Ross Sea

Sea ice in the Ross Sea
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Bloom in the Ross Sea, January 2011

Deep bay of the Southern Ocean in Antarctica, between Victoria Land and Marie Byrd Land and within the Ross Embayment, and is the southernmost sea on Earth.

- Ross Sea
Sea ice in the Ross Sea

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Ross Dependency

Region of Antarctica defined by a sector originating at the South Pole, passing along longitudes 160° east to 150° west, and terminating at latitude 60° south.

Region of Antarctica defined by a sector originating at the South Pole, passing along longitudes 160° east to 150° west, and terminating at latitude 60° south.

Mosaic of Landsat images, showing McMurdo Sound (right) and the Dry Valleys (left). Part of Ross Island is visible upper right.
Aerial photo of Mount Erebus on Ross Island

The Dependency takes its name from Sir James Clark Ross, who discovered the Ross Sea, and includes part of Victoria Land, and most of the Ross Ice Shelf.

McMurdo Sound, Antarctica

McMurdo Sound

Sound in Antarctica.

Sound in Antarctica.

McMurdo Sound, Antarctica
An iceberg that calved off Iceberg B-15 caused extensive pack ice buildup in McMurdo Sound, blocking shipping and preventing penguin access to open water.
MV American Tern bringing supplies for McMurdo Station
Weather instruments such as this device installed upon Iceberg B-15A provide scientists a better understanding of Antarctica's impact upon global climate. Photograph by: Josh Landis. National Science Foundation
A research diver reaches towards a jellyfish that thrives in the -1.5 C salt water of McMurdo Sound.
Underwater photo showing the diverse animal life in McMurdo Sound, including the scallop Adamussium colbecki, sea urchin Sterechinus neumayeri, sea sponge Homaxinella balfourensis, brittlestar Ophionotus victoriae and sea spider Colossendeis
The tanker USNS Lawrence N. Gianella on standby at Winter Quarters Bay near McMurdo Station. Photograph by: Peter Rejcek. National Science Foundation.
The Erebus Ice Tongue near the ship channel used during annual resupply missions to McMurdo Station (NASA)
Most visitors to Antarctica's frozen landscape arrive via ship-borne cruises.
A Zodiac inflatable is hoisted aboard an expedition cruise ship in Antarctic waters after ferrying passengers to shore.
Mount Erebus from Castle Rock, near McMurdo Station
Orca whale off Ross Island
Orcas in McMurdo Sound
Winter Quarters Bay at McMurdo Station
Iceberg B-15A at McMurdo Sound
Icebreakers near McMurdo Station, 29 December 1965
Most visitors to Antarctica's frozen landscape arrive via ship-borne cruises.

The sound, which extends about 55 kilometres (34 mi) long and wide, connects to the Ross Sea to the north, and to the Ross Ice Shelf cavity to the south via Haskell Strait.

Area map of Victoria land.

Victoria Land

Area map of Victoria land.

Victoria Land is a region in eastern Antarctica which fronts the western side of the Ross Sea and the Ross Ice Shelf, extending southward from about 70°30'S to 78°00'S, and westward from the Ross Sea to the edge of the Antarctic Plateau.

1834 painting of James Clark Ross

James Clark Ross

British Royal Navy officer and polar explorer known for his explorations of the Arctic, participating in two expeditions led by his uncle Sir John Ross, and four led by Sir William Parry, and, in particular, for his own Antarctic expedition from 1839 to 1843.

British Royal Navy officer and polar explorer known for his explorations of the Arctic, participating in two expeditions led by his uncle Sir John Ross, and four led by Sir William Parry, and, in particular, for his own Antarctic expedition from 1839 to 1843.

1834 painting of James Clark Ross
Illustration of the discovery of the North Magnetic Pole from Robert Huish's 1835 book.
Ross expedition in the Antarctic, 1847, by John Carmichael
"E.I. 1849": and, inscribed by a crew member of the Ross expedition on Somerset Island
James Clark Ross, depicted in 1850 by Stephen Pearce

Shortly after, James Ross discovered the Ross Sea and Victoria Land, charting 900km of new coastline, reaching Possession Island on 12 January and Franklin Island on 27 January (which Ross named after John Franklin ).

Marie Byrd Land

Marie Byrd Land

Unclaimed region of Antarctica.

Unclaimed region of Antarctica.

