Halley VI Research Station

Halley VI, Brunt Ice Shelf, Caird Coast

Position
Lat. 75°35'0"S, Long. 26°39'36"W
Occupied from
15 Jan 1956 to present
Staff
Summer: 70, Winter: 16

Halley Research Station is built on a floating ice shelf in the south-east of the Weddell Sea. Scientific research concentrates on atmospheric sciences, meteorology and chemistry. Halley has a snow runway andsupports a number of summer field science activities. Halley is the first fully re-locatable research station in the world. Its iconic design houses a cutting-edge science platform and modern, comfortable accommodation.

Halley VI Research Station seen from the air during the coupling of the modules during the 20010/11 summer season

The state-of-the-art research facility is segmented into eight modules, each sitting atop ski-fitted, hydraulic legs. These can be individually raised to overcome snow accumulation and each module towed independently to a new location.

The central red module contains the communal areas for dining, relaxation etc, while the blue modules provide accommodation, laboratories, offices, generators, an observation platform and many other facilities.


Location

The Brunt Ice Shelf upon which Halley sits is 130 metres thick. The ice that makes it up is flowing (slowly) out from the mainland continent onto the Weddell Sea. Where the ice meets the sea, chunks can ‘calve’ off as icebergs.

As the ice underneath Halley flows away from the mainland, the risk of calving increases. In order to better predict calving events we monitor the movement of the ice shelf using seven GPS sensors, collectively called the ‘Lifetime of Halley’ network.

Each sensor uses a dual-band GPS receiver to accurately determine its position and dynamics, before reporting this back to a base station at Halley VI. We use the data to study the strains and tidal flexes in the ice shelf to improve predictions of the location and timing of future calving.


Personnel

During winter there are usually around 16 over wintering staff (winterers). In the summer period, from late December to early March, these staff increase to around 70.

Walking back to Halley Station in a 30 kts blow
Walking back to Halley Station in a 30 kts blow

It is often not clear from articles about Antarctic bases that very few of the winterers are scientists. Most are the technical specialists required to keep the station and the scientific experiments running. The wintering team at Halley includes a chef, a doctor, mechanics, an electrician, several electronics engineers and a heating and ventilation engineer.

One of the winterers each year is designated as the Winter Station Leader and sworn in as a magistrate; this job is carried out in addition to their normal duties.

1996 saw the first female winterers at Halley, reflecting the changes within the British Antarctic Survey. There have been at least two women wintering every year since then.


 

Climate

Temperatures at Halley rarely rise above 0°C although temperatures around -10°C are common on sunny summer days. Typical winter temperatures are below -20°C with extreme lows of around -55°C. There is 24-hour darkness for 105 days when residents are completely isolated from the outside world by the surrounding sea ice and impossible flying conditions. Only a nearby colony of emperor penguins keeps them company.

Winds are predominantly from the east. Strong winds usually pick up the dusty surface snow, reducing visibility to a few metres.

Approximately 1.2 metres of snow accumulates each year on the Brunt Ice Shelf and buildings on the surface become covered and eventually crushed by snow. This part of the ice shelf is also moving westward by approximately 700 metres per year.

One of the reasons for the location of Halley is that it is under the auroral oval, resulting in frequent displays of the Aurora Australis overhead.

These Aurora are easiest to see during the 105 days when the sun does not rise above the horizon.


Station life

The major event of each year is the arrival of the ship (currently the RRS Ernest Shackleton) in late December. As soon as the ship arrives the work of relief begins, unloading all the cargo and the reloading of all waste. This usually takes about a week of 24-hour working, with a fleet of Sno-Cats hauling sledges of cargo the 15 or so kilometres from the coast. Depending on sea ice conditions and the topology of the ice coast this might involve a drive of 60 kilometres from N9, or as in one recent year when the ship was unable to reach the base, ferrying of important cargo and personnel by plane from further up the coast.

Since new vehicles arrived at Halley during the 2006–07 season, Challenger 765B and John Deere 7820T, Halley has seen a significant increase of delivery of goods. Both vehicles can deliver significant quantities of sledges to Halley in one go and decrease the time of relief significantly.

After the cargo arrives, life continues to be hectic as there is a lot of work to be carried out during the short summer period. This includes both scientific activities and the maintenance for the station.

Around the end of February the ship makes its final visit to Halley. Summer staff, departing winterers and outgoing cargo are loaded on board and the remaining winterers watch their last physical link with the outside world sail off into the distance.

