Heard Island

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  • This metadata record is a modified child record of an original parent record originating from custodians of data associated with Geoscience Australia (The identifier of the parent record is ANZCW0703009248, and can be found on the Australian Spatial Data Directory website - see the URL given below). Taken from the report: A bathymetric grid of the Heard Island-Kerguelen Plateau Region (Longitudes 68 degrees E - 80 degrees E, Latitudes 48 degrees S - 56 degrees S) is produced. In doing so, the individual datasets used have been closely examined and any deficiencies noted for further follow up or have been rectified immediately and the changes documented. These datasets include modern multibeam data, coastline data obtained from the World Vector Shoreline, echosounder data from research, fishing and Customs vessels and satellite derived bathymetric data. A hierarchical system was employed whereby the best and most extensive datasets were gridded first and applied as a mask to the next best dataset. A new masking grid would be formed from these datasets to pass non-overlapping data in the next best dataset. This procedure was employed until finally the satellite data were masked. All the various levels of masked data were then brought together by the gridding algorithm (Intrepid - Desmond Fitzgerald Associates) and an ERMapper format grid produced. A grid cell size of 0.005 degrees (nominal 500m) was used with many iterations of minimum curvature gridding and several passes of smoothing. The final grid is available in ERMapper, ArcInfo and ASCII xyz formats.

  • The download file contains a scanned copy of correspondence, the report, and statistics from data collected on birds from Heard Island in approximately 1951 (the report is dated May 1951, so data collection must have occurred before this). The original documents were not in the best condition, so unfortunately some of the scans are difficult to read. Taken from part of the report: For Heard Island birds, measurements on females, fresh and dry, and males, fresh and dry, were generally available. The data were therefore submitted to an analysis of variance (2x2 non-orthagonal treatment, interaction non-significant) to test for differences between the classifications. When the difference between members of a classification was found to be non-significant, the distinction was disregarded and new means and variances were worked out, combining the results from both sub-classifications. For example, if condition (wet or dry) was found to be non-significant, means for male and female were computed as if no sub-division into fresh and dry existed, and a pooled common variance was obtained from the variances within sex classifications. Similarly, if neither male-female nor fresh-dry differences were significant, a grand mean for the island was computed, and the variance of teh whole set of data was taken to apply. This mean has been quoted as appropriate to all four categories, the coefficient of variation and the standard error of the mean being similarly quoted as the same for each sub-classification. Note has been made of the number of observations, (n), on which the mean is based, and the number of degrees of freedom, (v), appropriate to the estimate of the standard deviation. One further point may be mentioned here. Frequently, the dimensions of individual birds have been given without classification into male and female. It has been possible to utilise these measurements in the general analysis only when the sex-difference was not significant.

  • A scanned report and some data on scientific work carried out on a species of wingless fly on Heard Island. Taken from the report: During a years stay at Heard Island (1951) the opportunity was taken of carrying out a number of physiological experiments upon one of the three dipterous species present. For these experiments it was decided to use samples of Calycopteryx moseleyi minor since these were present around the camp in sufficient numbers to be conveniently collected. Observations were of two kinds (1) Those carried out in the field (2) Laboratory experiments. The first included the determination of the life history of the species together with details of its food, normal habitat and other pertinent data whilst the latter consisted of thermal, phototaxic and environmental experiments. Naturally conditions on an Antarctic field station are not propitious for accurate physiological experiments since both climatic conditions and lack of technical apparatus present difficult obstacles. However, the animals concerned are of such interest to comparative physiologists that the limiting factors of the experiments become relatively unimportant.

  • Metadata record for data expected from ASAC project 131 (ASAC_131). Taken from the referenced publication: The diet of Heard Island cormorants was investigated by examination of casts over three summer seasons. The diet was composed of mainly benthic organisms, with polychaetes being the most common prey for the greater part of the population. Fish were taken commonly only by the small breeding population at the western end of the island, whereas elsewhere only 22% of casts contained any fish remains at all. The diet is therefore different from that reported for Phalacrocorax atriceps at other localities.

