Mawson environment

Aerial photo of Mawson station at end of Horseshoe Harbour
Location of Mawson station within Horseshoe Harbour. (Photo: D. McVeigh)
Aurora Australis in Horseshoe HarbourView from the water with mountains behind MawsonCoastline with mountains and sea ice
Mawson is situated on an isolated outcrop of rock on the coast in Mac.Robertson Land, at the edge of the Antarctic plateau at 67'36'S 6252'E. It is Australia's first continental station and the longest continuously operating station south of the Antarctic Circle.  

The station is the most westerly of the three continental stations, lying about 5,200km south-west of Perth, Western Australia. It is situated on the south-eastern shore of Horseshoe Harbour, a small ice-free rock outcrop some 900 by 700m in size adjacent to the continental ice cap in Holme Bay, Mac Robertson Land.

At the southern end of the horseshoe, the rock surface rises to the edge of the continental ice sheet, just 400 metres inland. The two sides of Horseshoe Harbour are called West Arm and East Arm.

The plateau surface in the coastal region is mostly blue ice, occasionally covered by light snow in winter and spring.

This page was last modified on 21 February 2011.