Antarctica Landscape

Giant Chasm Forces Relocation Of Antarctic Research Station

A three-year plan is currently in operation to move the British Antarctic Survey research station after a large chasm began opening up at a faster rate. Halley VI has been positioned on the Brunt Ice Shelf, off the coast of Antarctica, since 2012 and has been carrying out important monitoring of weather patterns and signs of global warming. However, a relocation project is now needed after a nearby chasm began encroaching again after a period of dormancy.

Luckily, Halley VI is one of the most innovative structures you’ll see and was built precisely for situations like this. It consists of eight different pod-like sections that are easily connected and disconnected so that they can be moved one at a time. Each pod is also built on adjustable stilts so that the station can be raised during high levels of snow. Plus, each of the stilts has a ski at the bottom so that it can slide along the ice. All of this means that the various sections can be attached to the back of heavy-duty tractors and towed to the new location.

The Brunt Ice Shelf is an extension of the land ice which floats on top of the Southern Ocean. It moves around half a kilometre a year, with parts at its extreme often calving into the sea. Now, thanks to the discovery that a chasm is getting wider, the research station is in danger and the decision has been taken to move it 14 miles inland. A safe route has been determined, temporary lodging has been sourced for the scientists that operate there and work has begun on moving some of the sections.

The team must work fast to get the work done within the eight or nine weeks that constitute Antarctica’s summer. The weather remains unpredictable all year round, but this is the only time of the year when there is enough daylight to carry out a project of this size and importance.

If you would like to experience Antarctica during the relatively short summer season, we have a wide range of itineraries available from different operators. Contact us today to discuss your polar adventure.

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