Atka bay. Princess Martha Coast

Atka bay. Princess Martha Coast Atka bay. Princess Martha Coast

Atka Bay (70°35'S. 7°51'W) is an iceport about 10 miles long and wide, marking a more or less permanent indentation in the front of the Ekstrom Ice Shelf on the coast of Queen Maud Land in Eastern Antarctica on the Princess Martha Coast. It was named by personnel of the U.S. ship Atka, which moored here in February 1955 while investigating possible base sites for International Geophysical Year operations. It is interesting that during WWII the ship served in the Soviet merchant navy under the name Admiral Makarov. Atka Iceport was mapped in detail by Norwegian cartographers from surveys and aerial photographs taken by the Norwegian-British-Swedish Antarctic Expedition (1949-1952), led by John Schjelderup Giæver.

Princess Martha Coast is a portion of the coast of Queen Maud Land. The entire coastline is bounded by ice shelves with ice cliffs 20 to 35 m high. Princess Martha Coast was the first portion of the Antarctic mainland to be discovered, by Fabian von Belling- shausen and Mikhail Lazarev in 1820. The name "Crown Princess Martha Land" was originally applied by Capt. Hjalmar Riiser-Larsen. It is named in honour of Crown Princess Märtha of Norway.
Atka Bay is the site of Germany's Neumayer-Station III, named aſter geophysicist Georg von Neumayer - a German South Pole research station of the Alfred-Wegener-Institut in the Antarctic. It is located on Ekstrom Ice Shelf several kilometers south of Neumayer-Station II. The previous two Neumayer stations constituted a set of marine containers encased in steel cylinders 6.7 m high and 7.7 m in diameter. Meteorology, geophysics atmospheric chemistry, infrasound and marine acoustics studies are the main areas of research at the newest, most up-to-date Neumayer-Station III.
The Atka Bay fast ice is the site of the largest Antarctic colonies of Emperor penguins, numbering several thousand birds. Male birds can reach 122 cm and 45 kg, and females 114 cm and 28-32 kg respectively. The social behavior of penguins is very interesting and attracts the attention of scientists and visitors to the Antarctic.

In Atka Bay you can also encounter seals, petrels, Adeli penguins and skuas, which oſten hunt for Emperor penguin chicks.

The climate here is relatively humid, with total annual precipitation of 500 mm. The average annual air temperature is -25°С, and in January -5°С. Hurricane winds reaching 50 m/s are typical for this part of the Antarctic. In winter the bay is covered with shorefast ice, which is preserved till the end of summer. In March it may be broken up and carried away by storms, and in April new fast ice starts to form.