Thuronyi Bluff

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Location of Foyn Coast on Antarctic Peninsula. Ant-pen-Foyn.PNG
Location of Foyn Coast on Antarctic Peninsula.

Thuronyi Bluff ( 66°48′S64°45′W / 66.800°S 64.750°W / -66.800; -64.750 ) is a prominent escarpment on the east coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, which faces the Larsen Ice Shelf and the Weddell Sea and lies immediately south of the Antarctic Circle. It is located above Mill Inlet in British Antarctic Territory at the base of the Cole Peninsula, between Balch Glacier and Gould Glacier; it is part of Graham Land. [1] The bluff was first observed in aerial photographs taken on December 22, 1947, during the Ronne Antarctic Research Expedition. [2] A modern satellite photo of Thuronyi Bluff and its adjoining glaciers can be seen here.

Antarctic Peninsula peninsula

The Antarctic Peninsula is the northernmost part of the mainland of Antarctica, located at the base of the Southern Hemisphere.

Larsen Ice Shelf Ice shelf in Antarctica

The Larsen Ice Shelf is a long ice shelf in the northwest part of the Weddell Sea, extending along the east coast of the Antarctic Peninsula from Cape Longing to Smith Peninsula. It is named for Captain Carl Anton Larsen, the master of the Norwegian whaling vessel Jason, who sailed along the ice front as far as 68°10' South during December 1893. In finer detail, the Larsen Ice Shelf is a series of shelves that occupy distinct embayments along the coast. From north to south, the segments are called Larsen A, Larsen B, and Larsen C by researchers who work in the area. Further south, Larsen D and the much smaller Larsen E, F and G are also named.

Weddell Sea Part of the Southern Ocean between Coats Land and the Antarctic Peninsula

The Weddell Sea is part of the Southern Ocean and contains the Weddell Gyre. Its land boundaries are defined by the bay formed from the coasts of Coats Land and the Antarctic Peninsula. The easternmost point is Cape Norvegia at Princess Martha Coast, Queen Maud Land. To the east of Cape Norvegia is the King Haakon VII Sea. Much of the southern part of the sea is covered by a permanent, massive ice shelf field, the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf.

Just north of Thuronyi Bluff, the Larsen Ice Shelf once extended a hundred kilometers (or more) from land before any open sea would be encountered. However, part of the shelf larger than the state of Rhode Island, known as "Larsen B", disintegrated over a three-week period in 2002, which followed a similar disintegration of the equivalently sized "Larsen A" region in 1995. [3] It is anticipated that "Larsen C", which lies at the foot of Thuronyi Bluff, may suffer a similar fate sometime in the next decade, [4] after which open seawater will likely come near to Thuronyi Bluff during the austral summertime.


This escarpment is named for Géza T. Thuronyi (1919-2007), an Antarctic scholar at the Library of Congress, whose annotated bibliographies of the meteorological and geoastrophysical characteristics of Earth's cold regions did much to make often obscure publications more available to both the scientific community and the public. [5] The name was applied by the Advisory Committee on Antarctic Names upon Mr. Thuronyi's retirement in 1990, in recognition of his contributions in unveiling the nature of the Antarctic continent. [6]

The Advisory Committee on Antarctic Names is an advisory committee of the United States Board on Geographic Names responsible for recommending names for features in Antarctica. The United States does not recognise territorial boundaries within Antarctica, so ACAN will assign names to features anywhere within the continent, in consultation with other national nomenclatural bodies where appropriate.

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Climate of Antarctica

The climate of Antarctica is the coldest on Earth. The lowest air temperature record on Antarctica was set on 21 July 1983, when −89.2 °C (−128.6 °F) was observed at Vostok Station. Satellite measurements have identified even lower ground temperatures, with −93.2 °C (−135.8 °F) having been observed at the cloud-free East Antarctic Plateau on 10 August 2010.

Ross Ice Shelf ice shelf in Antarctica

The Ross Ice Shelf is the largest ice shelf of Antarctica. It is several hundred metres thick. The nearly vertical ice front to the open sea is more than 600 kilometres (370 mi) long, and between 15 and 50 metres high above the water surface. Ninety percent of the floating ice, however, is below the water surface.

