The Antarctic convergence, the South Pole, the magnetic pole and the geomagnetic pole are all shown on this map. The Antarctic convergence is where cold, northward-moving Antarctic water meets warmer, sub-antarctic water. Generally located between latitudes 48° and 61° south, the convergence is the physical boundary of the Antarctic. Its political boundary, defined by the Antarctic Treaty in 1959 as 60° south, is also shown on the map. Within this boundary lie the continent of Antarctica, associated ice shelves, the Antarctic islands and part of the southern ocean.
The geographic point at which the earth’s lines of longitude meet is known as the South Pole, the geographic pole or geodetic pole. Located on a massive and mobile ice shelf, the pole’s marker shifts about 10 metres a year. Its position is recalculated each January.
The magnetic South Pole, generated by the earth’s magnetic field, is over 1,000 kilometres from the geographic pole. It is the point at which the Earth’s magnetic field is vertically upwards. Like the South Pole, the magnetic pole shifts. In the 2000s it was moving about 5 kilometres a year in a north-to-north-westerly direction. It moves independently of the magnetic North Pole.
The geomagnetic South Pole and its North Pole equivalent mark the axis of the Earth’s magnetic field.
Base map provided by the Australian Antarctic Data Centre; coastline of Antarctica from the Antarctic Digital Database version 5, © Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research 1993–2006; Antarctic polar front from data described in A. H. Orsi, T. Whitworth III and W. D. Nowlin, 'On the meridional extent and fronts of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current.' Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers 42, no. 5 (1995), pp. 641–673
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