Ellsworth Mountains in Antarctica seen from NASA’s DC-8. Credit: NASA/Michael Studinger
The Ellsworth Mountains are the highest mountain ranges in Antarctica. Therefore forming a 360 km (224 mi) long and 48 km (30 mi) wide chain of mountains in a north to south configuration. Also on the western margin of the Ronne Ice Shelf in Marie Byrd Land. Also they are bisected by Minnesota Glacier to form the Sentinel Range to the north and the Heritage Range to the south. The former is by far the higher and more spectacular with Mount Vinson (4,892 m) constituting the highest point on the continent. Geologically, they are part of the Antarctandes which stretch from the Antarctic Peninsula to Cape Adare on the western shore of the Ross Sea. The Antarctandes form the southernmost arc of the Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’. The mountains are located within the Chilean Antarctic territorial claim but outside of the Argentinian and British ones.