Talk:Ross Ice Shelf

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Some suggestions for improvement[edit]

In the "Exploration"-section of this article, there are several incorrect statements, i.e.:
1. Ross' way to the South Magnetic Pole was not blocked by the Ice Shelf today bearing his name, but by the Transantarctic Mountains, for the Magnetic Pole was situated at this time approx. at 76° S, 145° 20’ E, while the Ice Shelf then extended to(approx.) 78° S.
2. The quotation attributed to Ross is incorrect. In his account he says: "It was, however, an obstruction of such a character as to leave no doubt upon my mind as to our future proceedings, for we might with equal chance of success try to sail through the Cliffs of Dover, as penetrate such a mass.”
Reference: Voyage of Discovery and Research in the Southern and Antarctic Regions, during the Years 1839-43, by Captain Sir James Clark Ross, R.N., London 1847, 2 vols.
3. R.F.Scott did not undertake "a first exploration of the area". The first man to stand on the Ross Ice Shelf was Carsten E. Borchgrevink during the Southern Cross Expedition in 1900.
4. The first time R.F. Scott presented his findings about the Ice Shelf (achieved during the Discovery Expedition, 1901-1904), was in his book "Voyage of the Discovery", New York 1905, 2 vols, not in the "Universitas Antartica"-Lectures of 1911.
5. Not a mistake, but the quotations from Amundsen's account seem disproportionate, in comparison with the contributions of other explorers.
Dr Jostmann, 21.10.2009 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:42, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Height and volume[edit]

How high is the ross ice shelf, what's its volume? --Abdull 03:46, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

The nearly vertical ice front above the open sea surface is 15 to 50 meters high, and 90 percent of this is below the water surface, so the total thickness would be 165 to 550 meters. If one assumes an average thickness of 300 meters (roughly the geometric mean of 165 and 550), one would calculate a volume of 150 000 km³, and that's all freshwater! By contrast, the Great Lakes have a water volume of 23 000 km³, which is 20 percent of the world's (liquid) freshwater. Ratzer 09:52, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Mentioned in fiction[edit]

the ross ice shelf is mentioned in various works of fiction as breaking off/melted by volcanoes/being nuked by terrorists and causing catastrophic tsunami/sea level rise. is this worth mentioning? Mang 05:55, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Popular culture section[edit]

I think that the info in the popular culture section should be in a history section. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bernstein2291 (talkcontribs) 02:57, 12 June 2007 (UTC)


I spent a lot of time and effort to add to this particular topic. The editing done after my additions removed important material and changed the meanings of key pieces of information such that the information was either incorrect or not useful. One such change was the size comparison. The British Antarctic Survey compares the size of Ross to France. This was changed to Spain. No citation to corroborate that fact was given. I have citations backing the comparison to France. Also, the information about the Amundsen-Scott parties was changed. It is key that Amundsen made the Ross Ice Shelf his base camp. Scott started from Ross Island -- this is the distinction that made all the difference in their trips. It should not have been changed. We all want this article to be a good one, but don't make changes that compromise the factual integrity of the piece, please. A little mollusk (talk) 15:09, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

Point of no return[edit]

A little mollusk has provided a very strange definition of the term point of no return which defies normal English usage and actual facts. I have attempted to get him/her to see that it is inappropriate usage but he/she persists in reinserting it at every attempt. I would like to point out that the starting point of a land expedition cannot ever be a point of no return as is demonstrated by Amundsen's return to his starting point, Scott's return to his starting point and Shackleton's return to his starting point. It might be said that the Farthest South positions achieved by Scott and Shackleton were points of no return because they would have died had they not returned from those points. Anyway I am not going to continie to bang my head against this brick wall as it is raising my Wikistress levels far too high. Dabbler (talk) 16:42, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

Agreed William M. Connolley (talk) 22:33, 20 March 2008 (UTC)


"The Ross Ice Shelf is one of many such shelves. It is about the size of France, and reaches into Antarctica from the south."

Careful about using cartographic directions, the south is further inland than the Ross shelf. Magnitogorsk242 (talk) 06:12, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

does it reach down to the ocean floor?[edit]

Much? Is it mostly floating or is a lot of it solid down to the bottom of the ocean?

and if water, what kinds of animals are in there? is it a bio-desert because of no light and no surface life falling down? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:47, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

It doesn't reach down to the sea floor, not in most places anyway. And yes, the nature of biological life down there is an ongoing topic of speculation and future research by marine biologists. There's no reason why there shouldn't be any, when there's life even several kilometers down into the black depths of the oceans elsewhere, but it could include some species unknown from other places, since this dark underwater basin has been semi-cut-off from the rest of the oceans for millions of years. That much I've heard biologists saying. It's not huge prehistoric sharks or plesiosaurs we're talking about, but fish, microfauna, worms and small mollusks could present many forms that are unknown anywhere else. (talk) 18:15, 31 July 2013 (UTC)


I suggest that any quote be finished with a reference. The article has numerous quotes but is lacking references immediately after the quote.--MONGO 03:39, 15 July 2012 (UTC)


Inspired by the mention of sea anemones attached to the shelf itself as mentioned on the front page, I wonder if it would be appropriate to enter some description of the ecosystem of the Ice Shelf? I don't consider myself to have the expertise to write something up, but thought I'd mention it in case someone thought it was a good idea....Quietmarc (talk) 19:11, 2 February 2014 (UTC)

Composition and Movement[edit]

Part of this section reads "Sometimes, fissures and cracks may cause part of the shelf to break off; the largest known is about 31,000 km2 (12,000 sq mi), that is, slightly larger than the size of Belgium. Iceberg B-15, the world's largest recorded iceberg, was calved from the Ross Ice Shelf during March 2000.".

The page List of recorded icebergs by area does not mention any iceberg larger than B-15, but its area was nowhere near 12,000 sq mi. So is there a larger iceberg that should be added to the list, or is this just a mistake? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:20, 1 December 2014 (UTC)