Amery Ice Shelf

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Satellite image of a portion of the Amery Ice Shelf, where three giant rifts meet.

The Amery Ice Shelf (69°45′S 71°0′E / 69.750°S 71.000°E / -69.750; 71.000Coordinates: 69°45′S 71°0′E / 69.750°S 71.000°E / -69.750; 71.000) is a broad ice shelf in Antarctica at the head of Prydz Bay between the Lars Christensen Coast and Ingrid Christensen Coast. It is part of Mac. Robertson Land. The name "Cape Amery" was applied to a coastal angle mapped on February 11, 1931 by the British Australian New Zealand Antarctic Research Expedition (BANZARE) under Douglas Mawson. He named it for William Bankes Amery, a civil servant who represented the United Kingdom government in Australia (1925–28). The Advisory Committee on Antarctic Names interpreted this feature to be a portion of an ice shelf and, in 1947, applied the name Amery to the whole shelf.

In December 2006, it was reported by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that Australian scientists were heading to the Amery Ice Shelf to investigate enormous cracks that had been forming for over a decade at a rate of three to five metres a day. These fractures threaten to break off a 1000 square kilometre piece of the Amery Ice Shelf. Scientists want to discover what is causing the cracks, as there has not been similar activity since the 1960s. However, the head of research believes that it is too early to attribute the cause to Global Warming as there is the possibility of a natural 50-60 year cycle being responsible.[1]

Lambert Glacier flows from Lambert Graben into the Amery Ice Shelf on the southwest side of Prydz Bay.

The Amery Basin (68°15′S 74°30′E / 68.250°S 74.500°E / -68.250; 74.500) is an undersea basin north of the Amery Ice Shelf.

The Chinese Antarctic Zhongshan Station and Russian Progress Station are located near this ice shelf.

The Amery Ice Shelf is small compared to the Ross Ice Shelf and the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf.

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