APC http://apc.antarctica.ac.uk Just another BAS Wordpress Network site Fri, 25 Jul 2014 12:58:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 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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Place-name of the Month – Sept/Oct 2013 http://apc.antarctica.ac.uk/2013/10/09/place-name-of-the-month-septoct-2013/ http://apc.antarctica.ac.uk/2013/10/09/place-name-of-the-month-septoct-2013/#comments Wed, 09 Oct 2013 12:52:55 +0000 http://apc.antarctica.ac.uk/?p=428 The Great StormStorm map

Following the “Great Storm” of 2013, this Place-name of the Month highlights many of the stormy-sounding names in the Antarctic (see map), such as Blow-me-down Bluff, Gale Ridge, Whirlwind Inlet and Thunder Glacier (detailed below). Although windspeeds in the UK during the storm reached up to 99 mph (on the Isle of Wight on 28 October 2013), the highest wind speed recorded in Antarctica was double that, at 199 mph (Dumont d’Urville station in July 1972)!

Thunder Glacier (64° 50′ 27″ S, 63° 23′ 06″ W) is located between Wall Range and Fief Mountains, Wiencke Island, Palmer Archipelago. It extends east-west through the island from Gerlache Strait to Peltier Channel and was first surveyed by FIDS from Port Lockroy in September-October 1944. It was actually named because the survey party was almost overwhelmed by an avalanche in its vicinity, as opposed to due to a thunder storm.


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Place-name of the Month – July/Aug 2013 http://apc.antarctica.ac.uk/2013/09/30/place-name-of-the-month-julyaug-2013/ http://apc.antarctica.ac.uk/2013/09/30/place-name-of-the-month-julyaug-2013/#comments Mon, 30 Sep 2013 10:49:01 +0000 http://new.antarctica.ac.uk/apc/?p=393 King George IslandGeorge map

King George Island (62°0’19″S, 58°17’12″W) is one of the South Shetland Islands; north-east of Nelson Island and south-west of Elephant Island. It was discovered and roughly charted on its north coast by William Smith on 16 October 1819, providing the site of the first landing in Antarctica and being included in the name New South Britain. It was further charted on its south coast by the Russian Antarctic Expedition in February 1821. Following the discovery and naming of King George Bay by Bransfield (22 January 1820), the island was named after King George IV of England (1820-1830).

This month, in honour of the birth of Prince George of Cambridge, I have chosen to highlight all of the place-names in British Antarctic Territory that bear his name (see map). If the Prince is to be awarded an Antarctic place-name in the future, the Place-names Committee will have to be very inventive to think up a new version of the name to use!

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Place-name of the Month – May/June 2013 http://apc.antarctica.ac.uk/2013/07/04/place-name-of-the-month-mayjune-2013/ http://apc.antarctica.ac.uk/2013/07/04/place-name-of-the-month-mayjune-2013/#comments Thu, 04 Jul 2013 13:53:02 +0000 http://new.antarctica.ac.uk/apc/?p=375

Zavodovski Island

Zavadovski Island map

Zavodovski Island (56° 18′ 00″ S, 27° 34′ 00″ W) is the northern-most island of the Traversay Islands, South Sandwich Islands. The island rises to an active volcanic cone at c. 550 m and was discovered and charted by the Russian Antarctic Expedition on 4 January 1820, who named it Ostrov Zavodovskiy after Kapitan-Leytenant Ivan Ivanovich Zavodovskiy, Second-in-Command of the expedition ship Vostok and who was a member of the party which landed on the island on 5 January 1820. Further landings were made by Capt. James Brown from the schooner Pacific (1830), Larsen (1908), Capt. A. N. Solyanik from the Soviet whaling ship Slava-15 (1957-58), Capt. D. H. Turnbull from HMS Shackleton (1961) and by Capt. R. H. Graham, RN from HMS Protector in 1962.

Zavodovski Island is best known for being home to around one million breeding pairs of chinstrap penguins, and is thought to be the largest penguin colony in the world. This, combined with the numerous active fumaroles on the island that emit volcanic fumes, also makes it possibly the smelliest place in the world!  The place-names reflect this (see map) through names including Noxious Bluff, Stench Point, Acrid Point, Reek Point, Pungent Point and Fume Point. This Very High Resolution WorldView2 image has recently been purchased by the Mapping and Geographic Information Centre (MAGIC) at the British Antarctic Survey as part of a project to make new maps of the South Sandwich Islands.


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Place-name of the Month – March/April 2013 http://apc.antarctica.ac.uk/2013/05/22/place-name-of-the-month-marchapril-2013/ http://apc.antarctica.ac.uk/2013/05/22/place-name-of-the-month-marchapril-2013/#comments Wed, 22 May 2013 10:42:13 +0000 http://new.antarctica.ac.uk/apc/?p=370 Thatcher PeninsulaThatcher Peninsula

Thatcher Peninsula (54° 16′ 32″ S, 36° 32′ 11″ W) is situated between Cumberland West Bay to the west and Cumberland East Bay and Moraine Fjord to the east, bounded to the south by Lyell Glacier and Hamberg Glacier (see map). It was named in 1991 after Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baronness Thatcher LG, OM, PC, FRS (1925-2013), Prime Minister, 1979-90.

Margaret Thatcher was leader of the Conservative Party, Britain’s first female Prime Minister and one of the dominant political figures of 20th century Britain. She served three consecutive terms in office between 1979 and 1990. One of the key events of her time as Prime Minister was the 1982 Falklands Conflict – a war with Argentina over sovereignty of the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. This began on 19 March 1982 when an Argentinian ship landed and raised the Argentinian flag at Leith Harbour, South Georgia on 19 March 1982, followed by invasion of the Falkland Islands and South Georgia by Argentinian forces on 2 and 3 April 1982.

As Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher took the decision to send a naval task force to repossess the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands for Great Britain. Following 74 days of air and naval operations, culminating in a British overland attack on Stanley, Falkland Islands, South Georgia was recaptured on 25 April and the Argentine forces surrendered in Stanley on 14 June 1982. In all 904 military personnel and 3 Falkland islanders lost their lives in the conflict.


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