Port Lockroy is a natural harbour on the north-western shore of Wiencke Island in the Palmer Archipelago in front of the Antarctic Peninsula. The Antarctic base includes the most southerly operational post office in the world.
The bay was discovered during 1904 and named after Edouard Lockroy, a French politician and Vice President of the Chamber of Deputies, who assisted Jean-Baptiste Charcot in obtaining government funding for his French Antarctic Expedition. The harbour was used for whaling between 1911 and 1931. During World War II, the British military Operation Tabarin established the Port Lockroy Station A on tiny Goudier Island in the bay, which continued to operate as a British research station until January 16, 1962.
It is one of the most popular tourist destinations for cruise-ship passengers in Antarctica. Proceeds from the small souvenir shop fund the maintenance of the site and other historic sites and monuments in Antarctica. The Trust collects data for the British Antarctic Survey to observe the effect of tourism on penguins. Half the island is open to tourists, while the other half is reserved for penguins. A staff of four typically process 70,000 pieces of mail sent by 18,000 visitors that arrive during the five month Antarctic cruise season. A souvenir passport stamp is also offered to visitors.
The historic importance of the site relates to both its establishment as an Operation Tabarin base during 1944, and for the scientific work performed there, including the first measurements of the ionosphere, and the first recording of an atmospheric whistler, from Antarctica. It was also a key monitoring site during the International Geophysical Year (1957). The site has been designated a Historic Site or Monument (HSM 61), following a proposal by the United Kingdom to the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting.
The bedrock of Goudier island and Jougla Point is Mesozoic granite, with mafic dikes and xenoliths. The parallel gravel bars on Jougla Point are a result of post-glacial (isostatic) uplift of the area after the much larger Pleistocene ice cap melted and the pressure was released.
- Station A British Antarctic Survey
- "Port Lockroy Station". British Antarctic Survey. Retrieved 2016-02-04.
- Peterson, Kim (2015-02-18). "Wanted: Postmaster at the end of the world". CBS News.
- "Penguin Post Office". Nature. Season 33. Episode 9. 2015-01-28. PBS.
- Schernthanner, Liesl (2015-01-21). "What It's Like to Live and Work Among Antarctic Penguins". PBS.
- Penguins and Postcards in Port Lockroy, Antarctica
- "List of Historic Sites and Monuments approved by the ATCM (2012)" (PDF). Antarctic Treaty Secretariat. 2012. Retrieved 2014-01-04.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Port Lockroy Station.|
- "Port Lockroy ", UK Antarctic Heritage Trust, Accessed 25 April 2010
- "British Antarctic Survey: Port Lockroy Station ", Natural Environment Research Council, Accessed 25 April 2010
- "Images from Port Lockroy"
- "Panoramas Port Lockroy"