Antarctica. Landmarks of the mainland, photo with description, presentation, facts

Antarctica - the region of the southern polar and indoor zone, which includes Antarctica and nearby acute va.

Antarctica is the most southern mainland of the planet Earth, which occupies the 5th place in the total area. On the territory of Antarctica is the Southern Geographical Pole, the Southern Magnetic Pole and the South Pole of the Cold. Antarctica has already been fought by glaciers for many thousands of years, forming amazing sights.

The description of Antarctica

translated from the Greek language Antarctica means "opposite the North". The mainland was found in the first half of the XIX century. Russian navigators. Antarctica - a gigantic storey of fresh water on the planet being in solid state. The condition of the Antarctic Ice Shield is directly affected by the water level in the ocean.

Antarctic continent is very rich in minerals, such as:

  • ore of black and non-ferrous metals;
  • ​​
  • Stone coal;
  • precious stones.

However, mining of minerals on this mainland is prohibited: the maintenance of economic activity can cause the melting of glaciers and, as a result, a sharp increase in the world's ocean level.

Antarctic mainland is famous for its endemic fauna and practically complete lack of plants. The air temperature on the continent is always below 0 ° C. In winter, the air temperature drops to -90 ° C. Because of the ice shell, forming hundreds of years, the height of the surface on average is 2 km.

Antarctica geographical features

Antarctica washed 3 ocean: Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean.

The territory of the Pacific Ocean includes the following Antarctic Seas:

  • Sea of ​​Ross;
  • Amundsen Sea;
  • Bellingshausen Sea.

The Weddell Sea belongs to the Antarctic part of the Atlantic Ocean. The waters of the World Ocean, surrounding the entire Antarctic zone, are commonly called the Southern Ocean. The Antarctic continent is covered by 99.7% glaciers, only the Transantarctic Mountains rise above the glaciers, and the peninsula in the west is free of ice during the summer months.

About 1/3 of the continent lies below the level of the World Ocean. The western part is a group of islands united by a glacier. Under the glaciers of the eastern and central parts is the mainland of Antarctica.

Located on the Antarctic Peninsula, the mountain range that reaches the center of the continent is a continuation of the South American Andes. The average height of this mountain range is 4 km, the highest point is Mount Vinson (5.14 km). The peninsula also hosts the lowest point in Antarctica, the Bentley Trench (2,555 km).

The eastern part of the mainland is a platform with several plateaus and mountain ranges from 3 km to 4 km high.

There are several active volcanoes on the continent, the largest of them is Erebus (3,794 km).

Climate of Antarctica

The climatic conditions of the southernmost continent are generally harsh and cold. However, the annual climatic regime of the interior regions of the continent differs from the climatic conditions of the coasts. The areas of the mainland remote from the coast are under the influence of a sharply continental climate.

The air temperature in winter can drop to -90°С, and rise to -15°С in summer. In spring and autumn the air temperature fluctuates from -30°С to -40°С. The influence of oceanic cyclones on the climate of the interior regions of Antarctica is minimal. Humidity is very low. Precipitation falls as ice dust at a rate of 18 mm per year.

The Antarctic Peninsula on the world map extends beyond the southern polar region, so the climate here is much warmer than in the rest of Antarctica. In summer, the air temperature is always above 0°С, in winter - up to -30°С, in autumn and spring - from -10°С to -15°С. Thaws with an increase in air temperature to positive levels are possible throughout the year.

The climate of the Antarctic Peninsula is greatly influenced by the relatively warm waters of the Southern Ocean, precipitation in this area is about 1000 mm per year in the form of snow, rain and fog.

Often in the area of ​​the Antarctic Peninsula, warm air masses formed over the ocean collide with dry and cold continental air masses, which causes hurricane-force winds in the region.

The rest of the Antarctic coast is located behind the southern polar circle, so the climate is colder here. In winter, the air temperature drops to -35 ° C, in the summer season rises to + 4 ° C. In the spring and autumn seasons, the air temperature on average holds marks from -15 ° C to -20 ° C. The amount of precipitation is 700 mm per year.