The next event in the base calendar is sundown, the last day when the sun rises over the horizon this is usually marked with a celebration. The oldest winterer lowers the tattered remains of the Union Flag.

Midwinter has been celebrated in Antarctica since the days of the early explorers and at Halley there is a week of events and parties culminating in the huge midwinter meal. The BBC World Service transmits a special programme with messages from home and a piece of music chosen by each base. It is traditional for the winterers to streak around the building, although they are allowed to wear hats, gloves and boots.

Sunup marks the return of the sun with a barbecue (weather permitting). The youngest winterer raises a new flag.

The Emperor penguin colony near Halley, which is present from May to February, is a special attraction, while other recreational trips take members further inland towards the “hinge zone” where the floating ice shelf is joined to the continent.


History

Halley was founded in 1956, for the International Geophysical Year of 1957–58, by an expedition from the Royal Society. The bay where the expedition decided to set up their base was named Halley Bay, after the astronomer Edmond Halley. The name was changed to Halley in 1977 as the original bay had disappeared due to changes in the ice shelf.

There have been six Halley bases built so far. The first four were all buried by snow accumulation and crushed until they were uninhabitable. Various construction methods were tried, from unprotected wooden huts to steel tunnels.

Halley V had the main buildings built on steel platforms that were raised annually to keep them above the snow surface. However, as the station’s legs were fixed in the ice it could not be moved and its occupation became precarious, having flowed too far from the mainland to a position at risk of calving as in iceberg.

Halley VI Research Station was commissioned in 2006 and its unique and innovative structure was the result of an international design competition in collaboration with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). The station took four years to build and delivered its first scientific data in 2012. It was officially opened on 5 February 2013.

Purpose

Scientific activities, primarily atmospheric sciences, but also survey, geology and glaciology.

Research

Science at Halley VI provides vital information for a global understanding of ozone depletion, polar atmospheric chemistry, sea-level rise and climate change. Since it was first established in 1956, meteorological and atmospheric data has been continually collected at Halley, providing an unbroken record. In May 2013, Halley was awarded the status of a 'Global' station within the WMO Global Atmospheric Watch programme, one of only 29 stations worldwide. It was here in 1985 that British scientists first measured the ozone depletion of the Antarctic stratosphere. Their discovery that this critical protection from ultraviolet radiation had been decreasing from 1975–85 made headlines around the world and spurred the international agreement on banning chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Measurements are taken of the ice of Antarctica beneath, of the air in the troposphere above, of the ozone in the stratosphere above that, and of the plasma in the geospace beyond them all. The scientific programmes carried out at the Halley base include atmospheric sciences, geology and glaciology. Studies at Halley are crucial for a global perspective on ozone reduction, atmospheric pollution, sea level rise, and climate change. Each of these topics has major ‘unknowns’, and Halley’s geophysical location within the auroral zone makes it a great place to undertake these studies. Remote scientific equipment, set up for long-term monitoring, is housed in a number of cabooses around the perimeter of the site, which also contains numerous aerials and arrays for studying atmospheric conditions and space weather.
The Clean Air Sector Laboratory (CASLAB) is used to study snow and air chemistry and is located nearly two km from the main Laws building.
This image is associated with the 2005-2010 BAS science programme: CACHE- Climate and Chemistry: Forcings, Feedbacks and Phasings in the Earth System.

Clean Air Sector Laboratory (CASLab)

The Clean Air Sector Laboratory (CASLab) is a specialised observatory in coastal Antarctica dedicated to studies of this remote background atmosphere and the processes that influence its chemical signature. It contains a …

Richard Yeo checks data in the VLF room on the SSB at Halley Research Station, Antarctica

Halley computing facilities

Hardware for general use A Module 4 x networked PCs running Windows 7 Enterprise HP colour laser printer with duplexer Epson stylus 1400 photo printer Epsom GT20000 scanner H1 Module …

Halley radars

Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) The Halley SuperDARN radar is part of the worldwide Super Dual Auroral Radar network of 27 high-frequency (HF) radars which study winds, waves, and …

Halley VLF receiver

The Halley VLF receiver listens to very-low frequency radio waves as part of a network of receivers located all over the polar regions. The data gathered by this network is used by …

The daily meterological balloon launch at the British Antarctic Survey's Halley VI Research Station on the Brunt Ice Shelf, Antarctica

Halley weather balloons

At Halley, balloon launches take place every day at 11am. A device called a radiosonde hangs beneath the helium-filled balloon and measures temperature, pressure and humidity. From GPS we can …

BAS scientist checking one of the remote low power magnetometers. These systems can operate unattended on the Antarctic Plateaux in temperatures as low as -78degrees Celsius

