Stonington Island

Coordinates: 68°11′S 67°00′W / 68.183°S 67.000°W / -68.183; -67.000
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East Base on Stonington Island

Stonington Island is a rocky island lying 1.8 km (1.1 mi) northeast of Neny Island in the eastern part of Marguerite Bay off the west coast of Graham Land, Antarctica. It is 0.75 km (0.47 mi) long from north-west to south-east and 0.37 km (0.23 mi) wide, yielding an area of 20 ha (49 acres). It was formerly connected by a drifted snow slope to Northeast Glacier on the mainland. Highest elevation is Anemometer Hill which rises to 25 m (82 ft).

History[edit]

Stonington Island was chosen as the site for the East Base of the United States Antarctic Service (USAS) Expedition (1939–41). It was named after Stonington, Connecticut, home port of the sloop Hero in which Captain Nathaniel Palmer sighted the Antarctic continent in 1820.[1]

Station E[edit]

Station E
Trepassey House
Trepassey House
Coordinates: 68°11′09″S 66°59′41″W / 68.1857°S 66.9948°W / -68.1857; -66.9948 (Station E)
Established1946 (1946)
Closed1992 (1992)
Government
 • TypeAdministration
 • BodyBAS, United Kingdom
Active timesAll year-round

The island was also home to the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) Station E[2] and the Ronne Antarctic Research Expedition, and was the base of operations for many historic Antarctic Peninsula surveying missions in the 1940s. Station E was occupied until 23 February 1975 and the main building was known as Trepassey House. It was cleaned and repaired in 1992.[3] The huts are protected under the Antarctic Treaty.[4]

Historic sites[edit]

A protected area on the island consists of the buildings and artifacts at East Base (with their immediate environs) that were erected and used during the two US wintering expeditions. The size of the area is about 1,100 yards (1,000 m)north-south, from the beach to Northeast Glacier adjacent to Back Bay, and 550 yards (500 m) east-west. It has been designated a Historic Site or Monument (HSM 55) following a proposal by the US to the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM). The British Station E research station is also considered to be of historical importance in relating to both the early period of exploration and the later BAS history of the 1960s and 1970s, and it has been similarly designated a Historic Site or Monument (HSM 64) following a proposal by the United Kingdom to the ATCM.[5]

Significant Events[edit]

Stonington Island was the site of the first women to overwinter in Antarctica. Americans Edith ‘Jackie’ Ronne – whose husband Finn Ronne was the base leader at East Base – and Jennie Darlington spent the 1947-48 winter at Stonington on the way to becoming the first women to spend a year on the continent. The Ronne Ice Shelf would later be named in honour of Edith.[6]

Environment[edit]

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Stonington Islands
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 6
(43)
7
(45)
8
(46)
7
(45)
4
(39)
7
(45)
4
(39)
4
(39)
5
(41)
6
(43)
8
(46)
7
(45)
8
(46)
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 3
(37)
1
(34)
−2
(28)
−4
(25)
−6
(21)
−8
(18)
−8
(18)
−9
(16)
−8
(18)
−4
(25)
−3
(27)
2
(36)
−4
(25)
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) −3
(27)
−4
(25)
−8
(18)
−10
(14)
−14
(7)
−17
(1)
−18
(0)
−19
(−2)
−16
(3)
−13
(9)
−9
(16)
−3
(27)
−11
(12)
Record low °C (°F) −12
(10)
−11
(12)
−35
(−31)
−27
(−17)
−36
(−33)
−37
(−35)
−36
(−33)
−37
(−35)
−39
(−38)
−29
(−20)
−20
(−4)
−13
(9)
−39
(−38)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 10
(0.4)
15
(0.6)
25
(1.0)
25
(1.0)
43
(1.7)
28
(1.1)
33
(1.3)
25
(1.0)
41
(1.6)
43
(1.7)
23
(0.9)
5
(0.2)
316
(12.5)
Average precipitation days 3 4 7 7 9 6 7 7 7 8 5 1 71
Source: [1]

Important Bird Area[edit]

A circular, 500 ha site on the island has been designated an Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International because it supports a breeding colony of about 135 pairs of imperial shags. Other birds breeding at the site include south polar skuas and Antarctic terns.[7]

Features[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Parfit, Michael; Robb Kendrick (March 1993). "Reclaiming a Lost Antarctic Base". National Geographic. 183 (3): 110–126.
  2. ^ Station E British Antarctic Survey
  3. ^ "Stonington Island - Antarctic Historic Site and Monument". British Antarctic Survey, Natural Environmental Research Council. Retrieved 31 May 2009.
  4. ^ Stonehouse, Bernard (2002). Encyclopedia of Antarctica and the Southern Oceans. John Wiley and Sons. ISBN 0-471-98665-8.
  5. ^ "List of Historic Sites and Monuments approved by the ATCM (2012)" (PDF). Antarctic Treaty Secretariat. 2012. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
  6. ^ "UKAHT - Stonington". www.ukaht.org. Retrieved 30 June 2023.
  7. ^ "Stonington Island". BirdLife data zone: Important Bird Areas. BirdLife International. 2013. Retrieved 20 January 2013.

External links[edit]

68°11′S 67°00′W / 68.183°S 67.000°W / -68.183; -67.000