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Marine Places

Weddell Sea

The Weddell Sea is named after British seal hunter James Weddell, who reached a latitude of 74°34’ South in 1832, the most southerly point that would be reached for the next 80 years. It is mostly covered with pack ice, even in summer, and is the source for 70 percent of the cold Antarctic bottom water. A clockwise gyre carries ice west, then north up the Antarctic Peninsula, before turning east with the Circumpolar Current. The Antarctic continental shelf is at its widest here, with shallow banks extending out from under the Filchner–Ronne Ice Shelf.

Weddell Seazoom image
  • Area 1.1 million square miles (2.8 million square km)
  • Maximum Depth 16,440 ft (5,012 m)
  • Inflows Southern Ocean, Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf, Larsen Ice Shelf