Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Day 54

The family name of my boys and the Husband feature in Antartica, so the boys often gravitate to looking for it on our globe.  The Husband talks about going down there with his Dad one day and flying over it.  I never feature in that conversation, even though I always say, "oh I'd love to do that too".  Maybe it's got something to do with the fact MY name doesn't feature down there, or maybe it's because I'm not really part of his family, but if you'd had your maiden name, a new married name, a divorce, a request from your ex to stop using HIS name, even though you think of it as your own, a reluctant return to your original maiden name, and then you get married again, would you change your name again? So I haven't changed my name and therefore it doesn't feature in Antartica like the rest of the family?  Doesn't mean I wouldn't love to go down there, you know I love extremes, and being at the bottom of the world doesn't get more extreme than that!

Anyhow, we were looking at the globe the other night and we started talking about the Ross Ice Shelf, which got me thinking.....

What is the Ross Ice Shelf?

The Ross Ice Shelf is the largest ice shelf of Antarctica (an area of roughly 487 000 km2, and about 800 km across: about the size of France. It is several hundred meters thick. The nearly vertical ice front to the open sea is more than 600 km long, and between 15 and 50 meters high above the water surface. 90 percent of the floating ice, however, is below the water surface.
Most of Ross Ice Shelf is located within the Ross Dependency claimed by New Zealand.   The Ross Ice Shelf is a glacier-fed ice shelf. Eight glaciers flow down from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet through the Transantarctic Mountains feed into the Shelf and gradually add bulk to it. The Ross Ice Shelf pushes out into the sea at the rate of between 1.5 m - 3 m a day. There are other glaciers that gradually add bulk to it. Sometimes, fissures and cracks may cause part of the shelf to break off; the largest known is about 31,000 km² that is slightly larger than the size of Belgium. Iceberg B-15, the world's largest recorded iceberg, was calved from the Ross Ice Shelf during March 2000.  Here's an image of the iceberg below.

The Ross Ice shelf is currently under consideration as one of the 7 natural wonders of the world.  Amazing!  
If he truly loved me he'd fork out the dough for me too wouldn't he!  I don't want to miss this one! 

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