Photographic Work   From Above   Polygonal ground

Polygonal ground, Antarctique (Pôle sud) - 2004

Polygonal patterns on the ground in the Beacon Valley, Dry Valleys, Antarctica (77°50′ S – 160°50′ E).


Original Edition Signed and Numbered

The bottom of the McMurdo Dry Valleys, one of the rare iceless places on the continent, is covered in polygonal patterns similar to those of a dried-up pond. Extreme temperature variations from summer to winter, when a six-month night envelops the continent and makes temperatures drop by 90°F (32°C), cause ice buried in the ground to freeze and thaw, creating this strange mineral tapestry. The reason for these patterns has not been completely uncovered but their location has been clearly determined: they appear where the ground is permanently frozen, both in Antarctica and the Arctic. But planet Earth does not hold a monopoly on this type of design. The pictures of Mars delivered by the Mars Global Surveyor and the rovers Spirit and Opportunity are striking: patterns utterly similar to those of the Dry Valleys can be seen in the polar regions of the red planet. These are on a giant scale, however—the polygons on Mars are a few miles wide, those on Earth only 30 to 100 ft (9 to 30 m).


Taken in 2004, It is a silver photography. His original slide is stored by the Yann Arthus-Bertrand Studio in Paris.


Original work by Yann Arthus-Bertrand. The prints are made exclusively by the Yann Arthus-Bertrand Studio in Paris under the control of the artist himself.

Original Edition Signed and Numbered

Prints ordered without frames include a white border
- Format 1, 2 & 3 = 2 cm of white border around the image
- Format 4, 5 = 4 cm of white border around the image
- Format 6 = 5 cm of white border around the image
Digital print made by the Yann Arthus-Bertrand Studio. Canon IPF 9400 Ink-jet printer, pigmentary ink, printing on acid free 100% cotton fibre paper (Museo Silver Rag)

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All our frames are made to measure and hand-made. The wood chosen for the frames is cut directly and assembled as a function of the work and painted as chosen.
For the signed prints, the Yann Arthus-Bertrand Studio offers three choices of frame : dark wood, wood painted white, wood painted black.
It is possible thereafter to choose a frame with glass or a frame with non-reflecting glass.


The purchase of the work is uniquely by way of a print.
For any requests relating to framing please send an email to :

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Delivery charges are at the expense of the purchaser. Delivery time depends on the country in which you live. Between 1 and 2 weeks should be allowed for a print and 3 to 4 weeks for a framed print.

Only for orders taken in July and August, between 3 to 4 weeks should be allowed for a print and 5 to 6 weeks for a framed print.

Once the order is validated, the print is made, signed and framed in accordance with your request.

Customs duties and VAT outside the European Union (+ Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein) are at the expense of the purchaser. We invite you to get in touch with the Customs services in your country for more information on this subject.

The Yann Arthus-Bertrand Studio works with specialised transporters, who are authorised to deliver works of art.

Once the print/frame has been dispatched, you will receive an e-mail from the Studio giving you the name of the transporter, the number of the parcel and the estimated date of delivery.


Consulted Works