Fossil Bluff Field Station

Fossil Bluff, Alexander Island

Lat. 71°19'59"S, Long. 68°16'40"W
Occupied from
20 February 1961 to present, intermittently. Occupied during the winters of 1961, 1962, 1969–75. Summer-only occupation since 1975

Fossil Bluff is an air operations refuelling facility for Twin Otters transporting researchers from Rothera Research Station to deep-field study sites during the Antarctic summer season between October and March. There is a 1,200 metre unprepared snow runway (skiway) marked by drums 1km south of the station.  During the Antarctic summer months a small team provides weather forecasting information for flight safety

The Twin Otters ferry drums of fuel from Rothera to Fossil Bluff each summer to maintain the size of the fuel depot.


Fossil Bluff hut lies at the foot of a scree-covered ridge overlooking George VI Sound, which separates mountainous Alexander Island from Palmer Land.

George VI Ice Shelf occupies the sound and provides a north-south route for travelling parties, except in high summer when the surface of the ice shelf is flooded with extensive areas of meltwater.

To the west and north-west lie Planet Heights, an extensive range of mountains rising to over 1500 metres.

The station is 90 minutes’ flying time from Rothera.


Fossil Bluff houses four people in comfort and forms a transit station for summer field parties