Ice and Medicine at the end of the earth

40. How thick is the ice in the summer.


Sorry for the long delay in answering this question.  There was confusion as to who would be more qualified to answer this question — T.J. or I.  I have access to some fun maps, so I will give it a go. 

The real answer to this question is – it depends!  It depends on the time of year, the accumulation rate of the snow in some areas and the location of the ice.  The seasonal sea ice is melting and breaking apart. 

Here is a map of the ice thicknesses across the continent:

You can see that the ice thickness ranges from 0 meters near the sea to 4000 meters toward the center of the continent.  That is a lot of ice!!

Below is the most recent aerial picture (November 2010) of the seasonal sea ice breaking apart. I live on the little island in the middle of the picture.

The next photo is also from November 2010, but zooms in closer to Ross Island.  The first year ice at that time was 2.1-2.4 meters thick.

And, finally I found a aerial photo that compares the extent of the sea ice edge at different times throughout the year in 2005. 

It is fun to watch these changes occur throughout my summer here.  The once snow covered roads and hills are now dirt.  A recent hike to Castle rock allowed us to see icebergs in the distance and ice breaking apart near Cape Evans.

Please let me know if you have more specific questions about the ice thickness — my answer is farely broad.

2 responses

  1. michael

    Hey whats your source for the ice thickness map i need to reference it in my assignment.

    October 24, 2016 at 4:06 PM

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