  • Stereoscopic images of elephant seals at Atlas Cove, taken at Heard Island on 16-17 December 2008. The Aurora Australis made a brief visit to Heard and McDonald Islands in mid-December 2008. The visit was opportunistic owing to an opening in the ship's schedule. During the visit a number of quick surveys were undertaken, primarily assisted by helicopters. This dataset consists of stereographic images taken by two photographers from ground level during a survey of Elephant Seal colonies at Atlas Cove. There are two folders of data, one for each photographer. Each folder contains a shot list of the photos (in an excel spreadsheet), plus the photos themselves.

  • In December 2008, the RSV Aurora Australis had an opportunity to visit Heard Island and McDonald Islands. A number of activities took place and included: - An aerial survey (16th December) from the north coast of Red Island (west end) to the end of The Spit. The helicopter flew approximately 1.5 km offshore and at an altitude of about 1900 ft. Then it flew directly to the west coast and surveyed from Henderson Bluff to Kildalke. Video, stereo photos and photos of wildlife colonies and areas of interest were taken. - An aerial survey (17th December) from The Spit travelling along the south coast. Then repeating the aerial survey of the 16th. The survey of the 16th was in dull light and was repeated on the 17th when light was better. - A ship-based survey from Atlas Roads to the north coast of The Spit was made on the 16th December and from Atlas Roads to Red Island on the 17th December. Stereo photos, photos of wildlife and named features and video were taken about 2nm offshore. - A team of people visited Atlas Cove and assessed the huts and ruins, took stereo photos of heritage items and elephant seals. - A small team flew around the Island and assessed and photographed the hut sites. - On the 17th December, the RSV Aurora Australis sailed past McDonald Islands. Visibility was poor so only a few photos were taken. - Water samples were taken for AAS Project 2899. More information is included in documents and spreadsheets, including some GPS locations of where photographs were taken, by whom and photo descriptions.

  • This file contains a report and a log of biological observations of birds made at Heard Island during 1953. It includes information on King Penguins, Macaroni Penguins, Adelie Penguins, Rockhopper Penguins, Gentoo Penguins, Light-Mantled Sooty Albatross, Storm Petrels, Dominican Gulls, Cape Pigeons, Skuas, etc. It also includes information from earlier in the 1960s, including information on bird banding, and bird ordinance. The hard copy of the log has been archived by the Australian Antarctic Division library.

  • From the abstract of the referenced paper: 1. Incidental mortality in fisheries is causing declines in many albatross populations around the world. To assess potential interactions with regional fisheries satellite tags were used to track black-browed albatrosses (Thalassarche melanophrys) and light-mantled sooty albatrosses (Phoebetria palpebrata) breeding on Heard Island during the chick-rearing periods of 2003/2004. This was the first time individuals from either population had been tracked. 2. Black-browed albatrosses foraged largely within the Heard and McDonald Islands Economic Exclusion Zone (EEZ) north-east of the island, although 20% of foraging trips were to areas north of the EEZ into Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) areas 58.5.1 and 58.5.2 and into the Iles Kerguelen EEZ. 3. In contrast, the light-mantled sooty albatrosses foraged well south of Heard Island along the southern boundary of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. Both species appear to face minimal risk of incidental mortality during the chick-rearing period in the regulated, legal fisheries, but are threatened by illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing vessels operating in the southern Indian Ocean. The data have been loaded into the ARGOS database held by the Australian Antarctic Data Centre. An excel spreadsheet detailing PTT number (position tracking terminal), date of attachment, date of retrieval and species is also provided as an aide to searching the ARGOS database. Two articles are also associated with this record, a refereed journal article, plus an article in the Australian Antarctic Division's Antarctic Magazine. The fields in this dataset are: Species PTT number Date of attachment Date of retrieval Latitude Longitude Time

