Davis environment

Apple hut with lake in background
Rookery Lake 'apple hut' in the Vestfold Hills near Davis (Photo: D. McVeigh)
Rocky hills with sections of frozen ice betweenExpeditioners on quads on frozen lake, rocky backgroundThree Apple huts at Marine PlainGarnet & fossiliferous rocksWeddell seal mother and pup on iceElephant seals on Davis beach, ship in backgroundAdelie penguins on bergy bit

Davis is situated in the Vestfold Hills, an ice-free area of about 400 square kilometres of low-lying hilly country, deeply indented by sea-inlets and studded with lakes and tarns of varying salinity.

Numerous islands fringe the coast out to 5 km, with grounded icebergs beyond them.  It is the largest coastal ice-free area in Antarctica, and has the greatest variety and number of lakes on the continent.

All activities at and around Davis are conducted to ensure environmental impacts are minimised.

One area in the region that merits special protection is Marine Plain, designated as an Antarctic Specially Protected Area (ASPA) under the Antarctic Treaty System. Vulnerable to human impacts, the protection of this area is facilitated by the use of entry permits, and the requirement that all activities must be undertaken in accordance with the management plan for the area.

Australia is also cooperating with China and Russia to develop an Antarctic Specially Managed Area (ASMA) management plan for the Larsemann Hills, 100 km to the southwest. A summer-only facility, Law Base, is supported from Davis when Australia conducts programs in this area.

For these maps and mapping information, visit the AAD Data Centre map catalogue.

This page was last updated on 10 February 2011.