Open menu Close menu Open Search Close search
Support our Sponsor

. . Flags of the World Maps of All Countries
  • 2001 INDEX
  • 2000 INDEX
  • 1999 INDEX
  • 1998 INDEX
  • 1996 INDEX
  • Country Ranks

  • Home PageCountry Index

    Antarctica Geography 1997

      Location continent mostly south of the Antarctic Circle

      Geographic coordinates 90 00 S, 0 00 E

      Map references Antarctic Region

      total: 14 million sq km
      land: 14 million sq km (280,000 sq km ice-free, 13.72 million sq km ice-covered)(est.)
      note : second-smallest continent (after Australia)

      Area - comparative slightly less than 1.5 times the size of the US

      Land boundaries 0 km
      note: see entry on International disputes

      Coastline 17,968 km

      Maritime claims none, but see entry on International disputes

      Climate severe low temperatures vary with latitude, elevation, and distancefrom the ocean; East Antarctica is colder than West Antarctica because ofits higher elevation; Antarctic Peninsula has the most moderate climate; highertemperatures occur in January along the coast and average slightly below freezing

      Terrain about 98% thick continental ice sheet and 2% barren rock, with averageelevations between 2,000 and 4,000 meters; mountain ranges up to about 5,000meters; ice-free coastal areas include parts of southern Victoria Land, WilkesLand, the Antarctic Peninsula area, and parts of Ross Island on McMurdo Sound;glaciers form ice shelves along about half of the coastline, and floatingice shelves constitute 11% of the area of the continent

      Elevation extremes
      lowest point : Indian Ocean 0 m
      highest point: Vinson Massif 5,140 m

      Natural resources none presently exploited; iron ore, chromium, copper, gold, nickel,platinum and other minerals, and coal and hydrocarbons have been found insmall, uncommercial quantities

      Land use
      arable land: 0%
      permanent crops: 0%
      permanent pastures: 0%
      forests and woodland: 0%
      other : 100% (ice 98%, barren rock 2%)

      Irrigated land 0 sq km (1993)

      Natural hazards katabatic (gravity-driven) winds blow coastward from the high interior;frequent blizzards form near the foot of the plateau; cyclonic storms form over the ocean and move clockwise along the coast; volcanism on DeceptionIsland and isolated areas of West Antarctica; other seismic activity rareand weak

      Environment - current issues in 1995 it was reported that the ozone shield, which protects the Earth'ssurface from harmful ultraviolet radiation, had dwindled to the lowest levelrecorded over Antarctica since 1975 when measurements were first taken

      Environment - international agreements
      party to: none of the selected agreements
      signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

      Geography - note the coldest, windiest, highest, and driest continent; during summer,more solar radiation reaches the surface at the South Pole than is receivedat the Equator in an equivalent period; mostly uninhabitable

      NOTE: The information regarding Antarctica on this page is re-published from the 1997 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Antarctica Geography 1997 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Antarctica Geography 1997 should be addressed to the CIA.

    Support Our Sponsor

    Support Our Sponsor
    Please put this page in your BOOKMARKS - - - - -

    Revised 06-Mar-02
    Copyright © 2023 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)