By Bill St. John
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Additional info for Antarctica As an Exploration Frontier - Hydrocarbon Potential, Geology, and Hazards (AAPG Studies in Geology 31)
A seismic reflection profile from the Antarctic Peninsula shelf provides an example of the foredeepened topography and multiple glacial erosional surfaces typically found on the Antarctic shelf (Figure 2). Note that the entire sediment cover of the inner shelf has been eroded, leaving a deep, rugged sea floor where acous tic basement is widely exposed. The extent to which the foredeepened gradient of the Antarctic shelf reflects isostatic loading by the ice sheet remains controversial. Most models for isostatic loading suggest the existence of an extensive isostatically depressed region situated adjacent to the terminus of the ice sheet.
I 10 0 ,... - 0 (D fQ (/) ""' 0 5 1 rI» rt' 0 0 .. X E ::::s z g 'f3 - "' t» .. G) J:l � , (D ""' 0 (D :I 0 1000 Distance From Coast (Km) 2000 Figure 11-Graph of iceberg population versus degree of latitude (from Morgan and Budd, 1978). r0 :I cp Hazards to Antarctic Exploration and Production 39 +sso s 180' Figure 12-Generalized long-term iceberg drift trajectory. Icebergs from East Antarctica tend to be concentrated by the East Wind Drift in the Weddell Sea. Moving to the north, away from the coast, there is a rapid decrease in the iceberg population density near 65° S.
Temperatures along the coast average from just below freez ing during the austral summer to about -20° to -30° C during the winter, with a mean annual temperature of about -15° C (Figure 5). In addition to the extreme cold, Antarctic and Subantarc tic storms are the most violent on earth. Researchers in the Antarctic often experience severe storms such as "Hurricane Schepel-Sturm" recently encountered by the German Antarctic North Victoria Land Expedition in the Pennell Coast region (Figure 1).
Antarctica As an Exploration Frontier - Hydrocarbon Potential, Geology, and Hazards (AAPG Studies in Geology 31) by Bill St. John