Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Home...

...For the foreseeable future.

Davis station, which is Australia’s most southerly base is located in one of the largest ice free areas of the Antarctic continent known as the Vestfold Hills.


The Vestfold's have a few interesting claims-to-fame;

The first landing in the Vestfold Hills were by Norway’s Captain Klarius Mikkelsen and his wife Caroline on the 20th February 1935 which makes it the site of the first female to set foot in Antarctica!

The hills which cover an area of 411 square kilometres are dotted with around 300 lakes and ponds. Many of these lakes are like none other in the world. Some have water that is 10x as salty as sea water and never freeze, even in the -30 odd temperatures of winter.
Some are stratified which means they have distinct layers of temperature, salinity, oxygen and other factors which never mix.
Recently some have been found to host new species of Virophage which are viruses that prey on other viruses and there are also single cell organisms found in some lakes that can change between plants and animals depending on the amount of light and sources of food and energy around!

The hills also have an interesting feature called 'Dykes' which are dark strips of rock that seem to run in perfectly straight but random directions.

(Stalker Hill 2011)

Close by station during the summer there are a multitude of animals to be found. Many of the islands close by are home to Adelie penguin colonies where they come to breed. There are also numerous 'wallows' where male Elephant seals come to moult. Many of the Vestfold's Fjords and inlets make perfect locations for Weddell seals to pup and the rocky ground suits birds such as Snow and Wilson Storm Petrels and Skuas.

The station itself is located on the coast of Broad Peninsula. During summer it homes around 70-90 expeditioners. During winter the number drops to around 15-20. We have numerous buildings and facilities here which I plan on going into more depth about as the months progress.

(Station in the summer of 2010/11)

Anyway, Ill leave you all with a couple of pics of some weather we have been having over the last few days. Its surprising how quick the weather can change from -15 and little wind to -1 and a 120kph blizzard!

Linkway pre blizz
 
Same window during blizz

Next time will be bulk pictures hopefully! (I have a couple of field trips planned) :-P

Oh, and my pictures should enlarge when clicked on now...

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