6 January, 1999

6 January

Pole Temp:

min. -25.7 C

max. -22.8 C


Wind Chill -20

Pole Vaulting

The Ceremonial South Pole is a red and white striped bamboo pole about eight inches in diameter topped with a shiny chromium orb.

In an arc about 15 feet away fly the flags of the 12 nations that signed the Antarctic Treaty of 1959. The countries represented are: Argentina, Australia, the French Republic, Japan, New Zealand,

Norway, the Union of South Africa, Russia, the United Kingdom of Great Britain, Northern Ireland, and The United States of America.

The Geographic South Pole, located at ninety degrees south latitude, is marked with a thin metal pole about thirteen feet in length sporting a brass cap. Each year the cap is of a different design,

and is often inscribed with the names of those who were present at the annual pounding-in ceremony. This year the ceremony was held January first. Each year the ice under the marker moves toward the ocean at a rate of ten meters or thirty-three feet. The camps of Admundsen and of Scott are buried deep within the ice somewhere between that marker and the sea. It is interesting to look at the long line of markers that gives evidence to the moving ice. The

poles appear to be getting shorter as they move away from the current pole because of yearly snow accumulation. The location of he pole is determined primarily by the satellite based Global Positioning

System and the shadow stick trick.

The Geomagnetic South Pole at Russia's Vostok Station is where changes in the electromagnetic field of the earth are most obvious. The field is caused by the motion of charged parcticles in the

molten part of the earth. As the field changes position, the position of this pole changes accordingly.

The Magnetic South Pole located at sixty-five degrees South and

139 degrees East is where a compass will point straight down.

The Pole of Maximum Inaccessibility is the point farthest from any coast of Antarctica.

Time to walk back across the taxiway to the Dome. Both ceremonial and geographic poles are located within two hundred yards of the

dome entrance.

The South Geographic Pole!

The Ceremonial Pole facing the Dome across the taxiway.

The cap of the 1999 pole marker quotes Robert F. Scott.

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