APC http://apc.antarctica.ac.uk Just another BAS Wordpress Network site Fri, 23 Jan 2015 14:14:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Amundsen Commemorative Naming in BAT http://apc.antarctica.ac.uk/2015/01/23/amundsen-commemorative-naming-in-bat/ http://apc.antarctica.ac.uk/2015/01/23/amundsen-commemorative-naming-in-bat/#comments Fri, 23 Jan 2015 10:01:39 +0000 http://apc.antarctica.ac.uk/?p=505 Amundsen Peak mapIn 2013 the APC honoured three members of Scott’s Terra Nova expedition with a place name in Antarctica, as part of a joint project with the New Zealand Antarctic Names Committee, to commemorate the Centenary of the expedition (see news article). This project also highlighted that Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen had never been honoured with a place name in British Antarctic Territory. The APC decided to identify and name a feature in BAT to commemorate his pioneering explorations of Antarctica.

Research into Amundsen’s early exploration of the Antarctic Peninsula showed that his first landing in the Antarctic was during the Belgian Antarctic Expedition (1897-99), lead by Lieut. Adrien de Gerlache de Gomery. On 24 January 1898 the expedition party landed on what is now Moreno Rock, in the north of Gerlache Strait, on the Danco Coast. As this feature is already named, and is too small to have any other significant features on it, the APC Secretary looked for features that needed names on the surrounding islands. The highest peak on nearby Two-Hummock Island is nameless, but is an important navigational feature (see map). The name Amundsen Peak was approved on 9 October 2014 and added to the BAT gazetteer as follows:


Amundsen Peak USGS imageAmundsen Peak (64° 07′ 45″ S, 61° 42′ 16″ W) Highest peak on Two Hummock Island, Gerlache Strait, Danco Coast. Named after Roald Amundsen (1872-1928), Norwegian polar explorer, who was the leader of the expedition which first reached the South Pole in 1911, and first to fly across the North Pole by airship in 1926. Whilst he is usually associated with the Ross Sea area, Amundsen’s first landing site in the Antarctic was on Moreno Rock (approximately 20 km east of Two Hummock Island) on 24 January 1898 during the Belgian Antarctic Expedition (1897-99), lead by Lieut. Adrien de Gerlache de Gomery.


U.S. Geological Survey oblique aerial image of Two Hummock Island showing Amundsen Peak.



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Place-name of the Month – Nov/Dec 2014 http://apc.antarctica.ac.uk/2015/01/15/place-name-of-the-month-novdec-2014/ http://apc.antarctica.ac.uk/2015/01/15/place-name-of-the-month-novdec-2014/#comments Thu, 15 Jan 2015 12:13:53 +0000 http://apc.antarctica.ac.uk/?p=498 StromnessStromness map

Stromness (54° 09′ 34″ S, 36° 42′ 40″ W) is the site of the shore whaling station at the head of Stromness Harbour, Stromness Bay (see map). The name stems from usage by sealers and whalers; strømness means stream point. It was first leased to Sandefjord Whaling Company by the Falkland Islands Government in 1908 and was initially a harbour for a moored floating factory; the shore station was built in 1912. Sandefjord Whaling Company, the Southern Whaling and Sealing Company and Vestfold Whaling Comapany operated the station until 1931. It then became a ship repair yard having been purchased by the South Georgia Company of Leith.

A century ago, on 5th December 1914, Ernest Shackleton set sail from Stromness on HMS Endurance to begin the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. Eighteen months later he arrived back at the whaling station, with an epic tale to tell.  The station manager, Petter Sørlle, had assumed him and his companions long dead. From here he was able to lead rescue missions to collect his men from King Haakon Bay and Elephant Island.

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Place-name of the Month – Sept/Oct 2014 http://apc.antarctica.ac.uk/2014/11/07/place-name-of-the-month-septoct-2014/ http://apc.antarctica.ac.uk/2014/11/07/place-name-of-the-month-septoct-2014/#comments Fri, 07 Nov 2014 15:22:00 +0000 http://apc.antarctica.ac.uk/?p=494 Dingle Day NunataksDingle Day map

Dingle (64° 31′ 37″ S, 57° 25′ 8″ W) and Day (64° 29′ 53″ S, 57° 20′ 31″ W) nunataks are two areas of exposed rock on the south-west side of Snow Hill Island, which is located to the east of James Ross Island (see map). They were named following a BAS field party in the James Ross Island area in the 1994-1995 season, after members of the group; Dingle Nunatak is named after Dr Richard Vernon Dingle, (b.1943), who was a BAS geologist (Palaeoenvironmental change) 1994-1997, and Day Nunatak is named for Crispin Mark Jeremy Day, (b. 1960), who was a BAS Field GA at Rothera at the time, and is now part of the Rothera Communications team. Combined, the names cunningly refer to the perfect blue skies and sunshine that greeted the field party – a ‘dingle day’!