Ice shelf floating platform of ice on the ocean surface, at outlet of a glacier or ice sheet

An ice shelf is a thick suspended platform of ice that forms where a glacier or ice sheet flows down to a coastline and onto the ocean surface. Ice shelves are only found in Antarctica, Greenland, Canada, and the Russian Arctic. The boundary between the floating ice shelf and the anchor ice that feeds it is called the grounding line. The thickness of ice shelves can range from about 100 m (330 ft) to 1,000 m (3,300 ft).

Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf ice shelf in Antarctica

The Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf, also known as Ronne-Filchner Ice Shelf, is an Antarctic ice shelf bordering the Weddell Sea.

Alexander Island island in the Bellingshausen Sea off Antarctica

Alexander Island, which is also known as Alexander I Island, Alexander I Land, Alexander Land, Alexander I Archipelago, and Zemlja Alexandra I, is the largest island of Antarctica. It lies in the Bellingshausen Sea west of Palmer Land, Antarctic Peninsula from which it is separated by Marguerite Bay and George VI Sound. George VI Ice Shelf entirely fills George VI Sound and connects Alexander Island to Palmer Land. The island partly surrounds Wilkins Sound, which lies to its west. Alexander Island is about 390 kilometres (240 mi) long in a north-south direction, 80 kilometres (50 mi) wide in the north, and 240 kilometres (150 mi) wide in the south. Alexander Island is the second largest uninhabited island in the world, after Devon Island.

Thurston Island Antarctic island

Thurston Island is an ice-covered, glacially dissected island, 215 km (134 mi) long, 90 km (56 mi) wide and 15,700 km2 (6,062 sq mi) in area, lying a short way off the northwest end of Ellsworth Land, Antarctica. It is the third largest island of Antarctica, after Alexander Island and Berkner Island.

Palmer Land geographic region

Palmer Land is the portion of the Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica that lies south of a line joining Cape Jeremy and Cape Agassiz. This application of Palmer Land is consistent with the 1964 agreement between US-ACAN and UK-APC, in which the name Antarctic Peninsula was approved for the major peninsula of Antarctica, and the names Graham Land and Palmer Land for the northern and southern portions, respectively. The line dividing them is roughly 69 degrees south.

Support Force Glacier is a major glacier in the Pensacola Mountains, draining northward between the Forrestal Range and Argentina Range to the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf. Mapped by the United States Geological Survey from surveys and US Navy air photos, 1956-66. Named by US-ACAN for the U.S. Naval Support Force Antarctica, which provided logistical support for the United States Antarctic Program during this period.

West Antarctica geographic region

West Antarctica, or Lesser Antarctica, one of the two major regions of Antarctica, is the part of that continent that lies within the Western Hemisphere, and includes the Antarctic Peninsula. It is separated from East Antarctica by the Transantarctic Mountains and is covered by the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. It lies between the Ross Sea, and the Weddell Sea. It may be considered a giant peninsula stretching from the South Pole towards the tip of South America.

Cole Peninsula

Cole Peninsula is a peninsula, 24 kilometers long in an east-west direction and 13 kilometers wide, lying between Cabinet Inlet and Mill Inlet on the east coast of Graham Land, just east of Thuronyi Bluff and immediately north of the Antarctic Circle. The peninsula is surrounded by the Larsen Ice Shelf, which is part of the Weddell Sea.

Ronne Entrance is a broad southwest entrance of the George VI Sound where it opens from the southeast portion of the Bellingshausen Sea at the southwest side of Alexander Island, Antarctica. The south side of the Monteverdi Peninsula occupies the north portion of the Ronne Entrance while Ellsworth Land occupies the southern portion of the entrance. The entrance receives much ice throughout the whole year mainly because the entrance protrudes eastward into the adjacent George VI Sound and the George VI Ice Shelf from the southwest section, the Ronne Entrance is also prone to ice flow from the Bach Ice Shelf as well as receiving ice from the Wilkins Ice Shelf. There are a few islands situated within the Ronne Entrance, mainly in the southwest area. Some of these islands include the Eklund Islands, DeAtley Island, Spaatz Island, Case Island and Smyley Island. It was discovered on a sledge journey through the sound in December 1940 by U.S. Polar explorer Finn Ronne and Carl Eklund of the US Antarctic Service (USAS), 1939–41, and named "Ronne Bay". Finn Ronne covered more miles by ski and sled dog than any other explorer in history and mapped the last unknown coastline on earth on his Ronne Antarctic Research Expedition in 1947.

