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The South Pole is the southernmost point on the Earth.

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Contents

Geographic South Pole
Ceremonial South Pole
Geomagnetic South Pole
South Magnetic Pole
The Pole of Relative Inaccessibility



Geographic South Pole - Contents

The Geographic South Pole is the one of two points where the earth's axis of rotation intersects the surface (the other being the Geographic North Pole). This is the point usually meant when an unspecified "south pole" is mentioned.The first humans to reach the Geographic South Pole were Norwegian Roald Amundsen and his party on December 14, 1911. Amundsen named his camp Polheim. Amundsen's main competitor Robert Falcon Scott reached the Pole a month later. On the return trip Scott and his four companions all died of hunger and extreme cold. There have been many expeditions to arrive at the South Pole by surface transportation. The leaders of some of the first of these are, in order: Amundsen, Scott, Hillary, Fuchs, Havola, Crary, Fiennes. US Admiral Richard Byrd, with the assistance of his first pilot Bernt Balchen, became the first person to fly over the South Pole on November 29, 1929.The fastest unsupported walking journey to the Geographic South Pole from the ocean is 47 days and was set in 1999 by explorers Tim Jarvis and Peter Treseder, who manhauled 200 kg sleds containing food and cooking fuel.At present, Antarctica is located over the South Pole, although this has not been the case for all of Earth's history because of continental drift. The Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station was established during the International Geophysical Year in 1958 and is permanently staffed by research and support personnel.The projection of the south geographic pole onto the celestial sphere gives the south celestial pole.The land at the South Pole is located near sea level. However, the ice cap is 3000 metres thick and consequently the Amundsen-Scott Base is a high altitude location.


Ceremonial South Pole - Contents

Buildings have to be built on stilts at the South Pole.
Buildings have to be built on stilts at the South Pole.
The ceremonial South Pole.  Flags of the Antarctic Treaty signatories are arrayed around it, and the Pole Station's old dome is in the background.
The ceremonial South Pole. Flags of the Antarctic Treaty signatories are arrayed around it, and the Pole Station's old dome is in the background.
The Ceremonial South Pole is an area set aside for photo opportunities at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. It consists of a metallic sphere on a plinth, surrounded by the flags of the Antarctic Treaty signatories. It is located a few hundred metres from the Geographic South Pole (see above), which is marked only by a small sign and a stake.The dome seen in the pictures is partially buried due to snow storms. The entrance to the dome has to be regularly bulldozed to uncover it. More recent buildings are now built on stilts so that the snow does not build up against the side of them.


Geomagnetic South Pole - Contents

The geomagnetic field can be approximated by a tilted dipole placed at the center of the Earth. The Geomagnetic South Pole is the point where the axis of the best-fitting tilted dipole intersects the Earth's sufrace in the southern hemisphere. Moreover, the pole is wandering due to the fact that the field is constantly changing.


South Magnetic Pole - Contents

The South Magnetic Pole is the point on the Earth's surface where the geomagnetic field lines are directed vertically upwards. Because the field is not fully dipolar, the South Magnetic Pole does not coincide with the Geomagnetic South Pole. Furthermore, the Magnetic South Pole is wandering due to the same reason its geomagnetic counterpart wanders.On January 16, 1909 three men ( Douglas Mawson, Edgeworth David, and Alistair Mackay) from an expedition led by Sir Ernest Shackleton, found the South Magnetic Pole [1].


The Pole of Relative Inaccessibility - Contents

It is located at 82°06′S 54°58′E on the surface of the Antarctic continent and is the most distant point from the Southern Ocean. It was reached on December 14, 1958 by the 3rd Soviet Antarctic Expedition, lead by Yevgeny Tolstikov. At that point they established a temporary station Polyus Nedostupnosti. On the road to the Pole, at 78°24′S 87°32′E another station, Sovetskaya, was established by the expedition, which existed between February 16, 1958 and January 3, 1959.
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