Victoria Land

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Area map of Victoria Land. AN -Victoria Land.png
Area map of Victoria Land.

Victoria Land is a region in eastern Antarctica which fronts the western side of the Ross Sea and the Ross Ice Shelf, extending southward from about 70°30'S to 78°00'S, and westward from the Ross Sea to the edge of the Antarctic Plateau. [1] It was discovered by Captain James Clark Ross in January 1841 and named after Queen Victoria. [1] The rocky promontory of Minna Bluff is often regarded as the southernmost point of Victoria Land, and separates the Scott Coast to the north from the Hillary Coast of the Ross Dependency to the south.



The region includes ranges of the Transantarctic Mountains and the McMurdo Dry Valleys (the highest point being Mount Abbott in the Northern Foothills), and the flatlands known as the Labyrinth. The 2,700-metre (9,000 ft) Mount Melbourne is an active volcano in Victoria Land. [2]


Early explorers of Victoria Land include James Clark Ross and Douglas Mawson. [3]

In 1979, scientists discovered a group of 309 meteorites in Antarctica, some of which were found near the Allan Hills in Victoria Land. [4] The meteorites appeared to have undergone little change since they were formed at what scientists believe was the birth of the Solar System. [4]

In 1981, lichens found at Victoria Land attracted the attention of NASA because lichens may give clues about where to look for the existence of extraterrestrial life on Mars or elsewhere. [5] Dr. George Denton, a glaciologist at the University of New Hampshire, looked for microorganisms on Mount Lister, one of the highest in Antarctica; it has the same kind of sandstone in which lichens grow. [5]

In 2017, conservationists at Cape Adare, Victoria Land, unearthed an ice-covered fruitcake that they believe once belonged to the British explorer Robert Falcon Scott. [6] Scott's Northern Party expedition was in 1911, making the age of the fruitcake 106 years old. [6] A program manager said it was in “excellent condition." [6]

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ross Dependency</span> New Zealands territorial claim in Antarctica

The Ross Dependency is a region of Antarctica defined by a sector originating at the South Pole, passing along longitudes 160° east to 150° west, and terminating at latitude 60° south. It is claimed by New Zealand, a claim accepted only by the other six countries with territorial claims in Antarctica. Under the 1961 Antarctic Treaty, of which all territorial claimants are signatories, including New Zealand, all claims are held in abeyance. Article IV states: "No acts or activities taking place while the present Treaty is in force shall constitute a basis for asserting, supporting or denying a claim to territorial sovereignty in Antarctica or create any rights of sovereignty in Antarctica".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ross Island</span> Island in Ross Sea, Antarctica

Ross Island is an island formed by four volcanoes in the Ross Sea near the continent of Antarctica, off the coast of Victoria Land in McMurdo Sound. Ross Island lies within the boundaries of Ross Dependency, an area of Antarctica claimed by New Zealand.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Antarctic Peninsula</span> Peninsula located in northern Antarctica

The Antarctic Peninsula, known as O'Higgins Land in Chile and Tierra de San Martín in Argentina, and originally as Graham Land in the United Kingdom and the Palmer Peninsula in the United States, is the northernmost part of mainland Antarctica.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Transantarctic Mountains</span> Mountain range in Antarctica

The Transantarctic Mountains comprise a mountain range of uplifted rock in Antarctica which extends, with some interruptions, across the continent from Cape Adare in northern Victoria Land to Coats Land. These mountains divide East Antarctica and West Antarctica. They include a number of separately named mountain groups, which are often again subdivided into smaller ranges.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">McMurdo Sound</span> Geographic location

McMurdo Sound, a sound in Antarctica, is the southernmost navigable body of water in the world, located approximately 1,300 kilometres (810 mi) from the South Pole.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Marie Byrd Land</span> Unclaimed West Antarctic region

Marie Byrd Land (MBL) is an unclaimed region of Antarctica. With an area of 1,610,000 km2 (620,000 sq mi), it is the largest unclaimed territory on Earth. It was named after the wife of American naval officer Richard E. Byrd, who explored the region in the early 20th century.

The Britannia Range is an Antarctic mountain range bounded by the Hatherton and Darwin glaciers on the north and the Byrd Glacier on the south, westward of the Ross Ice Shelf. Discovered by the British National Antarctic Expedition (1901–04) under Scott.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bowers Mountains</span> Mountain range on the coast of the East Antarctic Victoria Land

Bowers Mountains is a group of north–south trending mountains in Antarctica, about 145 km (90 mi) long and 56 km (35 mi) wide, bounded by the coast on the north and by the Rennick, Canham, Black and Lillie glaciers in other quadrants. The seaward end was first sighted in February 1911 from the Terra Nova, under Lt. Harry L.L. Pennell, RN, and was subsequently named "Bowers Hills" in honour of Henry Robertson Bowers who perished with Captain Robert Falcon Scott on their return from the South Pole in 1912. The mountain range is one of the most extensive topographical features within Victoria Land.

