Antarctica glossary

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"South Pole"


There are
four South Poles

South Pole

This is what we normally think of when we hear the word "south pole".  By definition, it's the southern point of the axis of our planet's rotation. Its latitude is exactly 90-degrees south.

Note: The Ceremonial South Pole is a barber-striped pole encircled with national flags. It is set into the ice at the Geographical South Pole (see map above). It's a photo-op symbol, not a scientific indicator. Because the polar ice cap at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station drifts about 10 meters (33 feet) a year, the Ceremonial South Pole is accurate only when the staff repositions the marker, which seldom occurs.

South Pole

It's where you will end up if you follow the needle of your compass until it points skyward. This pole changes its position regularly. It is now submerged in the ocean, about 2,700 kilometers (1,700 miles) from the Geographic South Pole, in the general direction of Australia.

South Pole

It resides approximately midway between the Geographic and Magnetic South Poles - and like the latter, it wanders.

For more
glossary terms, click

PAGE TWO - Ice formations
PAGE THREE - More ice formations
PAGE FOUR - Other widely used terms

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