Antarctic Ice Shelves

Antarctic Ice Shelves

Antarctica is covered in a layer of ice with an average thickness of about 2,000 meters—that's more than a mile thick! About 90 percent of the world's ice is located in Antarctica, and the force of gravity on the massive ice sheets and glaciers causes them to move outward toward the coast. Ice shelves form where the flowing ice meets the ocean. These platforms of floating ice are attached to the continent and make up nearly 50 percent of the Antarctic coastline.

Video: British Antarctic Survey
Text: WGBH Educational Foundation