Location: 80°22′ S 77°22′ E.

With a surface elevation of 4093 metres, Dome Argus is the highest place in East Antarctica, though one of the least-known places on the globe. It lies near one end of an elongate ridge (about 60km long and 10km wide). The ice thickness there is more than 3000 metres, overlaying the subglacial Gamburtsev Mountains. Palaeo-scientists consider it suitable for collecting an ice core that will provide a record of past climate and atmospheric gas composition going back more than one million years.

The coldest place on Earth?

The world’s lowest temperature ever recorded was −89.2°C in July 1983, at the Russian station Vostok, inland of Australia’s Casey station. Dome Argus is nearly 600m higher in elevation than Vostok, so there’s a good chance that the automatic weather station at Dome Argus will one day record the world’s lowest surface temperature. The coldest temperature reached to date was −82.5°C in July 2005.

Dome A, Antarctica: daily minimum air temperature (°C)

Please note: We are aware that the data presented here is, on occasion, fluctuating beyond normal limits. This is due to a technical problem that is currently beyond our control.

Automatic weather station (AWS)

An automatic weather station was deployed at Dome Argus as part of an Australian-Chinese collaboration in January 2005. No ground-based scientific investigation had been made at this site before the arrival of the Chinese over-snow traverse team.

What does it measure?

  • Wind speed
  • Air temperature — with sensors mounted on mast arms at 1m, 2m and 4m above the snow surface
  • Snow temperature at 0.1m, 1m, 3m and 10m depth
  • Atmospheric pressure
  • Wind direction
  • Incoming solar radiation
  • Relative humidity
  • Snow-fall rate