The continental marginal reservoir of the Southern Ocean is the Ross Sea. It is located in the Pacific Ocean, next to West Antarctica. This sea is closer to the South Pole than other Antarctic bodies of water. Its water area almost completely occupies the shelf. The Ross Sea flows into Victoria Land between Cape Adair and McMurdo Bay. There is a giant glacier here, stretching from Cape Colbeck to Mary Byrd Land. The glacier has a steep ledge called the Ross Barrier, which is considered the southern boundary of the sea..
Main characteristics of the Ross Sea
Expedition J. K. Ross discovered this sea in 1841. The total area of the reservoir is 439 thousand square meters. km. The sea depth is 600-800 m.The deepest point is 2972 m.The waters of the Southern Ocean and the Ross Sea communicate freely.
The Ross Sea map shows that it is located in the Antarctic climate zone, south of latitude 70 degrees south. Air is supplied to the water area from the mainland. Therefore, this area has very cold summers and winters with severe frosts. The coldest month here is August. The average air temperature during this period varies from -26 to -36 degrees. The lowest temperature recorded is -62 degrees. In winter, the average air temperature is -2 degrees. The weather in the Ross Sea region is windy and cloudy. The water temperature under the ice is -1.7 degrees. The sea is covered with drifting ice all year round, which have different shapes. Icebergs and fast ice are found in some places. The salinity of the water is 33.7 - 34 ppm.
Significance of the sea
The Ross Sea coastline has no native population. Only employees of polar stations live there, and this is no more than 2,000 people. Previously, the water area was under the control of Great Britain, which in 1923 transferred its powers in this area to New Zealand. At the same time, the water area and shores of the sea are protected by mankind under the Antarctic Treaty of 1959. This document is a guarantee that the neutral territory of Antarctica will be used in the common interests of mankind. It gives the right to conduct scientific research freely. The contract is valid until 2048.
The Ross Sea juts out very strongly into Antarctica. For this reason, it has long been the site of many expeditions that sought to get to the South Pole. Expeditions were conducted by 12 states: the USSR, the USA, Australia, Great Britain, Argentina, France and others. Today, seven countries claim their rights to different parts of Antarctica, despite the signed Antarctic Treaty. The richest deposits of energy resources were discovered under the ice. However, at present, the economic use of Antarctica is limited only by biological resources..