Sunday, December 6, 2009

Pressure Ridges

Visited the pressure ridges near Scott Base recently. Pics courtesy of Mike on I-Drive

The northern edge of the extensive, flowing Ross Ice Shelf is folded and broken up into beautiful ice ridges when it meets the shore of Ross Island.

Weddell seals use the areas of open water in the pressure ridges as breathing holes. They are the only mammals that venture far under the Ice Shelf, therefore they have few natural enemies. Most seal species live to forty years, but Weddells wear down their teeth by chewing the ice around their breathing holes to keep them open. After about twenty years their teeth are severly worn and they starve.

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