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Brown Bluff


63° 32′ S


56° 52′ W


Brown Bluff is a flat topped, ice covered mountain, 745m in height. A lava reef fringes the 1.5km long cobble and ash beach, which rises increasingly steeply towards towering red-brown tuff (volcanic ash)cliffs embedded with volcanic bombs. The cliffs are heavily eroded, resulting in loose scree and rock falls on higher slopes and large, wind eroded boulders on the beach. At high water the beach area can be restricted. Glaciers extend to the sea at both ends of the site, and the beach can be prone to filling with brash ice from glaciers and pack ice from the Weddell Sea.


The descriptive name was applied to the site by FIDS (Falkland Island Dependency Survey) personnel following their survey in 1946.


The lichens Xanthoria spp. and Caloplaca spp. are present on exposed boulders from the shoreline to an elevation of 185m. Some mosses are present at higher elevations near glacial drainage.



Confirmed breeders: gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua), adélie penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae), cape (pintado) petrel (Daption capense), snow petrel (Pagodroma nivea), brown skua (Catharacta spp.) and kelp gull (Larus dominicanus). Suspected breeders: southern giant petrel (Macronectes giganteus) southern fulmar (Fulmarus glacialoides) and Wilson’s storm-petrel (Oceanites oceanicus).


Weddell seal (Leptonychotes weddellii) haul out. Leopard seal (Hydrurga leptonyx) often hunt offshore.


The basalts, tuff and hydroclastites (erupted under water) found at or near the landing site tell a story of past volcanic eruptions at Brown Bluff some ten million years ago.

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