Mawson Peak

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Mawson Peak
Mawson Peak, Heard Island.
Satellite image of the southern tip of Heard Island. Cape Arkona is seen on the left side of the image, with Lied Glacier just above and Gotley Glacier just below. Big Ben Volcano and Mawson Peak are seen at the lower right side of the image.
Highest point
Elevation2,745 m (9,006 ft) [1]
Prominence2,745 m (9,006 ft)
Isolation1,922 kilometres (1,194 mi)
ListingCountry high point
Coordinates53°6′00″S 73°31′00″E / 53.10000°S 73.51667°E / -53.10000; 73.51667Coordinates: 53°6′00″S 73°31′00″E / 53.10000°S 73.51667°E / -53.10000; 73.51667
Mawson Peak is located in Indian Ocean
Mawson Peak
Mawson Peak
Location of Heard Island
LocationHeard Island, Australia
Parent rangeBig Ben
Topo mapRAN Heard Island 291
Mountain typeComplex volcano
Last eruption2012 to 2018 (ongoing)[2]

Mawson Peak is an active volcanic mountain on Heard Island, an external Australian territory in the Southern Ocean.

With its summit at 2,745 metres (9,006 ft), it is the third highest peak in any state or territory of Australia,[3] higher than the 2,228-metre (7,310 ft) Mount Kosciuszko, and surpassed only by the 3,490-metre (11,450 ft) Mount McClintock and the 3,355-metre (11,007 ft) Mount Menzies claimed in the Australian Antarctic Territory.[4] An active complex volcano which erupted as recently as April 2013 and February 2016,[5] Mawson Peak is the summit of the Big Ben massif.

Discovery and naming[edit]

Mawson Peak was named by the 1948 ANARE Heard Island Expedition after the Australian geologist and explorer Sir Douglas Mawson, the leader of BANZARE 1929-31, who visited the island in November – December 1929.[6]

On the 20th February 1950, whilst aboard HMAS Lebuan, Thomas Gratton (Tim) Young OAM observed and recorded in the ship's log that Mawson Peak was an active volcano.

The 1964-65 expedition to Heard Island was led by Major Warwick Deacock, with the schooner Patanela skippered by Major Bill Tilman. They succeeded in climbing Mawson Peak for the first time, which is the highest point on this remote island.

See also[edit]



  1. ^
  2. ^ "Heard Island". 25 July 2018.
  3. ^ "Highest mountains on external territories". Australian Government - Geoscience Australia. Retrieved 2016-05-23.
  4. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Mawson Peak
  5. ^ "Scientists witness 'amazing' eruption of volcano on sub-Antarctic island". ABC News. Retrieved 2016-02-01.
  6. ^ "Mawson Peak". Antarctic Gazetteer Name Details. Australian Antarctic Division. Retrieved 2010-04-05.


External links[edit]