Beaufort Island

Last updated

Beaufort Island
Beaufort Island - 2014.jpg
Beaufort Island
Antarctica location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Beaufort Island
Location in Antarctica
Geography
Location Antarctica
Coordinates 76°57′S166°57′E / 76.950°S 166.950°E / -76.950; 166.950 Coordinates: 76°57′S166°57′E / 76.950°S 166.950°E / -76.950; 166.950
Archipelago Ross Archipelago [1]
Area18.4 km2 (7.1 sq mi)
Highest elevation771 m (2530 ft)
Highest point Paton Peak
Administration
Administered under the Antarctic Treaty System
Demographics
PopulationUninhabited

Beaufort Island is an island in Antarctica's Ross Sea. It is the northernmost feature of the Ross Archipelago, [1] lying 21 kilometres (13 miles) north of Cape Bird, Ross Island. It is approximately 18.4 km2 (7 square miles) in area. It was first charted by James Clark Ross in 1841. Ross named the island for Sir Francis Beaufort, hydrographer to the British Royal Navy. [2]

Contents

Geography

Beaufort Island and iceberg. Beaufort island ile isola iceberg ross.jpg
Beaufort Island and iceberg.

Beaufort Island is the eroded remains of a basaltic stratovolcano of unknown age. [3] It is semi-circular in shape. The highest point in the island is Paton Peak, at 771 m (2,530 ft). The island has varied terrain and habitats. Much of the western side of the island is covered by moderately sloping ice fields with ice cliffs about 20 m (66 ft) high on the coast. The east and south sides of the island are mostly free of ice, with steep inaccessible cliffs that rise straight from the sea. Here the ice-free ground has a gentle slope and has ponds in summer and small meltwater streams that drain to the coast. [2] [4]

Ecology

Beaufort Island (Watercolour 1911) Beaufort Island - 1911.jpg
Beaufort Island (Watercolour 1911)

Beaufort Island is designated an Antarctic Specially Protected Area to preserve its natural ecological system and to protect its varied and numerous bird species. [2] [5] The island is isolated and difficult to access and is visited infrequently by people. It is largely undisturbed by direct human activity, and there have been fewer opportunities for the introduction of exotic species than other locations in the Ross Sea. [4] Although some studies have been conducted on the island, it has not been comprehensively studied. [6]

Birds

The island has a small colony of breeding emperor penguins on nearshore sea ice at the northern end, a large Adélie penguin colony on a raised beach called Cadwalader Beach at the south-western end, and several breeding colonies of south polar skua. [2] [4] It has been designated an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International. [7]

Vegetation

The island has an extensive area of vegetation on a moraine bench 5–7 m (16.4–23.0 ft) above the beach at the north end of the island. The moraine bench is up to 50 m (164 ft) wide. The vegetation is dominated by the moss species Bryum argenteum. It is the most extensive and continuous area of mosses known of in the McMurdo Sound region. There is also a diverse community of algae. This location is one of the most southerly locations where red snow algae (Chlamydomonas sp., Chloromonas sp., and Chlamydomonas nivalis) are found. The location is favourable for vegetation growth because of warm summer temperatures. Its northerly aspect and the shelter provided by high ice cliffs protect against southerly winds. Water is supplied from the ice-cliffs and snow banks. [4]

See also

Related Research Articles

McMurdo Sound Geographic location

McMurdo Sound is a sound in Antarctica. The sound, which extends about 55 kilometres long and wide, connects to the Ross Sea to the north, and to the Ross Ice Shelf cavity to the south via Haskell Strait. The strait is largely covered by the McMurdo Ice Shelf. The Royal Society Range rises from sea level to 4,205 metres on the western shoreline. Ross Island, an historic jumping-off point for polar explorers, designates the eastern boundary. The active volcano Mount Erebus at 3,794 metres dominates Ross Island. Antarctica's's largest scientific base, the United States' McMurdo Station, as well as the New Zealand Scott Base are on the southern shore of the island. Less than 10 percent of McMurdo Sound's shoreline is free of ice. It is the southernmost navigable body of water in the world.

Cape Hallett Antarctic base

Cape Hallett is a snow-free area on the northern tip of the Hallett Peninsula on the Ross Sea coast of Victoria Land, East Antarctica. Cape Adare lies 100 km (62 mi) to the north.

