Wilkes Station was an Antarctic research station established 29 January 1957 by the United States as one of seven U. S. stations established for the International Geophysical Year program in Antarctica. It was taken over by Australia on 7 February 1959. Navy personnel from the United States constructed the main part of Wilkes in a period of 16 days in January and February 1957, unloading 11,000 tons of material and supplies, it took a crew of over 100 to erect the station which housed 24 naval personnel and scientists for the next 18 months. As this was the time of the Cold War, there was considerable concern by the United States and Australia about Russian activity in Antarctica. Wilkes was seen to be strategically located because of its proximity to the south magnetic pole. Australia assumed custody of Wilkes, which remained the property of the U. S. State Department, in February 1959. Although Australia took over the operational command, the remaining US personnel did not take kindly to being under Australian control.
There was a'back down' until 1961 when the station came under exclusive ANARE control. Wilkes had been built in 1957 for a two-year period. By 1964 the buildings had become a fire hazard due to fuel seepage, the station was becoming buried by snow and ice; the new station of Casey Repstat was developed on the other, side of Newcomb Bay, about two kilometers across the bay south of Wilkes. It was commissioned in 1969 and Wilkes was closed down. Wilkes Station is now permanently frozen in ice and is only revealed during a big thaw every four or five years. Many objects remain embedded in the ice, visitors are able to see the remains of the station through the ice. What remains at Wilkes are a number of barracks buildings known as Clements huts, the remnants of the semi-cylindrical canvas store buildings known as Jamesway huts. Wilkes features a series of storage dumps and a considerable amount of rubbish resulting from 12 years of occupation, including 7000 fuel and oil drums. In early 1988, the Australian Army's 17th Construction Squadron deployed Lieutenant Andrew Stanner to Wilkes Station, Antarctica in order to develop an environmental clean-up plan to remove, make safe or dispose of a large accumulation of rubbish, fuel in drums, explosives and gas cylinders deposited since the late 1950s.
The plan was subsequently carried out over a period of years for the Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions by a series of detachments from the squadron. Ice Station, written by Matthew Reilly, is a fiction thriller loosely based on Wilkes Station; the Coldest Place on Earth, written by Robert Thompson who led the September 1962 Wilkes-Vostock Traverse, returning to Wilkes in January 1963. List of Antarctic research stations List of Antarctic field camps Australian Antarctic Division Casey Station Australian Antarctic Division Wilkes History
The Antarctic is a polar region around the Earth's South Pole, opposite the Arctic region around the North Pole. The Antarctic comprises the continent of Antarctica, the Kerguelen Plateau and other island territories located on the Antarctic Plate or south of the Antarctic Convergence; the Antarctic region includes the ice shelves and all the island territories in the Southern Ocean situated south of the Antarctic Convergence, a zone 32 to 48 km wide varying in latitude seasonally. The region covers some 20 percent of the Southern Hemisphere, of which 5.5 percent is the surface area of the Antarctic continent itself. All of the land and ice shelves south of 60°S latitude are administered under the Antarctic Treaty System. Biogeographically, the Antarctic ecozone is one of eight ecozones of the Earth's land surface; the maritime part of the region constitutes the area of application of the international Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, where for technical reasons the Convention uses an approximation of the Convergence line by means of a line joining specified points along parallels of latitude and meridians of longitude.
The implementation of the Convention is managed through an international Commission headquartered in Hobart, Australia, by an efficient system of annual fishing quotas and international inspectors on the fishing vessels, as well as satellite surveillance. Most of the Antarctic region is situated south of 60°S latitude parallel, is governed in accordance with the international legal regime of the Antarctic Treaty System; the Treaty area covers the continent itself and its adjacent islands, as well as the archipelagos of the South Orkney Islands, South Shetland Islands, Peter I Island, Scott Island and Balleny Islands. The islands situated between 60°S latitude parallel to the south and the Antarctic Convergence to the north, their respective 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zones fall under the national jurisdiction of the countries that possess them: South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Bouvet Island, Heard and McDonald Islands. Kerguelen Islands are situated in the Antarctic Convergence area, while the Falkland Islands, Isla de los Estados, Hornos Island with Cape Horn, Diego Ramírez Islands, Campbell Island, Macquarie Island and Saint Paul Islands, Crozet Islands, Prince Edward Islands, Gough Island and Tristan da Cunha group remain north of the Convergence and thus outside the Antarctic region.
