Astronomical and Other Observations 1954


Map showing Robert Dovers’ 1954 position fixing observations.

During 1954, Robert Dovers carried out a number of astronomical and other position fixing observations.  A total of 15 positions were determined.  Of these, 11 astrofixes (Stations A54/1 to A54/11 inclusive) were observed at Mawson Base and during the Eastern, Western and Southern journeys.  The Australian Antarctic Division holds Division of National Mapping generated station summary records for these 11 stations.  Another four positions were determined during Dovers and Schwartz’s Western journey.  However, no formal summary records for these four positions were located. A possible reason for this is that these positions were for navigation rather than mapping.


Astrofixes and other position fixing observations during 1954









Astrofix or scaled coordinates

South                East

17-18 February




67º 36' 21"

62º 52' 48"

18 May


Safety Island

Safety Island

67º 30' 57"

63º 54' 26"

19 May


(Glacier Camp)


67º 38' 40"

64º 48' 50"

4 June


Scullin Monolith

Scullin Monolith

67º 47' 06"

66º 42' 57"

26 October


Mule (*)

Mule Point

67º 04' 42"

58º 17' 00"

29 October


Kvarsnes (*)

Kvars Promontory

67º 01' 00"

57º 04' 45"

20 November


Kollskjer (*)

Blake Island

67º 24' 36"

60º 41' 40"

20 November


Bretangen (*)


67º 27' 00"

60º 52' 20"

24 December


Depot Mountain

Depot Peak

69º 01' 53"

64º 33' 47"

29 December


Peak 7

Peak Seven

69º 40' 35"

64º 41' 36"

30 December


Peak X

Dovers Peak

69º 42' 10"

64º 26' 51"

2 November

Camp 1

Camp 1 (Barrier 1)


66º 57' 57"

56º 41' 00"

3 November

Camp 2 (!)

Camp 2 (Barrier 2


67º 12' 00"

56º 14' 00"

4 November

Gulf Station (!)

Gulf Station


67º 14' 00"

56º 12' 00"

4 November

3 Hour Station (!)

3 Hour Station


67º 02' 00"

56º 34' 00"


The Australian Antarctic Division holds summary records for only the A54 series of astrofixes.  The astrofix coordinates for Camp 1 on the King Edward VIII Ice Shelf  was recorded in Dovers’ journal, see note (!) below regarding the other three King Edward VIII Ice Shelf stations.


(*) Dovers applied Norwegian names from Hansen Charts 4 and 5 to these astrofix stations, however, the Norwegian names have since been changed.


(!) As astrofix summary records were not located, these coordinates were scaled from the 1954 Preliminary Chart of King Edward VIII Gulf from the survey by Dovers and Schwartz.  At Gulf Station, Dovers observed only latitude.  Dovers determined the location of 3 Hour Station by survey resection.



On the King Edward VIII Ice Shelf, during the Western journey, Dovers observed astrofixes at Camps 1 and 2, a noon observation for latitude at Gulf Station, and a survey resection at 3 Hour Station.  Camp 1 was one of the four undocumented stations.  But fortunately coordinates for this astrofix were recorded in Dovers’ journal.  Using these Camp 1 coordinates it was possible to scale the coordinates for the other three King Edward VIII Ice Shelf stations, namely: Camp 2, Gulf Station and 3 Hour Station.  The coordinates were scaled from the 1954 Preliminary Chart of King Edward VIII Gulf from a survey by R Dovers & G Schwartz.  Dovers’ Camp 1 coordinates were then used to block shift the scaled coordinates to improve scaling accuracy but these coordinates are only quoted to the nearest minute of arc in the table above.


Section of Hansen chart 4 showing the region inland from King Edward VIII Gulf.



Section of the 1954 Preliminary Chart of King Edward VIII Gulf from the survey by Dovers and Schwartz, showing extent of Dovers’ travel into the Gulf.


Map revealing the true extent of Dovers’ travel into the Gulf.


Enroute to Scullin Monolith on the Eastern journey, Dovers observed an astrofix A54/3 at a location that was un-named on the station summary.  From the documented date of this astrofix, it was observed at what Dovers’ called Glacier Camp in his journal.  This otherwise un‑named position was on sea ice about 15 kilometres east of Strahan Glacier.


The maps below provide the locations of some of Dovers’ 1954 astronomical position fixing observations.




Location maps for Robert Dovers’ 1954 coastal astrofixes

Extracted from relevant 1: 250 000 scale series topographic maps unless otherwise indicated.


Location of astrofix A54/1 on section of 1958,  Approaches to Mawson, Preliminary Compilation, compiled by the Division of National Mapping from Trimetrogon photography by ANARE 1956, Runs 5 and 17 and Highjump Run 60/1, using slotted template assembly based on astronomical determination at Mawson Dome (no record found).


Location of astrofix A54/2 on Safety Island with the nearby location of Austskjera also depicted.


Location of astrofix A54/3 at Glacier Camp.


Location of astrofix A54/4 at Scullin Monolith from a section of Dovers’ July 1954 sketch of Scullin Monolith compiled from terrestrial stereoscopic photographs with insert showing detail of landing and camp site astrofix.


Location of astrofix A54/5 at Mule (Mule Point).


Location of astrofix A54/6 at Kvarsnes (Kvars Promontory).


The locations of astrofixes A54/7 at Kollskjer (Blake Island) and A54/8 at Bretangen (Un-named).