Monolith in Punta Arenas which indicates the centre of Chile: From that point to the Cristo de la Concordia exists the same distance from that point to the South Pole (4000 Km).


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Infrared of Antarctic
IPY 2007-2008

1948: The President Gabriel González Videla travels to the Antarctica and opens the Bernardo O´Higgins Base.

1940: The limits of the Chilean Antarctic were fixed, 19 years before the Antarctic Treaty. Neither the Antarctic Treaty nor the Madrid Agreement make null and void the territorial demands that "preceding to this were valid".


* Surface: 13.209.000 Km2
* Coast: 23.000 Km
* Average altitude: 2.600 m (the highest of all the continents)
* Ice layer average thickness: 2.300 m
* Average temperature: -18°C

It's important to know that the Chilean zone overlaps with the zones claimed by Argentine and Great Britain.
* Chilean Antarctic: 53° and 90° meridians W
* Zone claimed by Argentina: 25° and 74° meridians W
* Zone claimed by Great Britain: 20° and 80° meridians W

Countries Claiming Antarctic Possession
* Argentina
* Australia
* Chile
* France
* Norway
* New Zealand
* United Kingdom

Why the "Chilean Antarctic" is Chilean?

Because of:
* The concessions of Alejandro VI to the Catholic Kings (Intercaeteras Bulls in 1493)
* The concessions of Carlos V made to pedro Sancho de la Hoz in 1539
* The concessions of Felipe II to Jerónimo de Alderete and to Francisco de Villagra
* Statement of O'Higgins in 1831 to the English Captain Coghlan that declares that Chile spreads to the South Pole from one to the other side of both oceans
* Several licenses asked for to the chilean government by merchants who settled in the Antarctic
* The November the sixth 1940 Decree, proclaimed by the President Pedro Aguirre Cerda that stablishes the limits from meridians 53° to 90°W
* The physical possession is factual with the installation of the bases Arturo Prat (1940), Gabriel González Videla (1951), Pedro Aguirre Cerda (1955), Rodolfo Marsh (1969), etc.

The Antarctic Treaty (1959) paralized the territorial claims for 30 years.


Antarctic is the only place on Earth that remains decontaminated thanks to the Antarctic Treaty and the Madrid Agreement. However, sometimes its coasts are disturbed by petrol spilling and by tourists (who certainly alter the fragile ecosystem in the place)

Is Antarctic a Useless Ice Mass?
Because of the desolated conditions of the Antarctic continent, life develops in the continental borders. We can see that almost any ecosystem is conditioned more by water than oxygen. The oxygen is homogeneously distributed and because of that "free", whereas, water is irregularly distributed. The oxygen in the air and that formed by microscopic seaweed is dissolved in the water. If we take into account that the solvability depends on the temperature, we will get then that tropical waters are equivalent to deserts while the polar waters are equivalent to real jungles with numerous animals.

CONCLUSION: Thanks to the "useless" mass of ice of Antarctic is posible to preserve the climate and atmospheric equilibrium on the Earth. Moreover, the coldness allows plethoric of life coasts that sostain the ecology of the hole planet.

Any contaminant tends to demean and become inocuous thanks to different chemical reactions. Unfortunately, the chemical reactions use to delay when the temperature decrease. Let us wonder an oil spilling in Antarctic. With the lack of evaporation and demeaning the harm could remain along one century or more.

As the consumation of natural resources is evident, Antarctic is sought by many important companies. For instance, What's going to happen when the fosil combustibles start to run out? Antarctic has many reserve of them. What's going to happen when copper starts to run out? In Antarctic there is a large quantity of copper...

We hope that the future doesn't bring the worst ecologic disaster in the history.

The accident of Exxon Valdez, 1989


This Treaty was signed on january, 1st, 1959 and started to be applied on june, 23rd, 1961. Now we pass to describe two articles about the territorial topic.
* Article IV
1. None of the dispositions in this Treaty will be interpreted as:
a) A resignation by any of the contractual parts to their territorial sovereignty rights or to the territorial demands in Antarctic, that any of them had made valid previously;
b) A resignation or discredit by any of the contractual parts to any of the bases of claiming of territorial sovereignty in Antarctic, that could arise as a result of their activities or those of their Nationals in Antarctic, or by any reason;
c) As damaging to the position of any of the contractual parts, concerning to its recognition or no recognition to the severeignty right, of a claim or of a base of claim of territorial sovereignty of any other state over Antarctic
2. None act or activity carried out while the present treaty is in force is going to form base to valid, support or deny a claim of territorial sovereignty in Antarctic, or to create sovereignty rights in this region.
New claims of territorial sovereignty in Antarctic will not be made, and the previous claims will not be extended while the present treaty is in force.
* Art XI
1. In the case that a controversy arise between or among the contractual parts, concerning to the interpretation or to the application of the present Treaty, those contractual parts will be consulted each other with the purpose of solving the controversy by means of negotiation, investigating, mediating, conciling, arbitration, judicial decision or other pacifist mean chosen by them.
2. Any controversy of that nature, not solved by these means will be addressed to the International Court of Justice, with the consent, in any case, of all the parts in controversy, for its resolution; but the lack of agreement addressed to the International Court of Justice will not excuse the parts involved of the responsibility to look for a solution by any of the different pacifist means described in the 1st paragraph of this article.

December - 2004: Chilean Scientist Expedition Arrives the South Pole

....On November 30th 2004 the Team arrived the South Pole, then of covering 1100 Km in 17 days on board of the special Berco TL-6 convoy. The expedition is included in the project ITASE, whose objective is to explore several routes in the Antarctica. | See More (spanish)


Weddell Seal

Antartic penguins

Antartic "pigeons"

Whale skeleton
Pictures by Ignacio Acuña


Antarctic is constituted by two morphologic and structured different parts: Western Antarctic (including the Chilean zone) and Eastern Antarctic. The border line is the one that links in an imaginary way the Weddell and the Ross Seas. Over this line the Transantarctic Mountains are situated (long. 3058 Km, Alt. 4900 m) If the ice layer melts, you could see that Western Antarctic corresponds to a big archipealgo, while the Eastern antarctic corresponds to a wide and low table land.


Antarctic was part of the Gondwana protocontinent which was separated from Australia about 40 million years ago. Under the ice layer of the Eastern Region there is a rock cortex dating 500 million years (Precambric), covered by younger rocks. The Western Antarctic belongs in a great part to an extension of The Andes Mountains. Volcanoes in the "Deception" Island and in the continent can be seen. The volcanic cones abound in the "Victory" Land.


* 48.000 millions of barrels of petrol
* The higgest reserve of ice in the world: 90% (29.000.000 Km3)
* Coal, copper, gold, uranium, etc.
* Gas tanks in the Ross Sea.


This agreement extends the terms of the treaty of 1959 and fixes a moratorium of 50 years to any mining and petroliferous activity, and also to new regulations about garbage disposal, sea pollution and flora and fauna protection. It is important to mention that the prohibition to explote the minerals could be removed then of 50 years if the minimum approval of two out of three of the parts is gotten.

What are the requirements that a businessman must fulfill to exploit a specific natural resource in the Antarctic?

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More Articles:
* September 18th in the Chilean Antarctic
* Antarctic Situation
* Antarctic Tour

See Antarctic Bases