A variety of animals live in Antarctica for at least some of the year, including: Seals Penguins South Georgia pipits Albatrosses Antarctic petrels Whales Fish, such as Antarctic icefish, Antarctic toothfish Squid, including the colossal squid Antarctic krillMost of the Antarctic continent is permanently covered by ice and snow, leaving less than 1 percent of the land exposed. There are only two species of flowering plant, Antarctic hair grass and Antarctic pearlwort, but a range of mosses, liverworts and macrofungi; the first Antarctic land discovered was the island of South Georgia, visited by the English merchant Anthony de la Roché in 1675. Although myths and speculation about a Terra Australis date back to antiquity, the first confirmed sighting of the continent of Antarctica is accepted to have occurred in 1820 by the Russian expedition of Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev on Vostok and Mirny; the first human born in the Antarctic was Solveig Gunbjørg Jacobsen born on 8 October 1913 in Grytviken, South Georgia.
The Antarctic region had no indigenous population when first discovered, its present inhabitants comprise a few thousand transient scientific and other personnel working on tours of duty at the several dozen research stations maintained by various countries. However, the region is visited by more than 40,000 tourists annually, the most popular destinations being the Antarctic Peninsula area and South Georgia Island. In December 2009, the growth of tourism, with consequences for both the ecology and the safety of the travellers in its great and remote wilderness, was noted at a conference in New Zealand by experts from signatories to the Antarctic Treaty; the definitive results of the conference was presented at the Antarctic Treaty states' meeting in Uruguay in May 2010. The Antarctic hosts the world's largest protected area comprising 1.07 million km2, the South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands Marine Protection Area created in 2012. The latter exceeds the surface area of another vast protected territory, the Greenland National Park’s 972,000 km2.
Because Antarctica surrounds the South Pole, it is theoretically located in all time zones. For practical purposes, time zones are based on territorial claims or the time zone of a station's owner country or supply base. Antarctic Circle History of Antarctica Krupnik, Michael A. Lang, Scott E. Miller, eds. Smithsonian at the Poles: Contributions to International Polar Year Science. Washington, D. C.: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press, 2009. British Services Antarctic Expedition 2012 Committee for Environmental Protection of Antarctica Secretariat of the Antarctic Treaty CCAMLR Commission Antarctic Heritage Trusts International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators Map of the Antarctic Convergence The South Atlantic and Subantarctic Islands
Wilkes Land is a large district of land in eastern Antarctica, formally claimed by Australia as part of the Australian Antarctic Territory, though the validity of this claim has been placed for the period of the operation of the Antarctic Treaty, to which Australia is a signatory. It fronts on the southern Indian Ocean between Queen Mary Coast and Adelie Land, extending from Cape Hordern in 100°31' E to Pourquoi Pas Point, in 136°11' E; the region extends as a sector about 2600 km towards the South Pole, with an estimated land area of 2,600,000 km² glaciated. It is further subdivided in the following coastal areas which can be thought of as sectors extending to the South Pole: Knox Land: 100°31' E to 109°16' E Budd Land: 109°16' E to 115°33' E Sabrina Land: 115°33' E to 122°05' E Banzare Land: 122°05' E to 130°10' E Clarie Land: 130°10' E to 136°11' EIn a wider sense, Wilkes Land extends further East to Point Alden in 142°02' E, thereby including Adélie Land, claimed by France. Wilkes Land is named after Lieutenant Charles Wilkes, the American explorer who commanded the 1838–42 United States Exploring Expedition.