Magnetometers

Search coil magnetometer Several kinds of natural waves in the ultra-low-frequency (ULF) range are generated in Earth’s space environment (the magnetosphere, bounded by Earth’s magnetic field as it extends into …

Met instruments

Met tower Meteorological scientists at Halley have been measuring the weather in great detail and with ever more sophisticated gadgets since the station first opened over 50 years ago. Instruments …

C6 Caboose at Halley, which houses the microwave radiometer

Microwave radiometer

The microwave radiometer enables us to gain a better understanding of the chemistry and physics of the polar middle atmosphere, 35–90km above the ground, and how it affects climate. For example, …

Optical caboose

Bomem The Bomem has been operating at Halley periodically since 2002. It’s a spectrometer: an instrument that splits light into its component colours. It is designed to look specifically at …

Riometer

The riometer at Halley measures the radiowave noise at 30MHz coming from the Galaxy. Typically there is a gentle variation of the noise during each day as the Earth turns …

SAOZ - observes spectra of UV and visible sunlight scattered from the zenith sky at twilight, to measure total column ozone and Nitrogen dioxide. SAOZ (Systeme d'Analyse d'Observations zenithales) is in a weather-proof box and looks up through the simple quartz window in its lid. Derek Oldham is seen here installing SAOZ on the roof of the ozone loft in March 1990. Faraday station was occupied by BAS from 1947 to 1996, it was transferred to the Ukraine in February 1996 and renamed Vernadsky. SAOZ was moved to Rothera when Faraday was transferred to the Ukraines

SAOZ

SAOZ measures sunlight scattered from the overhead sky in a way that allows us to calculate how much of the atmospheric gases ozone and nitrogen dioxide the light has passed through …

Halley Diary – February 2015

23 February, 2015 by Thomas Welsh

As I write this, I can see and hear most of the research station contingent heading outside. The reason for this is that the sun will set for the first …


Halley Diary – May 2014

18 May, 2014 by John Mann

May was another busy month at Halley with the loss of the sun and the temperature dropping even further making our everyday tasks down here that little bit more challenging. …


Halley Diary – April 2014

18 April, 2014 by BAS Bloggers

With the first round of Winter Training Trips concluded April saw the wintering team here at Halley VI settling in for the long, cold winter to come. You could say …


Halley Diary – March 2014

18 March, 2014 by Richard Warren

March has been a busy month for all of us at Halley station. Following the departure of the RRS Ernest Shackleton in February, March saw the continuation of winter trips, …



Halley Diary – January 2014

24 January, 2014 by BAS Bloggers

It was a strange way to welcome in the New Year, standing outside the modules at Halley, at midnight with a clear sky above us and the sun glaring down, …


Halley Diary – December 2013

17 December, 2013 by BAS Bloggers

1800 drums of fuel, 650kgs of potatoes, 3 cubic meters of toilet paper and a drum kit. This is just a small selection of items that have arrived this year …


Halley Diary — November 2013

30 November, 2013 by BAS Bloggers

Having spent a winter in isolation on the Brunt ice shelf we were all very excited as the first plane landed on the runway bringing people and freshies. More than …


Halley Diary — October 2013

31 October, 2013 by BAS Bloggers

It’s October now and the length of daylight is increasing rapidly at this time of year. It only seems a few weeks since we were in total darkness yet we …


Halley Diary — September 2013

30 September, 2013 by BAS Bloggers

With the ever-increasing light and (occasionally) improving weather, September felt like we were truly beginning to leave winter behind. Although the true start of the summer season is not until …



Halley Diary — July 2013

31 July, 2013 by BAS Bloggers

With the build- up and celebration of mid-winter over, July started with the winter teams six-monthly dental checks. Having had our teeth checked and treated before leaving for the Antarctic …


Halley Diary — June 2013

30 June, 2013 by BAS Bloggers

Doctor’s Report Summary: Sun above the horizon – 0 days, 0 hours, 0 minutes, 0 seconds Max Wind Speed – 81 knots Min Temp – −48°C (-62°C Midwinter’s Week Fun …



Halley Diary — April 2013

30 April, 2013 by BAS Bloggers

The month of April really brings home the prospect of the upcoming 100 days in which we will not see the sun at all. The nights draw in ever more …


Halley Diary — March 2013

31 March, 2013 by BAS Bloggers

It’s now March, the days are starting to draw in and winter is coming to Antarctica. It’s that time of year when anyone not staying for the approaching winter (or …


