Queen Maud Land

Queen Maud Land (Norwegian: Dronning Maud Land)[note 1] is a roughly 2.7-million-square-kilometre (1.0-million-square-mile)[4] region of Antarctica claimed by Norway as a dependent territory.[5] It borders the claimed British Antarctic Territory 20° west and the Australian Antarctic Territory 45° east. In addition, a small unclaimed area from 1939 was annexed on 12 June 2015.[6] Positioned in East Antarctica, it makes out about one-fifth of the continent, and is named after the Norwegian queen Maud of Wales (1869–1938).

Queen Maud Land
Dronning Maud Land  (Norwegian)
Location of Queen Maud Land (red, in Antarctica)
Sovereign state Norway
Annexed by Norway14 January 1939
Dependency status21 June 1957
Antarctic Treaty23 June 1961
Expanded12 June 2015
Sector claim20°W 45°E
GovernmentDependency under a constitutional monarchy
Harald V
 Administered by
Ministry of Justice and Public Security
2,700,000 km2 (1,000,000 sq mi)
2,000 m (7,000 ft)
Highest elevation
3,148 m (10,328 ft)
ISO 3166 codeAQ
Internet TLD

In 1930, the Norwegian Hjalmar Riiser-Larsen was the first person known to have set foot in the territory. On 14 January 1939, the territory was claimed by Norway. On 23 June 1961, Queen Maud Land became part of the Antarctic Treaty System, making it a demilitarised zone. It is one of two Antarctic claims made by Norway, the other being Peter I Island. They are administered by the Polar Affairs Department of the Norwegian Ministry of Justice and Public Security in Oslo.

Most of the territory is covered by the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, and a tall ice wall stretches throughout its coast. In some areas further within the ice sheet, mountain ranges breach through the ice, allowing for birds to breed and the growth of a limited flora. The region is divided into, from West to East, the Princess Martha Coast, Princess Astrid Coast, Princess Ragnhild Coast, Prince Harald Coast and Prince Olav Coast:

No. Coast Western border Eastern border
1 Princess Martha Coast 20° 00′ W 05° 00′ E
2 Princess Astrid Coast 05° 00′ E 20° 00′ E
3 Princess Ragnhild Coast 20° 00′ E 34° 00′ E
4 Prince Harald Coast 34° 00′ E 40° 00′ E
5 Prince Olav Coast 40° 00′ E 44° 38′ E
  Queen Maud Land 20° 00′ W 44° 38′ E

The waters off the coast are called the King Haakon VII Sea.

There is no permanent population, although there are 12 active research stations housing a maximum of around 40 scientists, the numbers fluctuating depending on the season. Six are occupied year-round, while the remainder are seasonal summer stations. The main aerodromes for intercontinental flights, corresponding[clarification needed] with Cape Town, South Africa, are Troll Airfield, near the Norwegian Troll research station, and a runway at the Russian Novolazarevskaya Station.[7]

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