West Ice Shelf


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West Ice Shelf

 

one of the largest ice shelves of Eastern Antarctica. West Ice Shelf juts out into the sea between 81°21’ and 87°40’ E long. It is washed on the north and east by the Davis Sea and on the west by the Sea of Cooperation. Its area is 26,010 sq km (including ice caps forming part of the shelf, 26,800 sq km), with a volume of approximately 9,350cu km. Elevations reach 70-100 m. In many areas it is cut by fissures and gaps. In the central area ice caps reach heights of 200 m. The shelf was discovered and named by a German Antarctic expedition headed by E. Drygalski (1901-03). Detailed explorations were conducted by a Soviet Antarctic expedition from 1957 to 1960. In 1960 in the central area the temporary Soviet Druzhba Meteorological Station operated for three months (May-July) on the Zavadovskii ice cap.

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Two years earlier an iceberg 1,865 square miles in size broke off the West ice shelf in East Antarctica.

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