Surveying and mapping: the season that was
Australian Antarctic Division surveying and mapping program expeditioners had a busy summer season with surveying, aerial photography and tide gauge projects undertaken at Davis, Casey, Mawson and Macquarie Island.
In the Davis area the main priority was to survey ground control points for the topographic mapping of the Rauer Group. The geographic information derived from this mapping will be used as the basis of a Geographic Information System for the island group.
At Mawson Royal Australian Navy hydrographers conducted a hydrographic survey of an alternative shipping route into Mawson station to the west of the existing chart. The survey located a number of 'ship killers' – rock structures rising to one or two metres below sea level surrounded by very deep water.
In the Casey area, surveyors were involved for most of the summer months in the surveying and grooming of the blue ice runway to the south-east of Casey.
Other field projects in support of science and operations included aerial photography of Wilkes station, Casey station and Ardery and Odbert Islands, update of station area maps and lake levelling in the Vestfold Hills for contribution to State of the Environment indicators.
Mapping projects included a small scale map of the Amery Region for the Prince Charles Mountains Expedition of Germany-Australia (PCMEGA), vegetation mapping of Heard Island, orthophoto maps of Casey and Mawson stations, mapping of islands and coastline in the Commonwealth Bay area from high resolution satellite imagery and mapping of the Larsemann Hills and adjacent islands from aerial photography.
All in all a very busy summer season with fifteen expeditioners occupied in various surveying and mapping activities at all stations.
Mapping Officer, AAD