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Transantarctic Mountains

mountain system subdividing the Antarctic continent into an eastern (East Antarctica) and a western (West Antarctica) region. The Transantarctic Mountains stretch for more than 2,000 miles (3,200 km) from Victoria Land to the shores of the Weddell Sea. Rising to 14,856 feet (4,528 metres) at Mount Kirkpatrick in the Queen Maud Mountains, they traverse a region that is mostly covered by an ice sheet and by a network of large glaciers. Other major subdivisions of the system include the Shackleton, Pensacola, Horlick, Queen Alexandra, Britannia, Prince Albert, Dufek, and Admiralty ranges. Extensive coal deposits, estimated as one of the world's largest reserves, and fossilized remains of primitive freshwater amphibia and reptiles have been found there. Research stations along the base of the mountains have been operated by the United States, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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