Lepley Nunatak

From Encyclopedia Westarctica
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Lepley Nunatak (73°7′S 90°19′W) is a small yet conspicuous rocky nunatak located 2 nautical miles (4 km) southwest of Dendtler Island, near the inner part and eastern end of the Abbot Ice Shelf in Westarctica.

The nunatak is named for Larry K. Lepley, an oceanographer of the U.S. Navy Hydrographic Office, who, along with three other scientists, was marooned at this nunatak in February 1961 during a severe snowstorm.


It was first sighted on 9 February 1961 from helicopters of the USS Glacier (AGB-4) and USS Staten Island (AGB-5). While the three-person field survey team was exploring surrounding area, they became trapped on the ground by severe winds and heavy snowfall causing total whiteout conditions. The team sheltered in place at the nunatak until the storm blew over, and it was later named for Larry Lepley, one of the members of the team.

POLENET Monitoring

Starting in 2007, scientists from POLENET (the POLar Earth-observing NETwork) attempted to install a GPS monitoring station at the Lepley Nunatak, but were unable to do so. In 2011, after four years of trying, they finally succeeded in traveling to the nunatak via Twin Otter aircraft and found suitable bedrock to install the monitoring equipment. Due to the remoteness of the station, data from this site is transmitted via Iridium satellite communications.

GPS monitoring station at Lepley Nunatak

Noble title

As part of the 20th Anniversary Honors and Appointments celebrating Westarctica's 20 years of sovereignty, Chief Justice Christine McPhee of the Grand Ducal Court was granted the peerage title Countess of Lepley.

External links

POLENET site information