Return to Heard Island
WHEN VETERAN ANTARCTICA researcher Dr Grahame Budd returned to Heard Island this year, it wasn’t only to remember a familiar landscape.
“In 1954, on my first visit, we’d had to cross eight heavily crevassed glaciers from Atlas Cove to Spit Bay, all of them ending in 40m ice cliffs washed by the sea,” Grahame writes in an article for Australian Geographic.
“Now three of those glaciers terminated far inland, behind lagoons as much as one kilometre in length. It was strange indeed to see the snowy hills of the Dovers Moraine at Spit Bay backed by nothing but a lagoon, where previously we had walked on the Stephenson Glacier, high above the ground.”
The aim of the Grahame’s return journey was to update his documentation gathered between 1954 and 1971, of the fluctuations in glaciers and the island’s penguin and fur seal colonies.
What Grahame discovered upon his return were “remarkable changes”.