Editor’s Note: These photographs may look old-fashioned now, but when we first started posting photos most images were scanned in from film negatives, and the resolution on the internet was very poor. Images needed to be only a few kilobytes so that you could download them with a phone modem; now they are thousands of times bigger.
A cutaway view of Antarctica showing the ice cover over the landmass. In many places ice is over 2 miles thick and places so much weight and pressure on the land that elevations drop over 600 feet.
On a still day, Mt Erebus’ volcanic plume rises many hundreds of feet above its crater. Although it is always venting, the risk of eruption is low and poses little risk to the people working on Ross Island, home of McMurdo Station (U.S.) and Scott Base (N.Z.)
Sheets of ice left in the wake of the icebreaker Polar Star that makes annual visits to McMurdo Station to cut a path through the Ross Sea ice sheet. The channel allows arrival of a refueling ship, a re-supply ship, a Coast Guard research vessel and several tourist ships.
This is the face of the Barne Glacier, southwest of Mt. Erebus’ base. The glacier is over 70 feet high and this photo captures only the top 15-20 feet. The face is accessible to those headed towards Cape Evans and Cape Royds.
An iceberg broken free and visible while on a short day trip about the icebreaker. Penguins can frequently be found seeking shelter on these small bergs.
These are pressure ridges formed by tidal action and up swelling of one ice sheet against another. Seals frequently use the breaks formed by this crashing together of these ice sheets to gnaw through the weaker and thinner areas. This provide them a breathing hole plus once on top of the ice, a resting place from mating, feeding, or fighting.
An iceberg trapped in the sea ice in McMurdo Sound near Big Razorback Island. These bergs often stay trapped from March until February the following year when (and if) the ice flows northwards.
A seal resting on the ice framed by an Antarctic rendition of Stonehenge called “Icehenge.”
Tools used in the construction of ice shelters and for personal safety when personnel are required to live in the field or are walking on icy slopes.
View of one of the islands through a crack in a trapped iceberg.