Research stations and territorial
claims in Antarctica (2002).
Mawson Station is a
permanent base in Antarctica managed by the Australian Antarctic Division
Mawson Station from the air.
It is named after the explorer, Douglas Mawson
. Mawson station is Australia's
oldest Antarctic station and the oldest continuously inhabited
Antarctic station of any nation below the Antarctic Circle
Mawson Station houses approximately 20 personnel over winter and 60
in summer. It is the only Antarctic station to use wind generators
for over 70% of its power needs, saving over 600,000 litres of
diesel fuel per year.
In 1946, the Minister for
, H.V. Evatt
indicated his support for a proposal by
Douglas Mawson for the establishment of a permanent Australian base
in Antarctica. It was another seven years before a suitable ship,
the Kista Dan
could be chartered to setup facilities on
the southern continent.
The station site was chosen in 1953 by Dr.
, first director of the AAD, who drew on aerial
photographs taken during the U.S. Operation Highjump
(OpHjp) of 1946-1947
to select the site for its large natural harbour (Horseshoe
Harbour) and permanently exposed rock for building. The station was
built during 1954. Some of the small pre-fabricated huts used in
the first years remain on the station, but these are overshadowed
by large steel-framed modular buildings dating from a major
rebuilding program which started in the late 1970s.
Station is located in Mac
Robertson Land, East Antarctica, named in January 1930 by Sir Douglas Mawson during
British Australian and New Zealand Antarctic Research
Expedition (BANZARE) voyage, aboard Discovery.
It is in a region which Mawson proclaimed as British territory on
several occasions in 1930 and 1931 (including at Proclamation
Island, Scullin Monolith and Cape Bruce), and later became Australian Antarctic
Some notable geographic features in the region include the Framnes Mountains
, which form the dramatic
backdrop to Mawson Station. The Framnes Mountains were named in the
1930s by Norwegian explorers financed by the shipowner and whaling
magnate Lars Christensen
away, to the northwest, lie the Napier Mountains, which were first visited by an ANARE survey party from Mawson Station in 1960.
The survey party was led by Syd Kirkby
and included Terence James
. The highest peak of this small range is
Elkins, which was named after Terence James Elkins,
ionospheric physicist with ANARE at Mawson Station in
Mawson Station experiences a Polar
|Mean daily maximum temperature (°C)
|Mean daily minimum temperature (°C)
|Mean daily sunshine (hours)
|Mean number of cloudy days
Source: Bureau of Meteorology