'Hole peninsula' puts University geologist on the map

A University of Aberdeen researcher has followed in the footsteps of Captain James Cook in having a section of the Antarctic named after him.

Antarctic place names honour those who have made an exceptional contribution to furthering the understanding, protection and management of Antarctica over the last fifty years, and whose achievements warrant highlighting alongside those of the early explorers.

The ‘Hole Peninsula’ has been named in recognition of University geologist Dr Malcolm Hole who spent seven years working in the Antarctic before coming to Aberdeen

The ‘Hole Peninsula’ forms part of Rothschild Island and in 1985 Dr Hole became only the second person in history to visit the island.

His research proved it to be of volcanological significance, he has published numerous papers about the geology of the region and remains its most recent visitor.

Dr Hole said it was an honour to have his name added to an Antarctic feature which had previously only been known by its coordinates.

“To me it is recognition of a scientific contribution but also for exploration of Antarctica,” he added.

“Last year marked the 200th anniversary of the discovery of the continent yet vast areas remain unexplored and poorly understood.

“It is a real honour to have my name names printed on maps of the polar south alongside famous figures from past as well as those currently supporting research in the territory.”

The naming of places in the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic goes back to 1775 when Capt. James Cook, RN, discovered South Georgia and the South Sandwich Island.

The UK Committee for Antarctic Place Names provides advice on place-naming in the British Antarctic Territory, using agreed international principles and procedures.  Features are identified where naming is necessary for scientific, logistical or management purposes. 

The naming of ‘Hole Peninsula’ is another accolade for Dr Hole’s Antarctic research as he has also received the Laws Prize and the Laws Medal for his work.

‘Hole Peninsula’ is now included in the British Antarctic Territory gazetteer and is searchable at https://apc.antarctica.ac.uk/