The Ronne Antarctic Research Expedition (RARE) was an expedition from 1947–1948 which researched the area surrounding the head of the Weddell Sea in Antarctica.

Scott Glacier (Transantarctic Mountains)

The Scott Glacier is a major glacier, 120 miles (190 km) long, that drains the East Antarctic Ice Sheet through the Queen Maud Mountains to the Ross Ice Shelf. The Scott Glacier is one of a series of major glaciers flowing across the Transantarctic Mountains, with the Amundsen Glacier to the west and the Leverett and Reedy glaciers to the east.

Ice calving breaking of ice chunks from the edge of a glacier

Ice calving, also known as glacier calving or iceberg calving, is the breaking of ice chunks from the edge of a glacier. It is a form of ice ablation or ice disruption and is normally caused by the glacier expanding. It is the sudden release and breaking away of a mass of ice from a glacier, iceberg, ice front, ice shelf, or crevasse. The ice that breaks away can be classified as an iceberg, but may also be a growler, bergy bit, or a crevasse wall breakaway.

Crane Glacier

Crane Glacier, is a narrow glacier which flows 30 miles (50 km) in an east-northeasterly direction along the northwest side of Aristotle Mountains to enter Spillane Fjord south of Devetaki Peak, on the east coast of the Antarctic Peninsula. Sir Hubert Wilkins photographed this feature from the air in 1928 and gave it the name "Crane Channel", after C.K. Crane of Los Angeles, reporting that it appeared to be a channel cutting in an east-west direction across the peninsula. The name was altered to "Crane Inlet" following explorations along the west coast of the peninsula in 1936 by the British Graham Land Expedition, which proved that no through channel from the east coast existed as indicated by Wilkins. Comparison of Wilkins' photograph of this feature with those taken in 1947 by the Falklands Islands Dependencies Survey shows that Wilkins' "Crane Channel" is this glacier, although it lies about 75 miles (120 km) northeast of the position originally reported by Wilkins.

Wilkins Sound sound

Wilkins Sound is a seaway in Antarctica that is largely occupied by the Wilkins Ice Shelf. It is located on the southwest side of the Antarctic Peninsula between the concave western coastline of Alexander Island and the shores of Charcot Island and Latady Island farther to the west.

Weyerhaeuser Glacier is a large glacier flowing north into Mercator Ice Piedmont close west of Mobiloil Inlet, on the east coast of Antarctic Peninsula. This glacier lies in the area first explored from the air by Sir Hubert Wilkins in 1928 and Lincoln Ellsworth in 1935, but it was first clearly delineated in aerial photographs taken by the United States Antarctic Service (USAS) in 1940. The glacier was resighted in 1947 by the Ronne Antarctic Research Expedition (RARE) under Ronne. He named it for F. K. Weyerhaeuser, of the Weyerhaeuser Timber Co., who contributed lumber and insulating material to the expedition.

Tindal Bluff is a rocky headland rising to 800 m between the terminus of Fricker Glacier and Monnier Point on the east coast of Graham Land. This coastal area was photographed by several American expeditions: United States Antarctic Service (USAS), 1939–41; Ronne Antarctic Research Expedition (RARE), 1947–48; U.S. Navy photos, 1968. Mapped by Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey (FIDS), 1947–48. Named by United Kingdom Antarctic Place-Names Committee (UK-APC) for Ronald Tindal, General Assistant with the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) Larsen Ice Shelf party in 1963-64.


  1. "Name Details, Thuronyi Bluff" Antarctic Gazetteer, Australian Antarctic Data Centre, online
  2. Tupek, Karen Ronne (2006) "Captain Finn Ronne: Norwegian-American Antarctic Explorer" website of Ronne Family Antarctic Explorers, online
  3. Hulbe, Christina (2002) "Larsen Ice Shelf 2002, warmest summer on record leads to disintegration" website of Portland State University, online
  4. Rignot, Eric (2007) "Mass Balance and Ice Dynamics of Antarctic Peninsula Glaciers for IPY2007-2008" Proposal #359, International Polar Year Expression of Intent, online
  5. Holley, Joe (2008) "Geza T. Thuronyi, 88; Bibliographer for Library of Congress" Washington Post 1/4/08, p. B07, online
  6. US-ACAN "Policy Covering Antarctic Names" website of US Geological Survey, online