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Place-name of the Month – July/Aug 2014 http://apc.antarctica.ac.uk/2014/09/16/place-name-of-the-month-julyaug-2014/ http://apc.antarctica.ac.uk/2014/09/16/place-name-of-the-month-julyaug-2014/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 09:15:26 +0000 http://apc.antarctica.ac.uk/?p=478 Robin Subglacial BasinRobin SB map

Following the publication of Bedmap2, the project collaborators were encouraged to submit place-name proposals for any new features identified from this new dataset. Robin Subglacial Basin was identified as a deep subglacial feature approximately 220 km by 50 km and nearly 2 km below sea level (see map). It is situated upstream of the grounding line of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet in the Weddell Sea sector. The Institute and Möller Ice Streams run through the region, separated by the Bungenstock Ice Rise. Ice is grounded in the entire basin, over 2 km thick in places. It is one of three major deep basins in West Antarctica, the others being Byrd Subglacial basin and the Bentley Subglacial Trench.

The feature is named after Dr Gordon de Quetteville Robin (1927-2004), a pioneering glaciologist who demonstrated the utility of airborne radar sounding of polar ice sheets through a series of deep field campaigns in Antarctica during the 1960s and 1970s. His research led significantly to our appreciation of subglacial Antarctica, and how it controls ice sheet dynamics, so this palce-name is a fitting tribute to him. Dr de Q. Robin was also a FIDS Base Leader at Cape Geddes (1947) and Signy (1947-48), a geophysicist on the Norwegian-British-Swedish Antarctic Expedition (1949-52), SCAR Secretary (1958-70) and then President (1970-74), and Director of the Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI) (1958-82). Interestingly, the ‘Institute Ice Stream’ that feeds ice into Robin Subglacial Basin was named after SPRI.


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Place-names in the news http://apc.antarctica.ac.uk/2014/07/25/place-names-in-the-news/ http://apc.antarctica.ac.uk/2014/07/25/place-names-in-the-news/#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 12:58:23 +0000 http://apc.antarctica.ac.uk/?p=465 Geogmag article picA couple of years ago, the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, at the request of the Advisory Committee on Antarctic Names (ACAN), changed the rules regarding how geographic features in Antarctica should be named by the U.S. government. These changes have recently been reviewed by Peter Rejcek in an article written in the online news publication for the U.S. Antarctic Program, The Antarctic Sun.

The article compares how place-names were first established in Antarctica by the early explorers, to the way in which place-names are applied by different nations actively working in Antarctica now. The article draws on a piece written by Adrian Fox (APC member) and Kate Bazeley (APC Secretary) for Geographical, the Royal Geographical Society’s magazine, and features information and images from the APC website.

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Place-name of the Month – May/June 2014 http://apc.antarctica.ac.uk/2014/07/18/place-name-of-the-month-mayjune-2014/ http://apc.antarctica.ac.uk/2014/07/18/place-name-of-the-month-mayjune-2014/#comments Fri, 18 Jul 2014 10:53:53 +0000 http://apc.antarctica.ac.uk/?p=460 Midsummer/MidwinterMidwinter map

Midwinter is a significant date in the calendar of all BAS Staff as it marks the point at which the days will start to lengthen and the sun will start to return to the Antarctic. In honour of the occasion, and for all those wintering at the bases, this month’s place-name theme celebrates the summer solstice, or Midwinter’s Day, as it is known in the Southern Hemisphere.

The map shows the transition from Mount Light on the west of the Ronne Ice Shelf, at the base of the Antarctic Peninsula, to Mount Dark on the south-east of the ice shelf, in the Pensacola Mountains. Mount Light was first surveyed in 1947 by FIDS-RARE out of Stonington Island and named after Dr Richard Upjohn Light, President of the American Geophysical Society 1947-67. Mount Dark was named in 2010 after Bill Dark, BAS General Assistant who worked in the Pensacola Mountains and around the Antarctic Peninsula in the 1980s.

Happy Midwinter!

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Place-name of the Month – March/April 2014 http://apc.antarctica.ac.uk/2014/05/14/place-name-of-the-month-marchapril-2014/ http://apc.antarctica.ac.uk/2014/05/14/place-name-of-the-month-marchapril-2014/#comments Wed, 14 May 2014 13:37:35 +0000 http://apc.antarctica.ac.uk/?p=449 Glaciers around RotheraRothera glaciers map

Like numerous features around Antarctic bases, many of the glaciers around Rothera are named after people who worked in the region when the first bases were established. This area was first surveyed by Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey (FIDS) working out of the Stonington Island base in 1948, and then from Adelaide in the early 1960s. It was photographed from the air by the FID Aerial Survey Expedition (FIDASE) in 1956-57.

There are four prominent glaciers that flow into Ryder Bay (Sheldon, Hurley, Horton, Turner) (see map). These glaciers are well-known to people at Rothera, as they are often visited for both science and recreational purposes. They are all named after FIDS personnel:

Sheldon Glacier is named after Ernest Brian Sheldon (b.1945); BAS meteorological observer at Adelaide (1968-69), Stonington Island (1969-7), Base Commander, Adelaide (1975-76) and Rothera (1976-77).