  • Report of the 1985 A.N.A.R.E to Heard Island. This document contains the following scientific reports: Zoology - elephant seals, fur seals, General Zoology - leopard seals, fish, insects, birds; Botany - lant communities, lichens and mosses; Limnology - Zooplankton and phytoplankton; Earth Sciences - meteorology, geomagnetism, glaciology, general mapping, general phenomena; Miscellaneous Collections; History; Environmental Impact Assessment; Site Clean up; Building report and Camp inventory; Logistics; Field Operations; Recommendations; Bibliography; Appendix. Taken from the report: The 1985 ANARE to Heard island was of greater duration than any since 1963, although brief stopovers have been made by other ANAREs more recently. It was also the first time since the 1950s that biological research was the major scientific endeavour of two ANARE parties working simultaneously at both ends of the island. This reflects renewed interest in The Territory of Heard Island and The McDonald Islands and its surrounding Exclusive Economic Zone, which has a significant fishery potential. As studies on the population of the Island's Elephant Seals may offer methods of monitoring major changes in the relative balance of high level consumers in the marine ecosystem (See below), the expedition had as its highest priority the thorough censusing of Elephant Seals on the Island over the pupping period, as part of an international program aimed at monitoring the total population of these seals. A census of the whole island, by counting seals hauled out on beaches, necessitated two parties; one at Atlas Cove and the other at Spit Bay. The expedition was also given the tasks of carrying out a limited clean up of the old Atlas Cove camp (following an explicit brief which recognised its heritage value), of making a site survey for the proposed camp, and of producing an Environmental Impact Assessment of the proposed site. Other tasks included the deployment of magnetometers and the regular measurement of absolute magnetic values, a comparative meteorological program at either end of the island, an assessment of seal blubber by ultrasound, a collection of Elephant Seal blood samples for electrophoretic analysis, a Fur Seal census, a botanical survey and a general biology program made up of many small sections.

  • Heard Island Expedition, 16 November 1986 to 21 January 1987, report written by Rod Ledingham, Officer in Charge. Taken from the report: The 1986-87 expedition was the second in a series of three consecutive expeditions planned to conduct new scientific work and to check on changes since the early wintering years from 1948-1954 and more recent sporadic visits by various government and private expeditions. We were dropped off at Heard Island on the 14th November 1986 by the Nella Dan. The main thrust of this expedition was originally to have been geological but this was later expanded to cover biology and archaeology. Transport was provided by three Hughes 500 helicopters, old faithfuls VH-BAD piloted by John Robertson and VH-BAG piloted by Doug Crossan, and a new arrive from NZ, VH-HED flown by Phillip Turner, to provide speedy access to all areas of rock, either coastal or at high altitude on the mountain. Of particular interest to the geologists were the lavas of the January 1985 Big Ben eruption spotted by observers including Dick Williams, on the French vessel Marion Dufresne. Despite some initial doubts about the possibility of flying, or even holding, aircraft at Heard for any length of time, and numerous relatively minor problems with weather and wind blown volcanic sand, the operation went very well and a great deal of new ground was covered, including several flights to the summit of Big Ben and the discovery of a new active crater and the expedition lava flows on the south-western slopes at Cape Arkona. Two geologists accompanied the expedition, Jane Barling and Graeme Wheller. Geological mapping of the whole island was carried out by Jane where access was not too difficult or dangerous. Jane had previously worked on the samples brought back from Long Ridge and the summit by the Heard Island Expedition (private) on Anaconda II in 1983. The original map produced by Ainsworth in 1947 will be greatly improved when the material has been studied in more detail. The second geologist Graeme studied the relationships of the more recent lavas and attempted to get samples from the summit vent. The failure to do so was somewhat ameliorated by the finding of the new lava which it appears had emanated from the summit vent pipe and samples of summit rock were therefore available from 700m above Cape Arkona. Further information about the botanical and biological work is available in the report.