 km.

highest continent

While studying the geographical position of Antarctica Grade 7, few remember how the continent "lifted" above the sea level.Sixth continent is considered to be the highest.The reason for the imposing ice cover.The average height of the surface of Antarctica altitude of two thousand meters.In the center of the mainland rises to 4000 m. The vast majority of this power - the ice.Only 0.3% of the relief of Antarctica is free of it.The height of the surface at the sixth continent 2.8 times greater than that of any other continent.

Two parts

The number of zones free of ice, consists of the Transantarctic Mountains.They divide the continent into two regions: West and East Antarctica.These areas are different in their structure and origin.The eastern part - a place where there are relatively high plateau of the continent, reaching the mark of four thousand meters above sea level.West area occupied mountainous islands connected together by ice.In the same area, on the Pacific coast, are placed Antarctic Andes, also exceeding 4000 meters above sea level.The highest point of the continent - Vinson Massif.It is located in West Antarctica and rises to 4892 m. In this part there is also the most "low" point of the mainland.This Bentley basin filled with ice.Its depth reaches 2555 m below sea level.

impressive cover

Geographical position of Antarctica - the key to understanding all the features of the mainland.It is the cause of such impressive ice continent.A similar education can be found in Greenland.However, the Antarctic ice "blanket" surpasses it ten times.The characteristics of this education are striking.It concluded 90% of the ice, which is in the land of our planet.Its volume - about 33 million cubic kilometers!

Ice cover is a formation resembling a dome.The steepness of the surface increases to the coast.The gradual accumulation of mass leads to the movement of ice toward its destruction (ablation, scientifically).For this area is Antarctica coast.It breaks off the ice, icebergs are formed.Every year, the total amount of destruction is about 2.5 thousand km3.


As can be seen, the geographical position of the Antarctic and glacial relief are inextricably linked.Placing the continent has led to the emergence of yet another aspect of the continent.This is a huge area of ​​ice shelves.They partially floating in the water, partially relying on the bottom, stretch from the coast.Ice shelves - the source of the most impressive in its size icebergs.Individual instances affect its dimensions even quite accustomed to the wonders of Antarctica scientists.A good example - the B-15 iceberg that broke away in 2000 from the Ross Ice Shelf.It has an area greater than ten thousand square kilometers.

In winter (in the northern hemisphere at this time of the summer), the territory occupied by the ice shelf is estimated at 18 million km².When he replaced the summer comes, their area is reduced to 3-4 million square kilometers.

ancient formations

Researchers estimate that the continent's ice sheet was formed about 14 million years ago.Not the least role in this played a blur jumper before connecting the sixth continent and South America."Trace" of it - is the Antarctic Peninsula.The same process seems to lead to the formation of the current Western winds (Atlantic circumpolar current) that separates the waters surrounding the continent, from the oceans.

conventional boundaries

geographical position of Antarctica on the plan or map location is determined by including its proximity to the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans.Some benefits are directly border the continent.In other washed by the waters of Antarctica in the Southern Ocean.His conditional abroad can call for Western winds.Isolation of the Southern Ocean is rather informal, even from the beginning of this century are increasingly found in the literature.

temperature conditions in the waters around the continent vary in the range of -2 ° C to +10 ° C.Southern Ocean - a place of strong storms and winds.In winter it freezes up to 65º the Pacific and up to 55º Atlantic.However, some areas remain free of ice throughout the period due to strong winds.


Geographical location Antarctica affects the weather in the continent.There is a cold pole of the planet.The lowest temperature (-88.3 ° C) was recorded by Soviet researchers in August 1960 at the station "Vostok".Averages winter vary between -60 ° C and -70 ° C.In summer, the range is slightly different: -30 ° C to -50 ° C.In general, the temperature is almost never rises above -20 ° C.The exception is the coast and its most outstanding point - Antarctic Peninsula.Here in the summer air can be warmed up to 10-12 ° C.In winter the temperature drops to a small peninsula by the standards of the continent level -8 ° C.At the same time the movement of cold air masses from the center of the continent, "awakens" fairly strong wind sometimes reaches a speed of 90 m / s.

Antarctica (geographic position contributes to it) is not known for high values ​​of humidity.Median - 60-80%, the coast it is reduced to 20% and in some areas - even up to 5%.This fact is particularly striking when one recalls how much water is contained in the ice shell of the continent.

Once a long time ago, Antarctica was covered with forests.According to the researchers, the continent met rivers and lakes, mountains and hills, valleys and meadows.Today it is difficult to imagine such Antarctica.On her last show some of the detected minerals, in particular coal deposits.However, many of the resources hidden ice cover, yet to be discovered.The harsh conditions of our modern Antarctica related to its geographical position, do not allow you to quickly master the vast areas of the continent.Perhaps that is why it is here that began to unfold a program of international cooperation.Researchers from different countries together to try to understand the mysteries of the sixth continent.And the degree of progress often depends on the ability to negotiate and co-ordinate actions.