Antarctic Oasis - small valleys, protected from cold winds by mountains. In winter, the air temperature in such areas is higher than several degrees than in the adjacent territories. In the summer, the air is often heated to + 20 ° C and higher.

Antarctica Climatic Map:

Region of the mainland Middle temperatures In winter Middle temperatures in the summer
Internal continental part-70 ° C-25 ° C
Antarctic Peninsula-20 ° C+ 2 ° C
Coast-25 ° C-4 ° C

Flora and Fauna Antarctica

Vegetable and animal world Antarctica is pretty poor. Antarctic flora represents several dozen species of moss and lichen, as well as microscopic algae of different colors. Plants can be observed only in the summer in the districts of Antarctic Oasis, on the coasts and thawed territories.

from terrestrial animals in the territory of the Antarctic continent are found:

  • some types of worms;
  • the simplest crustaceans;
  • Outless insects (butterflies, flies, mosquitoes): Because of the constant strong winds, insects cannot move over the earth's surface.

The animal world of the Antarctic coast and adjacent waters is more diverse.

Semi-duct mammals:

  • sea cat;
  • Weddela Tyleny;
  • Tylene Leopard;
  • Marine Elephant is the largest representative of the sealer family (the weight of an adult is exceeded 1000 kg);
  • Sea Lion.

Marine fauna:

  • Blue whale;
  • Cachelot;
  • Calching;
  • Seld whale.

17 species of penguins live on the territory of Antarctica - waterfowl. The largest representative of the Penguin family is the imperial penguin (an increase in an individual of 1.2 m, weight comes up to 50 kg).

For the summer in Antarctica:

  • seagulls are arrived;
  • cormorants;
  • Albatrosse;
  • Petrels.

Top 10 of the most interesting sights of Antarctica

Antarctica - Mainland, whose attractions are striking with their unusualness.

10 main attractions of the southern continent:

  1. South Pole - the lower conditional point of finding the earth's axis. Located in the Polar Plateau (height is 2.8 km). It was opened in 1911 by the Norwegian expedition under the leadership of Rual Amundsen. The point of the southern geographical pole is marked with a small memorial, the vertex of which crumpled a mirror ball. The memorial is surrounded by flags of the states who have reached the southern pole.
  2. The Land of the Queen mod is located along the Atlantic coast, was named after the Government of Norway. The territory of this area crosses the mining chain. Currently, there are several research stations here.
  3. Vulcan Melbourne is located on the coast of the Ross Sea, the height is 2.732 km. The volcano did not erupt since 1750. Currently, cracks are found in the crater through which gas comes out. Near the volcano is a polar station and a helicopter area.
  4. "endless sea" - Research vessel, sunken off the coast of the Antarctic Peninsula in 2012. The yacht is called Antarctica's inaccessibility symbol.
  5. The Wildlife Lake East is located next to the Russian Station. The existence of the lake was proven in the middle of the XX century. Russian scientist Andrei Kapitsa. The reservoir was opened in 1996. To avoid pollution of water in a reservoir, scientists decided not to take any attempt to achieve the surface of the reservoir. For the assumptions of scientists in the lake, live organisms of the time of the Proterozoic Era (700 million years ago) were preserved.
  6. Lake Don Juan is located in the eastern part of Antarctica and is the most saline water on Earth (salts content - 40%). To date, the depth of the lake does not exceed 10 cm. The water is forming groundwater rising to the surface. The riddle of the lake is that nitrogen compounds allocated by alive organisms were found in the water. However, living organisms in the waters of the lake were not detected.
  7. Antarctic Mac-Moto Desert is the most arid place on the planet, located in the east of the continent. The reasons for the constant drought are: strong winds, critically low air temperatures, remoteness from the ocean. In the summer season, the air temperature in the valley can exceed 20°C.
  8. Mount Erebus is currently the southernmost active volcano on the planet, its height is 3.794 km. Located on Ross Island off the east coast of Antarctica. It was discovered in 1820. It was conquered by man in 1908. The volcano has been active since the 70s. 20th century
  9. Paradise Bay is located off the southeastern coast of Antarctica and belongs to the Pacific Ocean. Included in the program of tourist routes and allows you to get as close to the mainland as possible.
  10. Under-ice Antarctic caves ​​are located near the active volcanoes of the continent. Hot gases and lava erupting from the depths of the volcano melt the ice below the surface, forming internal cavities. The air temperature inside such caves is higher than on the surface. Researchers suggest that unique living organisms can exist in such under-ice chambers. To date, Antarctic subglacial caves have been little studied.

