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Antarctic vignettes VI: Leslie Russell Blake — Mawson’s forgotten geologist.

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Dartnall, HJG (2012) Antarctic vignettes VI: Leslie Russell Blake — Mawson’s forgotten geologist. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania, 146. pp. 57-62. ISSN 0080-4703

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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 Pozières. 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.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Royal Society of Tasmania, RST, Van Diemens Land, natural history, science, ecology, taxonomy, botany, zoology, geology, geography, papers & proceedings, Australia, Leslie Russell Blake, geologist, Macquarie Island, Mawson, surveying, Australasian Antarctic Expedition
Journal or Publication Title: Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania
Page Range: pp. 57-62
ISSN: 0080-4703
Copyright Information:

Copyright The Royal Society of Tasmania

Collections: Royal Society Collection > Papers & Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2015 22:17
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2015 22:17
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