This is a list of extreme points in Antarctica.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mount Melbourne</span> Stratovolcano in the Antarctic

Mount Melbourne is a 2,733-metre-high (8,967 ft) ice-covered stratovolcano in Victoria Land, Antarctica, between Wood Bay and Terra Nova Bay. It is an elongated mountain with a summit caldera filled with ice with numerous parasitic vents; a volcanic field surrounds the edifice. Mount Melbourne has a volume of about 180 cubic kilometres (43 cu mi) and consists of tephra deposits and lava flows; tephra deposits are also found encased within ice and have been used to date the last eruption of Mount Melbourne to 1892 ± 30 years. The volcano is fumarolically active.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mount Morning</span> Volcano in Victoria Land, Antarctica

Mount Morning is a shield volcano at the foot of the Transantarctic Mountains in Victoria Land, Antarctica. It lies 100 kilometres (62 mi) from Ross Island. Mount Morning rises to an elevation of 2,723 metres (8,934 ft) and is almost entirely mantled with snow and ice. A 4.1 by 4.9 kilometres wide summit caldera lies at the top of the volcano and several ice-free ridges such as Hurricane Ridge and Riviera Ridge emanate from the summit. A number of parasitic vents mainly in the form of cinder cones dot the mountain.

The Pleiades are a volcanic group in northern Victoria Land of Antarctica. It consists of youthful cones and domes with Mount Atlas/Mount Pleiones, a small stratovolcano formed by three overlapping cones, being the dominant volcano and rising 500 m (1,600 ft) above the Evans Névé plateau. Two other named cones are Alcyone Cone and Taygete Cone, the latter of which has been radiometrically dated to have erupted during the Holocene. A number of tephra layers across Antarctica have been attributed to eruptions of this volcanic group, including several that may have occurred within the last few hundred years.

Smith Glacier is a low-gradient Antarctic glacier, over 160 km (100 mi) long, draining from Toney Mountain in an ENE direction to Amundsen Sea. A northern distributary, Kohler Glacier, drains to Dotson Ice Shelf but the main flow passes to the sea between Bear Peninsula and Mount Murphy, terminating at Crosson Ice Shelf.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cape Crozier</span> Headland of Antarctica

Cape Crozier is the most easterly point of Ross Island in Antarctica. It was discovered in 1841 during James Clark Ross's expedition of 1839 to 1843 with HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, and was named after Francis Crozier, captain of HMS Terror. The extinct volcano Mount Terror, also named during the Ross expedition, rises sharply from the Cape to a height of 3,230 m (10,600 ft), and the edge of the Ross Ice Shelf stretches away to its east.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Antarctica</span> Continent

Antarctica is Earth's southernmost and least-populated continent. Situated almost entirely south of the Antarctic Circle and surrounded by the Southern Ocean, it contains the geographic South Pole. Antarctica is the fifth-largest continent, being about 40% larger than Europe, and has an area of 14,200,000 km2 (5,500,000 sq mi). Most of Antarctica is covered by the Antarctic ice sheet, with an average thickness of 1.9 km (1.2 mi).

Graveson Glacier is a broad north-flowing tributary to the Lillie Glacier, draining that portion of the Bowers Mountains between the Posey Range and the southern part of Explorers Range, Victoria Land, Antarctica. The geographical feature is fed by several lesser tributaries and enters Lillie Glacier via Flensing Icefall. The glacier was so named by the northern party of the New Zealand Geological Survey Antarctic Expedition, 1963–64, for F. Graveson, a mining engineer who wintered at Scott Base in 1963 and was field assistant on this expedition. The glacier lies situated on the Pennell Coast, a portion of Antarctica lying between Cape Williams and Cape Adare.

Mount Rittmann is a volcano in Antarctica. Discovered in 1988–1989 by an Italian expedition, it was named after the volcanologist Alfred Rittmann (1893–1980). It features a 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) or 8 by 5 kilometres wide caldera which crops out from underneath the Aviator Glacier. The volcano was active during the Pliocene and into the Holocene, including large explosive eruptions; a major eruption occurred in 1254 CE and deposited tephra over much of Antarctica. Currently, the volcano is classified as dormant.


  1. 1 2 "Victoria Land". Geographic Names Information System . United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior . Retrieved 4 January 2007.
  2. "2 VOLCANOES FOUND IN ANTARCTICA". The New York Times. 24 May 1982. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 25 May 2021.
  3. "Victoria Land". The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. Columbia University Press. 2001. Archived from the original on 11 February 2006. Retrieved 26 January 2008.
  4. 1 2 "300‐Pound Meteorite Found in Big Cluster On the Antarctic Ice". The New York Times. 18 February 1979. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 25 May 2021.
  5. 1 2 Reinhold, Robert (22 December 1981). "IN HOSTILE VALLEY, LICHENS POSE ANTARCTIC PUZZLE". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 25 May 2021.
  6. 1 2 3 Joseph, Yonette (13 August 2017). "Fruitcake From Robert Scott Expedition Is 'Almost' Edible at 106 Years Old". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 25 May 2021.

71°15′S163°00′E / 71.250°S 163.000°E / -71.250; 163.000