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  • Why is there less information about Marie Byrd Land?

    I saw a map of bases in Antarctica the other day, and there was only one part I noticed that had very few. Marie Byrd Land had only one base (and it closed in 1972 according to Wikipedia). I did a google search and found that there is very little information on Marie Byrd Land other than a little about the geology.

    What exactly is there other than a lot of mountains and volcanoes? Why are there no bases there? Is there anything interesting in Marie Byrd Land? Is there any research being done there?

  • #2
    Re: Why is there less information about Marie Byrd Land?

    Hi ComputerGhost and welcome to the board.

    Antarctica is in real terms little explored or researched - even now. It has been mapped and surveyed at the larger level, but it is so big that large areas are rarely if ever visited. Marie Byrd land is the most extreme of those areas.

    Bases are built in the most scientifically and cost effective places. This means regions that are easy to reach. It is not thought that there is anything especially unique about Marie Byrd land that would make it worth while establishing bases there in an area that is just so far from anywhere else.

    The area to the north is just open Pacific ocean, to reach Marie Byrd land by ship would mean extra travelling time and distance that is currently deemed unnecessary - so it is little explored.

    There is an ice-core drilling project in the Eastern region over a period of three years from 2006, this is operated summer only from an encampment rather than a permanent base. Other recent science in the area has been of aerial surveys.

    Due to its location, I think it likely that this region will always be one of the least visited parts of Antarctica unless some specific reason arises to change this - that something may be found is of course all the less likely as hardly anyone goes there!

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    • #3
      That does make sense.

      I'm afriad I never even thought of cost or remoteness as being matters considered when building a new station.

      The places that we know the least about usually end up being the most interesting. Maybe something interesting will turn up there, maybe not. Unfortunately, as you said, "that something may be found is of course all the less likely as hardly anyone goes there!"

      Thanks for the response.

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