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Track of the "Aurora" during the 1st year of Australasian Antarctic Expedition under Dr. Mawson [cartographic material]
Bib ID 4502249
Format MapMap
H.E.C. Robinson (Firm)
Scale [Scale ca. 1:6,300,000] (E 90°--E 160°/S 55°--S 70°) 
Description Sydney : H.E.C. Robinson, delt., [1915?] 
1 map ; 46 x 78 cm. on sheet 57 x 89.5 cm. 

Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) map collection ; no. 5/1/23.


In 1910, the Aurora was bought by Douglas Mawson for his Australasian Antarctic Expedition. The Australasian Antarctic Expedition was an Australian scientific team that explored part of Antarctica between 1911 and 1914. It was led by the Australian geologist Douglas Mawson, who was knighted for his achievements in leading the expedition. In 1910 he began to plan an expedition to chart the 2000-mile long coastline of Antarctica to the south of Australia. The Aurora made the journey from Hobart, Australia to Macquarie Island, Mawson's base of operations, in December 1911. After establishing the base, they sailed south again, and arrived in Commonwealth Bay Antarctica, on January 7, 1912. At Cape Denison, her crew unloaded Mawson and his team, and helped set up the camp (Mawson's Huts), but then departed to return to Hobart so as not to get trapped in the sea-ice over the winter. In December 1912, the Aurora returned to find that Douglas Mawson, Xavier Mertz, and Belgrave Ninnis had set out on a sled expedition, and were overdue on their return. The captain attempted to wait for the expedition to return, but poor anchorage and extremely strong winds combined to cause the anchor chain to break. At the end of January the ship had to leave or risk getting stuck for the winter. Aurora left a team of six, including a radio operator, behind with ample supplies, and departed. Mawson, the sole survivor of the three, arrived in time to see the Aurora disappearing over the horizon. A radio call brought the Aurora back, but bad weather forced it to depart again, leaving Mawson and party behind. Aurora returned to Commonwealth Bay on December 12, 1913, to pick up the seven men, and return to Australia.


Map showing the sea-track of the Aurora under the command of Australian geologist Douglas Mawson in 1911 and 1912. Note that the sea-tracks are time-dated from Macquarie Island located about about half-way between Australia and Antarctica, and where a research station was opened in 1911 and continues to be operated by the Australian Antarctic Division. The map shows the Antarctic coastline from Commonwealth Bay in Adelie Land where the main base was established then the journey further west to the Shackleton Glacier and the establishment of the second base. This was followed by a return journey to Australia in February 1912. Relief shown by contours, bathymetric tints, spot heights, and soundings.

National Library's copy is stamped in blue "Records, Information and Research Section, National Mapping Office" and "10 Oct 1955" and marked in blue crayon "S1/34(42-45)".

Subjects Aurora (Ship) -- Maps.  |  Australasian Antarctic Expedition (1911-1914) -- Southern Ocean -- Maps.  |  Nautical charts -- Southern Ocean.  |  Southern Ocean -- Discovery and exploration -- Maps.  |  Antarctica -- Discovery and exploration -- Maps.
Time Coverage 1911, 1912 


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