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TERRESTRIAL POLES

Compiled by R.K. Headland, Scott Polar Research Institute

NORTH POLE 90°N

A fixed location on the surface of the Arctic Ocean which is the northern axis of the Earth's rotation. First seen in 1926 from the airship Norge.

NORTH MAGNETIC POLE 76°06'N, 100°00'W (1990)

A wandering location on the Earth's surface where lines of magnetic force exit. The magnetic field is vertical. The north seeking end of a compass needle points to this pole. It was first attained by Captain James Ross in 1831 when it was on the Boothia Peninsula and has subsequently migrated northwards to near Rolf Ringnes Island.

NORTH GEOMAGNETIC POLE 78°30'N, 69°00'W

North end of the axis of the geomagnetic field which surrounds the Earth and extends into space as the magnetosphere. Situated over north-west Greenland. Aurora Borealis occur principally in a stratospheric torus 23° around this pole.

NORTHERN POLE OF INACCESSIBILITY 84°03'N, 174°51'W

Location on the surface of the Arctic Ocean which is most distant from land; the most difficult location to attain. First reached in 1927 by Sir Hubert Wilkins, by aircraft.



SOUTH POLE 90°S

A fixed location on the Antarctic ice-cap (at 2835 m altitude) which is the southern axis of the Earth's rotation. First reached in 1911 by Roald Amundsen's expedition from Norway. Occupied by 'Amundsen-Scott', a United states scientific station.

SOUTH MAGNETIC POLE 65°S, 139°E (1990)

A wandering location on the Earth's surface where lines of magnetic force enter. The direction of the magnetic field is vertical. The south seeking end of a compass needle points to this pole. It was first attained during Ernest Shackleton's Antarctic expedition in 1909 when it was at 72°25'S, 155°16'E, well inland beyond the Transantarctic Range; subsequently it has migrated northwards into the Southern Ocean.

SOUTH GEOMAGNETIC POLE 78°30'S, 111°00'E

South end of the axis of the geomagnetic field which surrounds the Earth and extends into space as the magnetosphere. Aurora Australis occur principally in a stratospheric torus 23° around this pole. The Russian scientific station 'Vostok' (3460 m altitude) is in the vicinity.

SOUTHERN POLE OF INACCESSIBILITY 85°50'S, 65°47'E

Location on the surface of the Antarctic continent which is most distant from the Southern Ocean. First reached in 1957 by a Soviet Antarctic Expedition which established 'Sovetskaya' station occupied during the 1957-58 austral summer.


R. K. Headland, 18 - VIII - 1996