Weddell Sea

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Weddell Sea

(wĕd`əl), arm of the Atlantic Ocean, W Antarctica, SE of South America, bordered by the Antarctic Peninsula and Coats Land. The vast Ronne and Filchner ice shelves are at the head of the sea. Named for James Weddell, a British navigator who claimed to have discovered the sea in 1823, it was investigated by the Scottish explorer William BruceBruce, William Speirs
, 1867–1921, Scottish explorer and authority on the polar regions. He first went to the Antarctic as ship's surgeon in 1892 and later did survey work in Franz Josef Land and oceanographic work in the Arctic Ocean.
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 from 1902 to 1904. It was studied fully during the International Geophysical Year (1957–58) and has since been a site of continuing investigation.

Weddell Sea

 

a marginal sea indenting the coastline of Antarctica. It lies between the Antarctic Peninsula on the west and Coats Land on the east, and its southern shores form the edges of the Ronne and Filchner ice shelves. The Weddell Sea has an area of 2,796,400 sq km. Prevailing depths are 3,000 m, and maximum depths exceed 4,500 m in the northern part. The southern and southwestern parts are shallow, with depths of up to 500 m. Much of the sea is covered throughout the year by pack ice; there are many icebergs.

On the coast of the Weddell Sea are located the British Antarctic station at Halley Bay and four Argentine stations, three of which are on the Antarctic Peninsula. In late 1975 the Soviet seasonal station Druzhnaia was established on the southern shore of the sea. The Weddell Sea was first entered in 1823 by an English expedition led by J. Weddell, who named it George IV Sea. In 1900 the sea was renamed in honor of Weddell.

Weddell Sea

an arm of the S Atlantic in Antarctica