Antarctic glaciers

In Antarctica, 12% of the total area of ​​the continent is occupied by ice shelves. An ice shelf is an ice sheet located in the coastal shallow zones of the mainland and connecting the continent with nearby islands. Antarctic ice shelves have a height of 20 to 100 m.

Most (83%) of ice shelves are located in the western regions of Antarctica. The largest ice shelf in Antarctica is the Ross Glacier, covering 487,000 square meters. km of the Ross Sea.

In the mountainous regions of the mainland, there are outlet glaciers or ice rivers that fill mountain valleys.

In Antarctica, dome glaciers are also observed - ice plates that completely cover the tops of flat mountains or entire islands.

Islands of Antarctica

The sights of the Antarctic region are also located outside the mainland Antarctica, they include nearby islands. The South Shetland Islands are located in the waters of the Drake Passage. The archipelago consists of 24 small islands of volcanic origin. Some of the islands have vegetation and are home to several species of birds.

Scientific stations have been established on Deception Island to study volcanic activity. A visit to Deception Island is included in the program of tourist routes in Antarctica.

The South Sandwich Islands are a group of 11 small islands of volcanic origin. Located in the South Atlantic Ocean. Flora and fauna are represented by Antarctic species of plants and animals.

Peter I Island is located 400 km from the western coast of Antarctica in the Pacific Ocean and is of volcanic origin. The area of ​​the island is 156 sq. km. Throughout the year, the island is almost completely covered with ice; in the summer, only coastal zones thaw.

Bloody Waterfall

Antarctica is a continent whose sights are created by nature itself. One of the most unusual waterfalls on Earth is located in the McMurdo Valley (East Antarctica). The water in the waterfall has a bright red hue. This is due to the high content of iron oxide in water.

The source of the waterfall is a large subglacial lake formed 4 million years ago. The salinity of the waters of the Bloody Falls exceeds the salinity of the water in the oceans by 4 times, so the water here freezes at temperatures below -10 ° C. The simplest microorganisms were found in the water of the waterfall.

Church of Whalers

Antarctica is a mainland (sights of a predominantly natural nature), where the construction of buildings due to permafrost soil is not an easy task, there are several small buildings.

The Whaling Church is located on the island of South Georgia adjacent to Antarctica (South Atlantic Ocean). It was erected in 1913 next to the whaling station. In 1966, the station was closed due to a sharp decline in the number of whales in the ocean waters adjacent to the island. Since the closing of the station and at present, the church building has been used for its intended purpose.

Mountains of Antarctica

Antarctica in the direction from north to south is crossed by the Transantarctic Range, the length of which is 4000 km. The Antarctic mountain range is one of the longest in the world. The height of the mountains in Antarctica is from 3000 m to 4000 m, the highest peaks reach 5000 m.

There are several active volcanoes on the Antarctic continent with lakes of red-hot lava. Due to the volcanic dust that is constantly in the air, the falling snow in the areas of volcanoes has a gray tint.

The Drake Passage

The Drake Passage connects the waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans in the Southern Hemisphere of the Earth, separates the Antarctic Peninsula and the island of Tierra del Fuego. Drake Passage is the widest (800 km) and deepest (5500 m) strait in the world, it was discovered by the sea pirate Francis Drake in 1578

The strongest storms on Earth are observed in the Drake Passage. The movement of small ships in the strait is extremely dangerous, especially against the current. Safe movement in the waters of the Drake Passage is possible only for very large vessels with the lowest wind speed.

Catholic Church

Antarctica's most unusual Catholic church is located in an ice cave near the Argentine scientific base Belgrano II on Cotes Island, off the west coast of Antarctica. The Catholic Church of the Research Station Belgrano II is the southernmost place of worship on the planet.

