Ross Sea

From: Antarctica Travel Guide

See also: Weddel Sea AntarcticaCape RoydsCape EvansAntarctica Cruises

Ross Sea
Part of the Southern Ocean on the Oceania side, and stretching from Marie Byrd Land in the west to Victoria Land in the east.

Discovery and Exploration
The Ross Sea is named after Sir James Clarke Ross who discovered the vast bay in 1841.

Ross Sea Ice Shelf
The Ross Ice Shelf was also named after Captain James Ross and is an enormous floating ice shelf that is attached to land and extends into the Ross Sea. The shelf is approximately the size of France with an impressive almost vertical front averaging around between 20 to 60 meters in height above sea.

Ross Island
Within the bay is Ross Island which is the southern most island that can be reached by sea and is linked to the rest of the antarctic by the vast Ross Sea Ice Shelf. The island contains two volcano's known as Erebus which is active and Terror which is dormant, both volcanoes were named after two of Ross's ships the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror.

Due to the islands location being close to the South Pole and accessible by boat it became a significant base and starting point for many of the early explorers. The historic early expeditions huts of Shackleton at Cape Royds and Scott's Terra Nova Hut at Cape Evans still remain and are protected by the Antarctic Heritage Trust.

The island is now the home two separate research facilities called Scott Base and McMurdo Station. Close to McMurdo Station is Discovery Hut which was the first hut that was erected by Scott and Observation Hill which offers superb views of the surrounding area and contains a memorial dedicated to Scott and his party.