A Physical Climatology of the Antarctic Plateau

  1. Morton J. Rubin
  1. Paul C. Dalrymple

Published Online: 14 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/AR009p0195

Studies in Antarctic Meteorology

Studies in Antarctic Meteorology

How to Cite

Dalrymple, P. C. (1966) A Physical Climatology of the Antarctic Plateau, in Studies in Antarctic Meteorology (ed M. J. Rubin), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/AR009p0195

Author Information

  1. Quartermaster Research and Engineering Center, Natick, Massachusetts

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1966

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875901091

Online ISBN: 9781118664445



  • Antarctic Plateau;
  • Climatic elements and regions;
  • Climatography;
  • Microclimatology;
  • Physical climatology;
  • South Pole


This study presents a regional climatic classification for the interior of Antarctica and discusses the microclimatology of this region. Based on data from nine scientific stations (Byrd, South Pole, South Ice, Sovietskaya, Vostok, Komsomolskaya, Vostok I, Pionerskaya, and Charcot) between the years 1957 and 1965, a climatic classification is derived for the study area, a physiographic region called the Antarctic Plateau. Four climatic regions are delimited: Cold Central Core, Cold Interior, Cold Katabatic, and Cold Transitional. Differences in climatic extremes are the basis for distinguishing regions. The climatography presents a comprehensive review of climatic data for all stations during the International Geophysical Year and the International Geophysical Cooperation; the eight-year climatic data for Byrd and South Pole are presented in tables and discussed. Interrelationships of climatic elements consider surface inversions, katabatic winds, and windchill. Windchill, a measurement of the cooling power of the atmosphere, is presented as the most important climatic element on the Antarctic Plateau, and windchill data are listed for all stations. The microclimatology presents certain features of the micrometeorological observations of temperature and wind speed measured by the author at South Pole in 1958. Logarithmic wind speed profiles characterize midsummer conditions, and small surface inversions of temperature are featured in most of the eight-month period of ‘winter.'