Penguins in Antarctica

Penguins are flightless seabirds that live in extreme southern latitudes. The penguin family includes 18 species. The growth of the largest emperor penguins exceeds 1 m, and the weight is 40 kg. The growth of the smallest representatives of the family does not exceed 45 cm, and the weight is 2.5 kg.

The penguins of Antarctica live in coastal zones and feed on fish.

Penguins in Antarctica never breed alone; they usually gather in large colonies of several tens of thousands of individuals. Penguins of smaller breeds lay 2 eggs each in ordinary nests, representatives of larger species lay 1 egg each and incubate them on their own paws. The incubation period lasts 1-2 months depending on the type of bird.

Natural enemies of penguins are:

  • large seals (leopard seals, sea lions);
  • killer whales;
  • sharks.

Chicks and eggs are threatened by gulls and skuas.

Unas Tits Peaks

Unas Tits basalt cliffs are located on the northern coast of the Antarctic Peninsula and have rounded peaks, the height of the highest rock is 747 m. The rocks are located on the coast of Leimer Strait, passing through which is mandatory for many tourist liners.

Lake Vanda

Vanda is a salt lake located in the eastern part of Antarctica in a mountain valley. The length of the lake is 5 km, the depth is 69 m. The longest river of the Antarctic continent, Onyx (30 km), flows into Lake Vanda. Lake Vanda is unique in that it has no water circulation.

. The living world of the reservoir is represented only by cyanobacteria.

Excursions to Antarctica

Antarctica is a continent, the sights of which are included in the programs of excursion routes.

Tourist trips to Antarctica are organized by the following countries:

  • Argentina;
  • Chile;
  • New Zealand.

Tourist journey to the Antarctic starts from landing on a cruise liner in Buenos Aires.

Serial Excursion Program:

  1. Puerto Madrin's port (inspection of the habitat of the colony of Magellan Penguins);
  2. Falkland Islands (acquaintance with the unique fauna of ocean waters, visit the port of Wedley);
  3. Strait Drake;
  4. South Shetland Islands (inspection of volcanic islands).

The state of Chile organizes the Antarctic of aircursions, calculated for 1-2 days. Excursion begins in the capital of Punta-Arenas Patagonia. After a two-hour flight, the excursion plane lands on the island of King George, where familiarity with the animal of the world of Antarctica begins and weather conditions.

Further, the aircraft stops the Strait of the Drake and land next to the Russian polar station Bellingsgausezen. Then tourists transplanted on a cruise ship, which runs in the direction of Antarctica. You can go to the tourist trip to Antarctica from New Zealand from the city of Litteton or from the city of Christchurch.

New Zealand for visiting the southern extreme breadths organizes aircursions and sea travel. The excursion route includes visiting the islands of Antarctic, the end point of the route is the Wilkins airfield located in Eastern Antarctica.

The average price of excursions to the southern continent - from $ 5000 to $ 10,000. The price of a long-term seabed (more than 10 days) comes to $ 20000 + the cost of the flight to the country organizing the excursion.

Interesting facts about Antarctica

The most interesting about the mainland of Antarctica:

  • the territory of Antarctica and the nearby islands does not belong to any state, on the basis of What is the official document;

    Antarctica does not belong to any state.

  • Antarctica is the driest place on Earth;
  • There is no permanent population in Antarctica;
  • Antarctica is the best place to look for meteorites: celestial bodies that fall on the ice sheet are better preserved;
  • Antarctica is the only continent where there are no time zones: scientific stations adhere to the time associated with their country;
  • Antarctica contains 90% of all fresh water in the world, which is in solid state;
  • if the Antarctic ice completely melts, the level of the seas and oceans will rise by 60 m;
  • in the southern polar latitudes, the largest icebergs on the planet are formed, the dimensions of the largest iceberg are: length - 295 km, width - 37 km; area - 11000 sq. km; weight - 3 billion tons.

Antarctica is the most mysterious, impregnable and severe Part of the World. Most of the attractions of the mainland are not accessible to tourists. The program of excursion routes includes inspection of the adjacent islands, the Antarctic Peninsula and the coast of the continent.

Article design: Oleg Lozinsky

Video about Antarctica

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