Our Physical Environments
The environment in Antarctica is unique. Almost the entire continent is covered in permanent ice, with only approximately 0.25% of the surface exposed as rock, such as nunataks or oases. The depth of ice can vary between 0.5 km – 4.5 km from the coastal areas to the interior, with an average of thickness of 2km. Beneath the ice lies an entire continent of mountains, lakes and plains.
The ice is continually moving – it flows towards the coast and ice moves between a couple of millimetres per year in the interior increasing to 4km per year near the coast.
White Desert activities take place in four, distinct bio-geo-physical environments. For each location, we prepare specific Environmental Management Plans which take the specific environment into account.
At the heart of White Desert’s mission is the desire to create a positive impact on Antarctica’s future through its tourism and science logistics programmes.
From inception to implementation, we always have our environmental footprint in mind to preserve the delicate equilibrium of this unique wilderness.
With 18 years of operational experience in Antarctica, we have an in depth understanding of what is truly required to preserve Antarctica’s environmental equilibrium.