Hurley Glacier is named after Alec John Hurley (b. 1951); BAS mechanic at Halley (1975-76) and Rothera (1976-77).

Turner Glacier is named after Andrew John Turner (b.1948); BAS builder at Halley (1973-74), Signy (1974-75), Rothera (1976-77 & 1978-80) and Faraday (1982-83).

Horton Glacier is named after Colin Phillip Horton (b. 1951); BAS builder at Rothera (1976-77).

Unfortunately it is much more difficult to get a place named after you now in Antarctica; you have to have made a significant contribution to Antarctic science or logistics and gone ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty.

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Place-name of the Month – Jan/Feb 2014 http://apc.antarctica.ac.uk/2014/04/09/place-name-of-the-month-janfeb-2014/ http://apc.antarctica.ac.uk/2014/04/09/place-name-of-the-month-janfeb-2014/#comments Wed, 09 Apr 2014 13:02:46 +0000 http://apc.antarctica.ac.uk/?p=440 South Sandwich IslandsBristol Island map

A new geological map of the South Sandwich Islands has recently been produced as a collaboration between Peter Fretwell in MAGIC, and geologists including Rob Larter, Phil Leat and John Smellie. The individual maps of the each of the islands use newly acquired WorldView2 satellite imagery, and include lots of information about the geology and tectonics of the region.

As part of the production of the map, there have been nine new place names approved on the islands, due to the observation that were several significant geologic features that were unnamed. Two notable new place-names honour BAS/ex-BAS scientists Pete Convey and Phil Leat for their contribution to the scientific knowledge of the region; they both took part in biological and geological surveys of the islands in 1997, and Phil also led two subsequent marine expeditions to chart the adjacent sea floor. Their place-names are situated on Bristol Island (see map).


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Scott Centenary new place-names http://apc.antarctica.ac.uk/2014/01/17/scott-centenary-new-place-names/ http://apc.antarctica.ac.uk/2014/01/17/scott-centenary-new-place-names/#comments Fri, 17 Jan 2014 16:25:55 +0000 http://apc.antarctica.ac.uk/?p=422 Ross Island mapAs part of the 2012 Centenary of Scott’s Terra Nova expedition, the Antarctic Place-names Committee conducted a joint initiative with the New Zealand Antarctic Names Committee to honour those members of the British National Antarctic Expedition (1910-13) who did not already have place named after them in Antarctica.

After extensive research, it was found that three members of the shore party of the expedition had not been honoured with an Antarctic place-name; Thomas Clissold (cook), Anton Omelchenko (groom) and Demetri Gerof (dog driver). Appropriate features to be named were located close to the expedition’s hut at Cape Evans on Ross Island, using Land Information New Zealand 1:50,000 scale Antarctic maps. The features chosen are important for navigation in the area and therefore required official naming. The UK-APC compiled the proposals and sent them to the New Zealand Geographic Board for consideration. The names were approved in March 2013 and appeared in the New Zealand Gazette on 26 April 2013.

Next year the UK-APC hope to undertake a similar initiative as part of the 2014 Centenary of Shackleton’s Endurance, British Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition (1914-17). Features will be located in places relevant to the expedition, namely South Georgia, Elephant Island and Coats Land.

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Place-name of the Month – Nov/Dec 2013 http://apc.antarctica.ac.uk/2013/12/09/place-name-of-the-month-novdec-2013/ http://apc.antarctica.ac.uk/2013/12/09/place-name-of-the-month-novdec-2013/#comments Mon, 09 Dec 2013 12:59:26 +0000 http://apc.antarctica.ac.uk/?p=432 Busen Region

The Busen Region is an area of ice free land midway along the north coast of South Georgia. It is bounded on the west by Neumayer and Fortuna glaciers, to the north Fortuna and Stromness bays, to the east by Cumberland Bay, to the south by Cumberland West Bay, and incorporates Lewin Peninsula. The area includes the former whaling stations of Leith, Stromness and Husvik. It was recently named in association with Busen Point, after the whale catcher SS Bucentaur of the Tønsberg Whaling Company, in which members of the 1928 Discovery Investigations survey party took passage to Husvik.

Busen region mapA new 1:25,000 scale map of the Busen Region has recently been made by MAGIC for the Government of South Georgia (see inset map). A draft of the map was used to help with the organisation of the South Georgia Heritage Trust reindeer eradication programme, and the final, double-sided map was printed in November 2013 and includes local information about South Georgia.

There were almost 40 new place-names approved in the Busen Region in conjunction with the production of the new map. The names follow themes of historic South Georgia ships (Samson and Starlight peaks), the whaling era (Henriksen Peaks, after the first manager of Leith whaling station), and Shackleton (Shackleton Falls, Worsley Beach, Crean Lake). Details of the names can be viewed at http://new.antarctica.ac.uk/apc/news/latest-additions-to-the-sgssi-gazetteer/ or to view them on the web map go to http://add.antarctica.ac.uk/public/sgssigaz.

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