Vale Jim Goodspeed

Station Year Season
Mawson 1957 Winter

With much sadness, the ANARE Club advises the passing of Morley James “Jim” Goodspeed on 4 June 2024, in Canberra, aged 96.

(Notified by email by Jim’s grandson Dr Mark Edmondson, 6 June 2024)

Morley James “Jim” Goodspeed, 1927-2024

Seismologist, Mawson 1957

Jim Goodspeed was born on 17 July 1927 in Aberdeen, Scotland and died on 4 June 2024 in Canberra, aged 96.  Jim was a Seismologist with ANARE stationed at Mawson Base for the winter of 1957.  He took part if the Southern Trip from Mawson.  He received a Polar Medal from Queen Elizabeth II in 1959.

The Southern Party, comprising Keith Mather, OIC, Jim Goodspeed seismic and gravity expert, Dick Willing doctor and driver, Nev Collins engineer and driver, Bernie Shaw radio and Malcolm Mellor glaciologist and scout weasel driver, the train departed Mawson on 9th November 1957.  The train was composed of two Caterpillar D4 tractors, ten cargo sledges, and one weasel. A new route south of Mawson was used this year by the field parties.  Eleven holes were drilled to 100 feet and 100 shots fired.  At camp, 6-7,000 feet of ice was recorded.  In 400 miles of soundings along the route, ice thickness fluctuated from 4,000 feet to 8,500 feet.  A profile of rock 5,300 feet under ice was found to exist between 200 and 300 miles from Mawson – the plateau ice was flat and 9,000 feet above sea level.

– from Aurora Journal Summer 1958

Their work contributed to the International Geophysical Year, IGY, a worldwide program of geophysical research that was conducted from July 1957 to December 1958.

The Goodspeed Nunataks were named in honour of Jim Goodspeed. They are located at 73°01’05.5″S, 61°01’25.0″E. – a group of three rows of nunataks in the Southern Prince Charles Mountains region, oriented approximately east-west and 19-28 km long, at the western end of the Fisher Glacier.  Discovered by the ANARE southern seismic party led by K.B.  Mather in January, 1958; first visited by a weasel party led by M.  Mellor.  Named after M. J.  Goodspeed, geophysicist at Mawson in 1957.

– from Australian Antarctic Data Centre

Photo from Aurora Journal Winter 1999, p 11: Lateral moraine in the Lambert Glacier at the Goodspeed Nunataks; aerial view looking east. (Photo by Ric Ruker).

Satellite view of the Goodspeed Nuntaks, courtesy Google

Jim Goodspeed was a member of the ANARE Club from 1958 to 2024.