“You go to Hawaii and turn left,” said Bruce Luyendyk. “Then at the bottom of the world, you’re there.” What he’s describing is Mount Luyendyk, a peak in Antarctica’s Fosdick Range that’s has been newly named in his honor. A couple of the UCSB professor emeritus of marine geophysics’ former students recommended it be named after him for his “research contributions to West Antarctica and science advocacy over 25 years,” and the U.S. Board on Geographic Names agreed formally on January 19, reported UCSB’s The Current.
In 1989, Luyendyk was camped out there with a team that included Christine Siddoway, now teaching at Colorado College and one of the students who nominated him; the other supporter was UCSB’s Chris Sorlien, a member of the school’s Earth Research Institute. They were 800 miles from McMurdo Station living in 8’x8’ tents, through stunningly clear weather and a “horrendous blizzard” alike. They knew that New Zealand had ripped from the Antarctic continent and partly submerged, while the Fosdick Range rose, but why? Their field research eventually revealed “that there was an unusual amount of heat in the mantle that centralized over the Antarctic side,” said Luyendyk. “That basically started the engine that created the asymmetry between these mountains and the New Zealand side.”
He returned on an expedition in 1990, but now, he said, “I’d love to go back, but that’s for young people.”