23-Dec-2004 -- There are a great many confluences of latitude and longitude in Antarctica, and they cluster more and more tightly the closer you approach the Pole. However, because less than 2% of the continental surface projects above the ice sheet, it's rare to find one on rock. In the course of geological fieldwork during the austral summer of 2004-2005, we found ourselves within easy reach of the crossing point between latitude 86 degrees south and 126 degrees west.
The confluence is on a hillside overlooking Polygon Spur, an ice-free area near the head of Reedy Glacier in the Transantarctic Mountains. Unaware of the protocol for recording a confluence, we didn't take a general photograph of the site from close by. However, the photo looking upslope to the north gives a good impression of the site, which is strewn with the bouldery remnants of an ancient glacial deposit. It's on the red-brown hillside center-right in the panorama, in front of the misty, glacier-covered escarpment. To the east, the escarpment rises to the Wisconsin Plateau; to the west is Reedy Glacier, beyond the toe of Polygon Spur. The view to the south shows the margin of McCarthy Glacier, which borders Polygon Spur in a series of lobes and ice cliffs. The GPS photo shows the ground cover in detail.
Note that the panorama was not taken from the confluence, but from the edge of the glacier near our camp, about 2.5 km away to the southwest.
More information about our geological work can be found on our group website, which includes some additional photos of Antarctica.