Snow Fold, Rauers Glacier

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One thing I hadn't anticipated when exploring the edge of the antarctic plateau was how much pressure the Antarctic sea ice puts on the edge of the ice walls, and how much movement there is in those ice sheets over the months that the ocean is completely frozen over.

During … (read more)

One thing I hadn't anticipated when exploring the edge of the antarctic plateau was how much pressure the Antarctic sea ice puts on the edge of the ice walls, and how much movement there is in those ice sheets over the months that the ocean is completely frozen over.

During the peak of winter- the sea ice surrounding the continent can be many metres thick, but there is still lots of pressure pushing and pulling the ice, making interesting shapes and folds along the edge of the continent, and at the base of the plateau and glaciers themselves.

The Antarctic plateau is static- it doesn't move though it does thicken depending on the amount of ice and snow that falls throughout the year. You can see the layers like the rings of a tree. Glaciers however, are slow moving outwards from the centre of the continent (or however far inland they stretch. They creak and groan as if they are alive. The pressure of the glacier migrating outwards, and the sea ice pushing inwards makes the edge fold and flip and layer into amazing shapes as if formed as frozen breaking waves.

It's difficult to describe the scale of Brown's Glacier and this ice form pictured here. The glacier itself spans kilometers, hundreds of metres high and on clear still days like this one, the only sounds you hear are the gentle breeze whistling through crevasses in the glacier, and the sound of your own breath. It's difficult to find the words- but I think it meets my definition of serenity.


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