Marie Byrd Land
Glaciers and rock outcrops in Marie Byrd Land seen from NASA's DC-8 aircraft on October 17, 2011

The territory lies in West Antarctica, east of the Ross Ice Shelf and the Ross Sea and south of the Pacific Ocean portion of the Southern Ocean, extending eastward approximately to a line between the head of the Ross Ice Shelf and Eights Coast.

South end of Ross Island

Ross Island

South end of Ross Island

Ross Island is an island formed by four volcanoes in the Ross Sea near the continent of Antarctica, off the coast of Victoria Land in McMurdo Sound.

Antarctica

Earth's southernmost continent.

Earth's southernmost continent.

Antarctica, a composite satellite image
A speculative representation of Antarctica labelled as 'Terra Australis Incognito' on Jan Janssonius's Zeekaart van het Zuidpoolgebied (1657), Het Scheepvaartmuseum
Eastern Antarctica is to the right of the Transantarctic Mountains and Western Antarctica is to the left.
Vinson Massif from the northwest, the highest peak in Antarctica
Glossopteris sp. leaf from the Permian of Antarctica
The Antarctic Plate
Pine Island Glacier, photographed in November 2011
Ice mass loss since 2002
Image of the largest hole in the ozone layer recorded, in September 2006
Emperor penguins with juveniles
Orange lichen (Caloplaca) growing on the Yalour Islands, Wilhelm Archipelago
Refuse littering the shoreline at Bellingshausen Station on King George Island, photographed in 1992
A whale in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary
Adélie Land, depicted by Jules Dumont d'Urville in his Voyage au Pôle Sud (1846)
The Nimrod Expedition of 1907–1909 (left to right): Frank Wild, Ernest Shackleton, Eric Marshall and Jameson Adams
The "ceremonial" South Pole, at Amundsen–Scott Station
The U.S. delegate Herman Phleger signs the Antarctic Treaty in December 1959.
The cruise ship Silver Cloud in Wilhelmina Bay
An aerial view of McMurdo Station, the largest research station in Antarctica
An Antarctic meteorite, Allan Hills 84001 on display at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

Antarctica is divided into West Antarctica and East Antarctica by the Transantarctic Mountains, which stretch from Victoria Land to the Ross Sea.

All of the world's larger gyres

Ocean gyre

Any large system of circulating ocean currents, particularly those involved with large wind movements.

Any large system of circulating ocean currents, particularly those involved with large wind movements.

All of the world's larger gyres
Coriolis effect

There are minor gyres in the Weddell Sea and the Ross Sea, the Weddell Gyre and Ross Gyre, which circulate in a clockwise direction.

HMS Erebus and HMS Terror in the Antarctic, by James Wilson Carmichael, 1847.

Ross expedition

Voyage of scientific exploration of the Antarctic in 1839 to 1843, led by James Clark Ross, with two unusually strong warships, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror.

Voyage of scientific exploration of the Antarctic in 1839 to 1843, led by James Clark Ross, with two unusually strong warships, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror.

HMS Erebus and HMS Terror in the Antarctic, by James Wilson Carmichael, 1847.
Portrait of Sir James Clark Ross by John R. Wildman. The object lower right is a dip circle.
One of the expedition's ships, either HMS Erebus or HMS Terror, from the Illustrated London News, 1845
Wandering of South Magnetic Pole from observation, starting with Ross, and prediction
Adélie penguin, from the Ross Expedition to the Antarctic of 1839–1843. The Zoology of the Voyage of HMS Erebus and Terror Vol 1, 1875. Drawn by C. Hillman
Title page of Flora Antarctica, 1844–1846
Fagus betuloides (Flora Antarctica, Plate CXXIV)
The red alga Nitophyllum smithi

It explored what is now called the Ross Sea and discovered the Ross Ice Shelf.

Location of King Edward VII Land (marked in orange) within the Ross Dependency

King Edward VII Land

Large, ice-covered peninsula which forms the northwestern extremity of Marie Byrd Land in Antarctica.

Large, ice-covered peninsula which forms the northwestern extremity of Marie Byrd Land in Antarctica.

Location of King Edward VII Land (marked in orange) within the Ross Dependency
Area map of Edward VII Peninsula
New Zealand stamp overprinted for use at the British base

The peninsula projects into the Ross Sea between Sulzberger Bay and the northeast corner of the Ross Ice Shelf, and forms part of the Ross Dependency.