TERRESTRIAL AIDS TO NAVIGATION IN ANTARCTICA

Introduction
Following the 3rd HCA meeting (2003), the IHB consulted SCAR, COMNAP and IAATO to obtain views of ship operators on priorities for terrestrial aids to navigation. The views and recommendations expressed have been summarized below. More information can be found in Doc. HCA4-6.1B which is on the IHO website (www.iho.shom.fr > Reg Hydro Commisions > HCA > List of HCA/4 Documents). The following statements in that document are worth noting:

It is extremely difficult and expensive to place and maintain structures on the coastline of Antarctica. Erection of new AtNs should be limited to where danger exists and where there is the highest density of shipping. Also, there must be means to ensure good reliability of any new AtN (a reliability factor of under 80% would probably be more dangerous than helpful). Erecting such artificial objects as AtNs may be considered as an act of a change in nature and environment. In any case, this needs to be in agreement with the Antarctic Treaty and its Protocol. Noting that several permanent geodetic GPS stations are already operated for geodetic observations on the Antarctic Peninsula, a network of three of these stations, e.g. Jubany-Dallmann, Palmer Base and Rothera Base, could cover the entire AP region and supply all ships operating in this region with high precision GPS positions for safe navigation (better than 10 m).

This list was forwarded to IHO Member States by CL 33/2005, suggesting that they bring this information to the attention of their national maritime administrations. Contact will be maintained with the above organization to update and enrich the list.

No.

Area

Type

Latitude

Longitude

Comments

Proposer

1

N. Antarctic Peninsula, E. of the South Sandwich Is., Bransfield Strait

Lighthouse

61 55S

057 39W

The extreme Eastern part of the South Sandwich Is. has be rounded when the vessel is on her way to and from the Bransfield Strait. In front of the coast are some dangerous rocks.

Uwe Pahl, Master RV Polarstern[1], Germany

2

N. Antarctic Peninsula, passage between W. of Joinville I. and the AP.

Lighthouse / leading lights

63 22S

056 35W

This is the passage between the western part of Joinville I. and the Antarctic Peninsula. The passage is relatively often used by vessels plying between Bransfield Strait and the Weddell Sea.

Uwe Pahl, Master RV Polarstern, Germany

3

N. Antarctic Peninsula, passage to Neumeyer Channel and Pradise Bay.

Lighthouse, light preferably to be established with sectors

64 20S

062 58W

The passage to areas like Neumeyer Channel and Pradise Bay is frequently approached by tourist vessels from North.

Uwe Pahl, Master RV Polarstern, Germany

4

Antarctic Peninsula, Graham Land, Butler Passage to Lemaire Channel

Racon, Light and highly visible tower/beacon.

64 58.9S

063 47.8W

Heed Rock, low-lying rock

John Pye, BAS[2]

4 bis

Antarctic Peninsula, Graham Land, Butler Passage to Lemaire Channel

Racon, Light and highly visible tower/beacon

64 57.8S

063 47.1W

Alternative site to Heed Rock. The passage is very narrow at one point due to low lying rocks on each side namely Heed Rock and Hazard Reef. Hazard Reef presently has a small beacon but it is very hard to see. Again these rocks are low lying and position fixing by radar and visual bearing can be hampered by bergs and bergy bits leading to incorrect identification. A good beacon readily identifiable with certain position would greatly lessen the chance of grounding.

John Pye, BAS

5

Antarctic Peninsula, Argentine (Irizar) Islands & Graham Land, French Passage/Penola Strait.

Racon, Light and highly visible tower/beacon

65 13.0S

064 12.5W

Fanfare Island. The whole of this archipelago is low lying. If making an approach in from the west fixing position with certainty by radar before dangers exist is difficult. The safe approach via French Passage into Penola St is difficult. Again the abundant presence of bergs and bergy bits makes correct identification of radar targets very difficult

John Pye, BAS

5 bis

Antarctic Peninsula, Argentine (Irizar) Islands & Graham Land, French Passage/Penola Strait.

Racon, Light and highly visible tower/beacon

65 11.4S

064 12.3W

Alternative to Fanfare. The whole of this archipelago is low lying. If making an approach in from the west fixing position with certainty by radar before dangers exist is difficult. The safe approach via French Passage into Penola St is difficult. Again the abundant presence of bergs and bergy bits makes correct identification of radar targets very difficult

John Pye, BAS

6

Antarctic Peninsula, Argentine (Irizar) Islands  Graham Land, Southwind Channe l/ Grandidier Channel.

Racon, Light and highly visible tower/beacon

65 20.0S

064 32.8W

Gedges Rocks.

John Pye, BAS

6 bis

Antarctic Peninsula, Argentine (Irizar) Islands  Graham Land, Southwind Channe l/ Grandidier Channel.

Racon, Light and highly visible tower/beacon

65 22.5S

064 19.6W

Somerville Island as an alternative to Gedges Rocks.

John Pye, BAS

7

Antarctic Peninsula, Austin Rocks, lying south of Deception in the middle of the southern end of the Bransfield Strait and Boyd Strait 

Racon, or light beacon

63 26S

061 05W

All shipping heading southwards of the S. Shetlands will pass these rocks if taking the Gerlache Strait. These rocks are low lying and if small bergs are present, bergs could be wrongly identified as Austin Rocks leading to a danger of grounding.

John Pye, BAS



[1] Operated by the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI)

[2] British Antarc tic Survey