Halley Diary — February 2013

28 February, 2013 by BAS Bloggers

February, the shortest month of the year and probably the most jam-packed one, here at Halley VI. 28 busy days with almost every day filled with an event, the station …


Halley Diary — January 2013

31 January, 2013 by BAS Bloggers

January… the busiest month of the year. As our regular supply ship, the Ernest Shackleton had now dropped off the last of the long-term arrivals there were a number of …


Halley Diary — November 2012

30 November, 2012 by BAS Bloggers

1st November: As the Winter draws to a close and the last field trip returns the base begins preparation for the arrival of new people. The super warm clothing, specialised …


Halley Diary — October 2012

31 October, 2012 by BAS Bloggers

Life at Windy Bay caboose during the last month of winter A Caboose is a small living container, sitting on sledge at Windy Bay. It was home for me during …


Halley Diary — August 2012

31 August, 2012 by BAS Bloggers

The weekend of the 4th and 5th of August was spent making a short film for the Antarctic Film Festival. Despite being titled ‘What a Drag’, it was really fun …


Halley Diary — July 2012

31 July, 2012 by BAS Bloggers

July was one of the harder months of the Winter. The excitement of mid-Winter had passed and sun-up in August seemed like a long way off. It was also the …


Halley Diary — June 2012

30 June, 2012 by BAS Bloggers

The darkest month of the year and important mid-winter celebration for all the people in Antarctica is what June is all about here in the South. The sun is below …


Halley Diary — May 2012

31 May, 2012 by BAS Bloggers

The month of May started with the lowering of the very weather damaged British flag. This will be the only flag to have been flown above Halley 5 and Halley …


Halley Diary — April 2012

30 April, 2012 by BAS Bloggers

What makes life in Antarctica different to life somewhere else? What drives someone down to the end of the world? What makes it worthwhile or interesting? What about April 2012? …


Halley Diary — February 2012

28 February, 2012 by BAS Bloggers

February at Halley this year, despite being the shortest month, seemed much longer. Everything was about timing. Do we have enough time to make the station ready for wintering? Do …


Halley Diary — January 2012

31 January, 2012 by BAS Bloggers

January often starts with a hangover and usually marks the end of the busy festive season. At Halley, folk were half-way through relief, back-loading waste onto the Ernest Shackleton and …


Halley Diary — December 2011

31 December, 2011 by BAS Bloggers

I arrived at Halley on the 2nd of Dec after spending the previous week travelling through Cape Town and Novo with ALCI. The journey was particularly smooth and even got …


Halley Diary — November 2011

30 November, 2011 by BAS Bloggers

It was to be another very busy start to what would be another very season. The first of many flights and transits were due out on the 23rd Oct 2011, …


Halley Diary — October 2011

31 October, 2011 by BAS Bloggers

Well it’s finally my turn to write a month. My name is Paul Barwick and I am the wintering Electrical Service Technician here at Halley and if all goes to …


Halley Diary — September 2011

30 September, 2011 by BAS Bloggers

We are fortunate enough at Halley to have an Emperor Penguin colony at “Windy Bay”, about 20Km from base. Naturally everyone is keen to see them. So I thought I …


Halley Diary — August 2011

31 August, 2011 by Brett Walton

By far the most important event that occurred in August was the appearance of the sun above the horizon for the first time in over three months signalling the beginning …


Halley Diary — July 2011

31 July, 2011 by BAS Bloggers

So what went on in July? To be honest with you I’m now writing the diary and its the end of August so I’m having to trawl the memory banks …


Halley Diary — June 2011

30 June, 2011 by BAS Bloggers

The following events took place between 1st June and the 30th of June Welcome to the June diary, June has been a busy month for all of us on station, …


Halley Diary — May 2011

31 May, 2011 by BAS Bloggers

The sun sets for the last time May already… wow. One thing I’ve noticed since arriving down at Halley is just how quickly the time has flown by. It doesn’t …



Halley Diary — February 2011

28 February, 2011 by BAS Bloggers

February started with a bang. As part of BAS winter training we have an annual major incident scenario to make sure we are all ready and well rehearsed just in …


Halley Diary — January 2011

31 January, 2011 by BAS Bloggers

Happy New Year from Halley base Antarctica! As 2011 was rung in, I was ‘fresh off the boat’ (RRS Ernest Shackleton) having sailed from the UK eight weeks previously. In …


Halley Diary — December 2010

31 December, 2010 by BAS Bloggers

The summer season at Halley is the busiest, most important time in the Halley V calendar. Whilst the science and maintenance activities continue all year round it is during the …


