Because of its remoteness, intense cold and extreme weather events, Antarctica is one of the least explored parts of our planet. As a consequence, it’s also one of the least understood parts of the Earth. Consequently, scientists continue to learn about the geology and geography of this supremely hostile environment. And some recent research clarifies the extraordinary forces at work beneath the Antarctic ice cap.
About twice the size of Australia, Antarctica is the world’s fifth-largest continent, and it is, of course, the location of the South Pole. The continent sits in the Southern Ocean and has a surface area of about 5.4 million square miles.