These pressure ridges occur at the edge of the ice shelf near Scott Base. They were formed by the collision of sea ice against the low ice shelf margin, the latter at this point being only a few metres above water level. The ridges display a myriad of forms which, on a sunny evening with low light, are stunningly beautiful. Cracks which form within the ridges provide conduits for Weddell seals to haul out onto the ice shelf and give birth to pups. Scott Base staff have marked out a route through the pressure ridges, allowing visitors and residents an opportunity to experience an area of incredible beauty.
Aerial view of the pressure ridges near Scott Base. On the right is the McMurdo Ice Shelf; and on the left sea ice.
Seaward side of pressure ridges with Mt Erebus in the background.
Ice-shelf side of pressure ridges with Mt Erebus in the background. The surface of the ice shelf here is only a few metres above sea level.
Pinnacles in the pressure ridges frame Mt Discovery in the background.
View through a pressure ridge toward the volcanic cone of Observation Hill.
Tidal movements allow a moat to form in the sea ice adjacent to the ice shelf.
View of Scott Base from the pressure ridges.
Chaotic blocks of ice in the pressure ridges frame Minna Bluff in the background.
Up-thrust slab of sea ice.
Sea-ice slabs deforming under their own weight.
Ice towers, backlit by the late evening sun.
Solid flat slabs of sea ice thrust up into a wall-like feature.
Upturned ice floe, backlit by the sun, with Observation Hill in the background.
Folded ridge of up-thrust sea ice, deforming under its own weight.
Layering in sea ice is enhanced by the backlighting from the sun.
Upturned floe having the appearance of a weird animal.
Upturned floe, overhanging and ready to collapse.
Slabs of sea ice, tilted on end to form a barrier.
Recently installed wind-farm serving McMurdo Station and Scott Base.
Shadowy ice pinnacles with Mt Discovery in the background.
Arcuate crack in upturned floe.
Snow dunes comprising granular snow; reminiscent of sand dunes.
Cross-lamination picked out by low light in a snow dune.
Weddell seal that has hauled out via a crack on the ice shelf side of the pressure ridges.
Weddell seal pup peers over its motherís body.
Another Weddell seal pup with mother.
Weddell seal on its back with raised flipper.
A snow basin within the numerous pinnacles of the pressure ridges.
|Photos Michael Hambrey, November and December 2010.|