The naming is in recognition of Wilkes' discovery of the continental margin over a distance of 2,400 km of coast, thus providing substantial proof that Antarctica is a continent. This definition of extent excludes the area east of 142°02' E, George V Land, sighted by Wilkes but has been shown by expeditions to be further south than the positions assigned by him. In 2006 a team of researchers led by Ralph von Frese and Laramie Potts used gravity measurements by NASA's GRACE satellites to discover the 300-mile-wide Wilkes Land crater, which formed about 250 million years ago. Wilkes Land is featured prominently in the 1998 film The X-Files. Fox Mulder journeys to Antarctica to save his partner Dana Scully, being held there against her will. In the process, they discover a huge secret lab under the surface run by the Cigarette-Smoking Man. Adélie Valley
Operation Windmill was the United States Navy's Second Antarctica Developments Project, an exploration and training mission to Antarctica in 1947–1948. This operation was a follow up to the First Antarctica Development Project known as Operation Highjump; the expedition was commanded by Commander Gerald L. Ketchum, USN, the flagship of Task Force 39 was the icebreaker USS Burton Island. Missions during Operation Windmill varied including supply activities, helicopter reconnaissance of ice flows, scientific surveys, underwater demolition surveys, convoy exercises; the icebreaker USS Edisto sailed on 1 November 1947 for the Panama Canal to rendezvous with the Burton Island for the expedition. List of Antarctic expeditions Military activity in the Antarctic This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Coast Guard. Operation Windmill
The Windmill Islands are an Antarctic group of rocky islands and rocks about 11.1 kilometres wide, paralleling the coast of Wilkes Land for 31.5 kilometres north of Vanderford Glacier along the east side of Vincennes Bay. Kirkby Shoal is a small shoal area with depths of less than 18 metres extending about 140 metres westwards and SSW, about 3.4 kilometres from the summit of Shirley Island, Windmill Islands, 0.24 kilometres NW of Stonehocker Point, Clark Peninsula. The Windmill Islands were mapped from aerial photographs taken by USN Operation Highjump, 1946-47. So named by the US-ACAN because personnel of Operation Windmill, 1947–48, landed on Holl Island at the southwest end of the group to establish ground control for USN Operation Highjump photographs; the term "Operation Windmill" is a popular expression which developed after the expedition disbanded and refers to the extensive use of helicopters made by this group. The official title of this expedition was the'Second Antarctic Development Project', U.
S. Navy Task Force 39, 1947–48; some of the main geographic features of the archipelago are: Austral Island Kilby Island Kirkby Shoal Larsen Bank McMullin Island Molholm Island Shirley Island Composite Antarctic Gazetteer List of Antarctic and sub-Antarctic islands List of Antarctic islands south of 60° S Newcomb Bay SCAR Territorial claims in Antarctica This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Geological Survey document "Windmill Islands"
Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research
The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research is an interdisciplinary body of the International Council for Science. It was established in February 1958 to continue the international coordination of Antarctic scientific activities that had begun during the International Geophysical Year of 1957-58. SCAR is charged with the initiating and coordinating of scientific research in the Antarctic region; the scientific business of SCAR is conducted by its Standing Scientific Groups. SCAR provides scientific advice to the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings and other organizations on issues of science and conservation affecting the management of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. In that role, SCAR has made numerous recommendations on a variety of matters few of which have been incorporated into Antarctic Treaty instruments. SCAR meets every two years to conduct its administrative business at the SCAR Delegates Meeting. An executive committee elected from the delegates is responsible for the day-to-day administration of SCAR through its secretariat at the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge, England.
The executive committee comprises four vice-presidents. The SCAR Secretariat is staffed by the executive director, executive officer and an administrative assistant. SCAR holds, prior to the delegates meeting, a major open science conference to draw attention to Antarctic issues, along with meetings of the standing scientific groups that are designed to finalize the science programmes for eventual approval by the delegates. In 2002 SCAR received the prestigious Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation. Since 2006, SCAR has awarded three medals biennially in recognition of excellence in Antarctic and Southern Ocean research and outstanding service to the international Antarctic community. There is one medal for Excellence in Antarctic Research, one for International Scientific Coordination, the SCAR President's medal for Outstanding Achievement. Presentations are made at the SCAR Open Science Conference and are intended to reward those who exemplify the best of the Antarctic community and serve as role models for the next generation.
