#lastpole: Northern Pole of Inaccessibility

Did you know we have four North Poles?

Geographic North Pole 90°N
A fixed location on the surface of the Arctic Ocean where the Earth’s axis of rotation meet. First seen in 1926 from the airship, Norge.

Magnetic North Pole 85° 11’N, 133° 7’ W
A wandering location at 90 degrees to the Earth’s surface where lines of magnetic force exit. The magnetic field is vertical and points vertically into the ground. The north-seeking end of a compass needle points to this pole (hence this is technically a south pole since opposite poles attract). It was first attained by Captain James Ross in 1831 when it was on the Boothia Peninsula and has subsequently migrated northwards well into the Arctic Ocean at a current rate of ~40km every year.

Geomagnetic North Pole 80° 1’ N, 71° 59’ W
The point where the geomagnetic field is closest to True North. The northern end of the axis of the geomagnetic field which surrounds the Earth and extends into space as the magnetosphere. Tilted at ~11 degrees to the rotation axis of the Earth (the geographic pole), and field lines are not vertical to the Earth’s surface here. Situated over the Darling Peninsula, Canada. Aurora Borealis occur principally in a stratospheric torus 23° around this pole.

Arctic or Northern Pole of Inaccessibility 85° 47‘ N, 176° 9‘ E
The farthest point from any coastline or the very centre of the Arctic Ocean; also called the ‘Northern Pole of Inaccessibility’. First established in 1927 by Sir Hubert Wilkins, by aircraft but recently re-positioned by Jim McNeill and NSIDC scientists using modern satellite technology.


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