Amery Ice Shelf

Amery Ice Shelf

The Amery Ice Shelf is a broad ice shelf at the head of Prydz Bay between the Lars Christensen Coast and Ingrid Christensen Coast. It is part of Mac Robertson Land. The name "Cape Amery" was applied to a coastal angle mapped on February 11, 1931 by the British Australian New Zealand Antarctic Research Expedition (BANZARE) under Douglas Mawson. He named it for William B. Amery, who represented the United Kingdom government in Australia (1925-28). The Advisory Committee on Antarctic Names (US-ACAN) interpreted this feature to be a portion of an ice shelf and, in 1947, applied the name Amery to the whole shelf.

In December 2006 it was reported by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that Australian scientists were heading to the Amery Ice Shelf to investigate enormous cracks that had been forming for over a decade at a rate of three to five metres a day. These fractures threaten to break off a 900 square kilometre piece of the Amery Ice Shelf. Scientist want to discover what is causing the cracks, as there has not been similar activity since the 1960s. However, the head of research believes that it is too early to attribute the cause to Global Warming as there is the possibility of a natural 50-60 year cycle being responsible.

The Amery Basin is an undersea basin north of the Amery Ice Shelf. The Amery Ice Shelf is very tiny compared to the Ross Ice Shelf and the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf.

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