How far south is the JOIDES Resolution?

This expedition is all about the Southern Ocean and its currents – but how far south are we going?

We started in Punta Arenas, Chile, which has a latitude of 53°S. While this might seem pretty far south, Ushuaia in Argentina narrowly beats it to the title of “Southernmost City in the World”, at 54°S.

Our first two sites were also at 53°S, directly east of Punta Arenas through the Strait of Magellan. While there are very few cities this far south, there are cities at or near this latitude in the North:

  • Dublin, Ireland – 53°N
  • Manchester, England – 53°N
  • Hamburg, Germany – 53°N
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands – 52°N

A satellite map of the world showing the locations of Liverpool, Hamburg, Dublin, and Amsterdam in the north, and Punta Arenas, Ushuaia, and the Subantarctic Front sites in the south.

Our next sites are in the Scotia Sea between 57-59°S, northeast of the Antarctic Peninsula. Some cities that lie between these latitudes in the north include:

  • Juneau, USA – 58°N
  • Oslo, Norway – 59°N
  • Stockholm, Sweden – 59°N
  • Saint Petersburg, Russia – 59°N
  • Aberdeen, Scotland – 57°N

And some cities are even farther north than we will be south: Anchorage, Alaska is located at 61°N; Reykjavik, Iceland is at 64°N; and Murmansk, Russia even lies above the Arctic Circle at 68°N!

A satellite map of the world showing the locations of Ancorage, Juneau, Reykjavik, Aberdeen, Oslo, Stockholm, St. Petersburg, and Murmansk in the north and the Iceberg Alley sites in the south.

Why are there so many more cities and people living that far north relative to that far south? A lot of these locations in Europe are much warmer than the same latitudes in the south, or even across the Atlantic; warm south-westerly winds and the Gulf Stream bring Europe to temperatures 5°C/9°F warmer on average than their latitudinal counterparts elsewhere. And besides – there’s much more land in the northern hemisphere to put cities on!

Lee Stevens
I am an Education and Outreach Officer for Expedition 382 to Iceberg Alley. I also create videos and animations for the American Museum of Natural History.
More articles by: Lee Stevens

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JOIDES Resolution