Litchfield Island Island of Antarctica

Litchfield Island is a rocky island 0.9 kilometres (0.5 nmi) long and rising to 50 m (164 ft), lying in Arthur Harbour, 0.9 kilometres (0.5 nmi) south of Norsel Point, off the south-west coast of Anvers Island in the Palmer Archipelago of Antarctica.

White Island (Ross Archipelago)

White Island is an island in the Ross Archipelago of Antarctica. It is 28 km (15 nmi) long, protruding through the Ross Ice Shelf immediately east of Black Island. It was discovered by the Discovery Expedition (1901–04) and so named by them because of the mantle of snow which covers it. Some 142 km2 of shelf ice adjoining the north-west coast of the island has been designated an Antarctic Specially Protected Area because it supports an isolated small breeding population of Weddell seals.

Cape Royds is a dark rock cape forming the western extremity of Ross Island, facing on McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. It was discovered by the Discovery Expedition (1901–1904) and named for Lieutenant Charles Royds, Royal Navy, who acted as meteorologist on the expedition. Royds subsequently rose to become an Admiral and was later Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, London. There is a hut at Cape Royds built and used by Ernest Shackleton and his team during their 1907–1909 expedition.

Cape Crozier Headland of Antarctica

Cape Crozier is the most easterly point of Ross Island in Antarctica. It was discovered in 1841 during James Clark Ross's expedition of 1839 to 1843 with HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, and was named after Francis Crozier, captain of HMS Terror. The extinct volcano Mount Terror, also named during the Ross expedition, rises sharply from the Cape to a height of 3,230 m (10,600 ft), and the edge of the Ross Ice Shelf stretches away to its east.

Byers Peninsula

Byers Peninsula is a mainly ice-free peninsula forming the west end of Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica. It occupies 60 km2 (23 sq mi), borders Ivanov Beach to the northeast and is separated from Rotch Dome on the east by the ridge of Urvich Wall. The peninsula features more than 60 meltwater streams and as many lakes, notably Midge Lake, Limnopolar Lake and Basalt Lake. Byers Peninsula has a regime of special environmental protection under the Antarctic Treaty System and requires a permit to enter.

Coppermine Peninsula

Coppermine Peninsula is the 1.7 km long, 500 m wide and rising to 105 m rugged rocky promontory forming the northwest extremity of Alfatar Peninsula and Robert Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica and lying between English Strait to the west and Carlota Cove to the east. It is linked to Alfatar Peninsula to the southeast by a narrow isthmus bounded by Carlota Cove to the north and the 1 km wide and 460 m indenting Coppermine Cove to the south. The feature is named in association with the adjacent Coppermine Cove, a descriptive name given by sealers in about 1821 from the copper-coloured staining of the lavas and tuffs in the area.

Caughley Beach Beach of Antarctica

Caughley Beach is the northernmost beach on the ice-free coast south-west of Cape Bird, Ross Island, Antarctica. It was mapped by the New Zealand Geological Survey Antarctic Expedition, 1958–59, and named for Graeme Caughley, biologist with the party that visited Cape Bird. New College Valley, Antarctic Specially Protected Area (ASPA) No.116, lies above the beach.

Edmonson Point Headland of Antarctica

Edmonson Point is a rounded, largely ice-free point lying below Mount Melbourne along the west side of Wood Bay, Victoria Land, Antarctica. It was mapped by the United States Geological Survey from surveys and from US Navy air photographs, 1955–63, and was named by the Advisory Committee on Antarctic Names for Larry Edmonson, a satellite geodesy scientist at McMurdo Station, winter party 1966.

Haswell Island is the largest of the Haswell Islands, lying off the coast of Antarctica, about 3 kilometres (1.5 nmi) north of Mabus Point in Queen Mary Land. It was discovered by the Western Base Party of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, 1911–14, under Mawson, and named by him for Professor William A. Haswell, a zoologist at Sydney University and a member of the expedition's Advisory Committee.

Lagotellerie Island Island of Antarctica

Lagotellerie Island is an island 1.9 kilometres (1 nmi) long, lying 3.7 kilometres (2 nmi) west of Horseshoe Island in Marguerite Bay, off the west coast of Graham Land, Antarctica. It was discovered and named by the French Antarctic Expedition, 1908–10, under Jean-Baptiste Charcot.

