Antarctic vignettes VI

Leslie Russell Blake - Mawson’s forgotten geologist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Leslie Russell Blake was a young Australian surveyor and geologist of great talent who made an outstanding contribution to our knowledge of Macquarie Island whilst a member of Douglas Mawson's Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE) during 1911-1914. He was a member of the five-man team that spent nearly two years on Macquarie Island establishing their base at the northern end of the island. Blake spent much of his time away from the base surveying and making geological observations. His topographical map of the island was the standard until modern techniques such as aerial photography, satellite imagery, airborne synthetic aperture radar and GPS technology enabled the island to be mapped in detail. During the First World War Blake served with the Australian Imperial Forces and was awarded a Military Cross for a survey of the front line before the attack at Pozieres. His death just days before the end of the First World War meant that he never finished writing up his scientific notes. It says much for the quality of his field reports that Douglas Mawson was eventually able to publish the work. Sadly, the fact that it was not published until 1943, and then only under Mawson's name, meant that Leslie Russell Blake has been largely forgotten.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-62
Number of pages6
JournalPapers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania
Volume146
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Keywords

  • Leslie Russell Blake
  • geologist
  • Macquarie Island
  • Mawson
  • surveying
  • Australasian Antarctic Expedition

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