Composite Gazetteer of Antarctica Anna Wåhlin, committee co-chair Official website
Antarctica is Earth's southernmost continent. It contains the geographic South Pole and is situated in the Antarctic region of the Southern Hemisphere entirely south of the Antarctic Circle, is surrounded by the Southern Ocean. At 14,200,000 square kilometres, it is the fifth-largest continent. For comparison, Antarctica is nearly twice the size of Australia. About 98% of Antarctica is covered by ice that averages 1.9 km in thickness, which extends to all but the northernmost reaches of the Antarctic Peninsula. Antarctica, on average, is the coldest and windiest continent, has the highest average elevation of all the continents. Most of Antarctica is a polar desert, with annual precipitation of only 200 mm along the coast and far less inland; the temperature in Antarctica has reached −89.2 °C, though the average for the third quarter is −63 °C. Anywhere from 1,000 to 5,000 people reside throughout the year at research stations scattered across the continent. Organisms native to Antarctica include many types of algae, fungi, plants and certain animals, such as mites, penguins and tardigrades.
Vegetation, where it occurs, is tundra. Antarctica is noted as the last region on Earth in recorded history to be discovered, unseen until 1820 when the Russian expedition of Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev on Vostok and Mirny sighted the Fimbul ice shelf; the continent, remained neglected for the rest of the 19th century because of its hostile environment, lack of accessible resources, isolation. In 1895, the first confirmed. Antarctica is a de facto condominium, governed by parties to the Antarctic Treaty System that have consulting status. Twelve countries signed the Antarctic Treaty in 1959, thirty-eight have signed it since then; the treaty prohibits military activities and mineral mining, prohibits nuclear explosions and nuclear waste disposal, supports scientific research, protects the continent's ecozone. Ongoing experiments are conducted by more than 4,000 scientists from many nations; the name Antarctica is the romanised version of the Greek compound word ἀνταρκτική, feminine of ἀνταρκτικός, meaning "opposite to the Arctic", "opposite to the north".
Aristotle wrote in his book Meteorology about an Antarctic region in c. 350 BC Marinus of Tyre used the name in his unpreserved world map from the 2nd century CE. The Roman authors Hyginus and Apuleius used for the South Pole the romanised Greek name polus antarcticus, from which derived the Old French pole antartike attested in 1270, from there the Middle English pol antartik in a 1391 technical treatise by Geoffrey Chaucer. Before acquiring its present geographical connotations, the term was used for other locations that could be defined as "opposite to the north". For example, the short-lived French colony established in Brazil in the 16th century was called "France Antarctique"; the first formal use of the name "Antarctica" as a continental name in the 1890s is attributed to the Scottish cartographer John George Bartholomew. The long-imagined south polar continent was called Terra Australis, sometimes shortened to'Australia' as seen in a woodcut illustration titled Sphere of the winds, contained in an astrological textbook published in Frankfurt in 1545.
Although the longer Latin phrase was better known, the shortened name Australia was used in Europe's scholarly circles. In the nineteenth century, the colonial authorities in Sydney removed the Dutch name from New Holland. Instead of inventing a new name to replace it, they took the name Australia from the south polar continent, leaving it nameless for some eighty years. During that period, geographers had to make do with clumsy phrases such as "the Antarctic Continent", they searched for a more poetic replacement, suggesting various names such as Antipodea. Antarctica was adopted in the 1890s. Antarctica has no indigenous population, there is no evidence that it was seen by humans until the 19th century. However, in February 1775, during his second voyage, Captain Cook called the existence of such a polar continent "probable" and in another copy of his journal he wrote:" believe it and it's more than probable that we have seen a part of it". However, belief in the existence of a Terra Australis—a vast continent in the far south of the globe to "balance" the northern lands of Europe and North Africa—had prevailed since the times of Ptolemy in the 1st century AD.
In the late 17th century, after explorers had found that South America and Australia were not part of the fabled "Antarctica", geographers believed that the continent was much larger than its actual size. Integral to the story of the origin of Antarctica's name is that it was not named Terra Australis—this name was given to Australia instead, because of the misconception that no significant landmass could exist further south. Explorer Matthew Flinders, in particular, has been credited with popularising the transfer of the name Terra Australis to Australia, he justified the titling of his book A Voyage to Terra Australis by writing in the introduction: There is no probability, that any other detached body of land, of nearly equal extent, will be found in a more southern latitude.