Axel Heiberg Glacier

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Axel Heiberg Glacier
Aerial view of the Axel Heiberg Glacier in 1956–57
Aerial view of the Axel Heiberg Glacier in 1956–57
Map showing the location of Axel Heiberg Glacier
Map showing the location of Axel Heiberg Glacier
Location of Axel Heiberg Glacier in Antarctica
TypeValley glacier
LocationQueen Maud Mountains, Antarctica
Coordinates85°25′S 163°0′W / 85.417°S 163.000°W / -85.417; -163.000Coordinates: 85°25′S 163°0′W / 85.417°S 163.000°W / -85.417; -163.000
Length56 km (35 mi)
TerminusRoss Ice Shelf

The Axel Heiberg Glacier in Antarctica is a valley glacier, 30 nmi (35 mi) long, descending from the high elevations of the Antarctic Plateau into the Ross Ice Shelf (nearly at sea level) between the Herbert Range and Mount Don Pedro Christophersen in the Queen Maud Mountains.

This huge glacier was discovered in November 1911 by the Norwegian polar explorer Roald Amundsen, and named by him for Axel Heiberg, a Norwegian businessman and patron of science who contributed to numerous Norwegian polar expeditions. Amundsen used this glacier as his route up onto the polar plateau during his successful expedition to the South Pole.[1]

Unlike the big “outlet” glaciers such as the Beardmore, Shackleton and Liv, the Axel Heiberg is in effect an alpine glacier, cut off from the Plateau by a dolerite rim and fed entirely from the uncharacteristically heavy snow falling within its own catchment. It falls over 2,700 m (9,000 ft) in 32 km (20), most of it over 11 km (7 mi).[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Axel Heiberg Glacier". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  2. ^ Otway, Peter (21 September 2011). "Gateways to the Pole: Mapping Amundsen's and Scott's Routes through the Transantarctic Mountains Fifty Years Later" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 November 2011. Retrieved 9 January 2014.

Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Geological Survey document: "Axel Heiberg Glacier". (content from the Geographic Names Information System)