Cierva Point and offshore islands Important Bird Area Important Bird Area of Antarctica

The Cierva Point and offshore islands Important Bird Area is a 6540 ha tract of land and sea on the Danco Coast of the Antarctic Peninsula.

Amanda Bay

Amanda Bay, also sometimes known as Hovde Cove, lies in southern Prydz Bay on the Ingrid Christensen Coast of Princess Elizabeth Land, East Antarctica. It is best known for its breeding colony of several thousand pairs of emperor penguins on sea ice at the south-west corner of the bay.

New College Valley lies south of Cape Bird, on ice-free slopes above Caughley Beach on Ross Island, Antarctica. It faces north-west and carries meltwater from the Cape Bird ice cap during the summer. It is protected as Antarctic Specially Protected Area (ASPA) No.116 because it contains some of the richest stands of mosses, with associated microflora and fauna, in the Ross Sea region.

Ablation Point – Ganymede Heights Antarctic Specially Protected Area

The Ablation Point – Ganymede Heights Antarctic Specially Protected Area is a 180 km2 mountainous tract of land on the eastern side of Alexander Island in the Bellinghausen Sea, west of Palmer Land on the Antarctic Peninsula. It has been designated Antarctic Specially Protected Area (ASPA) No.147 for its geological, geomorphological, glaciological, limnological, and ecological values, and to protect its terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems from uncontrolled human visitation and activity.

North-west White Island Antarctic Specially Protected Area

The North-west White Island Antarctic Specially Protected Area comprises a 142 km2 area of coastal shelf ice on the north-west side of White Island in the Ross Archipelago of Antarctica.The site has been designated an Antarctic Specially Protected Area because it supports an unusual small breeding population of Weddell seals, which is not only the most southerly known, but which has also been physically isolated from other populations by the advance of the McMurdo and Ross ice shelves. The first seals in the area were recorded in 1958, since when the population has grown to 25–30. The seals use the open waters of McMurdo Sound but do not have the breathing capacity to reach the open ocean by swimming beneath the intervening 20 km of permanent shelf ice.

Climate change in Antarctica Impacts of climate change on Antarctica

Temperature change due to climate change in Antarctica is not stable over the whole continent. West Antarctica is warming rapidly, while the inland regions are cooled by the winds in Antarctica. Water in the West Antarctic has warmed by 1 °C since year 1955. Further increase in temperature in water and on land will affect the climate, ice mass and life on the continent and have global implications. Present-day greenhouse gas concentrations are higher than ever according to ice cores from Antarctica, which indicates that warming on this continent is not part of a natural cycle and attributable to anthropogenic climate change.

Mount Rittmann is a volcano in Antarctica. Discovered in 1988–1989 by an Italian expedition, it was named after the volcanologist Alfred Rittmann (1893–1980). It features a 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) or 8 by 5 kilometres wide caldera which crops out from underneath the Aviator Glacier. The volcano was active during the Pliocene and into the Holocene, including large explosive eruptions; a major eruption occurred in 1254 CE and deposited tephra over much of Antarctica. Currently, the volcano is classified as dormant.

Ryder Bay Islands Important Bird Area Important Bird Area of Antarctica

The Ryder Bay Islands Important Bird Area is a 520 ha designated site on the south-east coast of Adelaide Island, Antarctica. It has been identified as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International because it supports significant numbers of breeding seabirds, notably south polar skuas. The site encompasses the Léonie Islands lying at the mouth of Ryder Bay, as well as Rothera Point, the eastern headland of the bay.

References

  1. 1 2 Beaufort Island TAMDEF Page Archived 21 June 2007 at archive.today , Ohio State University.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Stonehouse, Bernard, 2002, Encyclopedia of Antarctica and the Southern Oceans, John Wiley and Sons, p. 25, ISBN   0-471-98665-8.
  3. "Beaufort Island". Global Volcanism Program . Smithsonian Institution . Retrieved 13 September 2016.
  4. 1 2 3 4 Antarctic Specially Protected Area (ASPA) No. 105 Beaufort Island, McMurdo Sound, Ross Sea, National Science Foundation.
  5. Beaufort Island, Ross Sea Archived 25 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine , Antarctic Protected Areas.
  6. Management Plan for Antarctic Specially Protected Area (ASPA) No. 105, Antarctica New Zealand.
  7. "Beaufort Island". BirdLife Data Zone. BirdLife International. 2015. Retrieved 24 October 2020.