Queen Maud Land

Travel Guide Overseas Territories Overseas Territories Queen Maud Land

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Introduction

Queen Maud Land is a c. 2.7 million-square-kilometre region of Antarctica claimed as a dependent territory by Norway. The territory lies between 20° west and 45° east, between the British Antarctic Territory to the west and the Australian Antarctic Territory to the east. The latitudinal limits of the territory are not officially defined. Positioned in East Antarctica, the territory comprises one-sixth of the total area of Antarctica. The claim is named for the Norwegian queen Maud of Wales (1869–1938).

Norwegian Hjalmar Riiser-Larsen was the first person known to have set foot in the territory, in 1930. On 14 January 1939, the territory was claimed by Norway. From 1939 until 1945, Germany claimed New Swabia, which consisted of part of Queen Maud Land. On 23 June 1961, Queen Maud Land became part of the Antarctic Treaty System, making it a demilitarised zone. It is one of two Antarctic claims made by Norway, the other being Peter I Island. They are administrated by the Polar Affairs Department of the Norwegian Ministry of Justice and Public Security in Oslo.

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Geography

Queen Maud Land extends from the boundary with Coats Land in the west to the boundary with Enderby Land in the east, and is divided into the Princess Martha Coast, Princess Astrid Coast, Princess Ragnhild Coast, Prince Harald Coast and Prince Olav Coast. The territory is estimated to cover around 2,700,000 square kilometres. It is not officially defined where the limits of the claim are in the south and in the sea in the north. The sea that extends off the coast between the longitudal limits of Queen Maud Land is generally called King Haakon VII Sea.

There is no ice-free land at the coast; the coast consists of a 20-to-30-metre-high wall of ice throughout almost the entire territory. It is thus only possible to disembark from a ship in a few places. Some 150 to 200 kilometres from the coast, rocky peaks pierce the ice cap, itself at a mean height of around 2,000 metres above sea level, with the highest point at Jøkulkyrkja (3,148 metres) in the Mühlig-Hofmann Mountains. The other major mountain ranges are the Heimefront Range, Orvin Mountains, Wohlthat Mountains and Sør Rondane Mountains.

Geologically, the ground of Queen Maud Land is dominated by Precambrian gneiss, before the creation of the supercontinent Gondwana. The mountains consist mostly of crystalline and granitic rocks, formed in the Pan-African orogeny during the assembly of Gondwana. In the farthest western parts of the territory, there are younger sedimentary and volcanic rocks. Research on the thickness of the ice has revealed that without the ice, the coast would be similar to those of Norway and Greenland, with deep fjords and islands

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Sights and Activities

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Weather

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Getting There and Around

Research stations in Queen Maud Land are connected by the Dronning Maud Land Air Network Project (DROMLAN), which is a cooperative agreement for transportation between eleven nations with research stations in East Antarctica. Long-range aircraft fly between Cape Town, South Africa and either the Troll Airfield, located at the Troll research station, or the runway at the Novolazarevskaya Station. From these two main airfields, smaller aircraft may fly further to other Antarctic destinations

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This is version 1. Last edited at 16:12 on Jan 18, 15 by Utrecht. 5 articles link to this page.

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