Halley Diary — November 2010

30 November, 2010 by Penny Goodearl

This is my first visit to Antarctica. Being here is an adventure. Getting here was an epic journey. At 23.30pm on 11 November we left Cape Town on board a …



Halley Diary — September 2010

30 September, 2010 by BAS Bloggers

The month of September, so often associated with dew on the ground, the rustle of crisp leaves and woodsy aromas back home in the UK, brings a starkly contrasting ambience …


Halley Diary — August 2010

31 August, 2010 by BAS Bloggers

August already and according to the Halley planners, as it stands, we will soon see our winter finish in just shy of 2 months, but all is not lost! Our …


Halley Diary — July 2010

31 July, 2010 by BAS Bloggers

I thought I had drawn the short straw having to write the diary for July because, with no birthdays to celebrate and mid-winter festivities behind us, I suspected there might …


Halley Diary — June 2010

30 June, 2010 by BAS Bloggers

Well here is the June diary, a chance to write something about something? It is now my chance! I’m Craig Douglas Brown, the electrician at Halley and I have the …


Halley Diary — May 2010

31 May, 2010 by Timothy Gee

Changing temperatures Welcome to the May 2010 winter diary. My name’s Tim and I am the wintering vehicle operator mechanic at Halley. So what happened in May then? Well May …


Halley Diary — April 2010

30 April, 2010 by BAS Bloggers

Welcome to the April diary. My name is Matt and I am the wintering Genny mech this year. So what has happened in April? We have had our first proper blows, with …


Halley Diary — March 2010

31 March, 2010 by BAS Bloggers

So here we are at the start of another winter season at Halley! Since late Feb the numbers on base have dropped from 111 to 11. It has been a …



Halley Diary — January 2010

31 January, 2010 by BAS Bloggers

Dear Diary, January, as a month, is usually looked forward to not a lot particularly in the UK where the usual rain and fog takes a break to be replaced …


Halley Diary — December 2009

31 December, 2009 by BAS Bloggers

I’ve now been here just over two weeks. As people become familiar with each other, we get another plane load of new faces and names. For a short while, the …


Halley Diary — November 2009

30 November, 2009 by BAS Bloggers

November started with all hands on deck as we prepared for the first plane to arrive. The electrician Robert (wrongun) Johnson, plumber Robert (zebedee) Dunn and myself were busy de-winterising …


Halley Diary — October 2009

31 October, 2009 by BAS Bloggers

As the last month of solitude for the wintering Halley eleven starts, the base gears up for the first of the new intruders to arrive by air. Everyone is busy …


Halley Diary — September 2009

30 September, 2009 by BAS Bloggers

September saw the first attempt of building an Igloo to which a great deal of time and effort only rewarded us with a half built igloo, which would be nice …


Halley Diary — August 2009

31 August, 2009 by BAS Bloggers

Halley 89022, Antarctica 89022 is the international weather station number for Halley, a figure I write several times a day in the meteorological register and various other places. It has …



Deep Down into the Antarctic Ice

31 August, 2009 by John Eager

It’s early Sunday morning at Halley Research Station, Antarctica. The sun is rising quickly on the horizon, the wind is low and the temperature outside is a modest −18 degrees …


Halley Diary — July 2009

31 July, 2009 by Nicholas Gregory

As the pandemonium of midwinter subsides the reality of Antarctic winter grips us firmly by the throat, a deep red floods the afternoon sky allowing a hint of blue to …


Halley Diary — June 2009

30 June, 2009 by Karen Fowler

Midwinter This is a particularly special month for all of us down here at Halley. It marks the middle of our year and sees the start of our week-long celebration …




Halley Diary — May 2009

31 May, 2009 by BAS Bloggers

Where’s the sun? After the high winds that blew the last days of April away, we wondered if the breeze would abate to allow us a glimpse of the sun …



Halley Diary — March 2009

31 March, 2009 by John Eager

As time is called on March 2009, the 54th Halley wintering team completed its first month alone on the Brunt ice shelf. Nights lengthen and darken, temperatures plummet and the …


Halley Diary — February 2009

28 February, 2009 by BAS Bloggers

Greetings from everyone at Halley base. February was a month where the summer season was in full swing and there were the usual preparations and maintenance programmes being carried out …


Halley Diary — January 2009

31 January, 2009 by John Eager

The New Year rings in on the Brunt ice shelf For the incoming summer and winter teams along with the ships crew the bell rings on bridge of the RSS …


Halley Diary — December 2008

31 December, 2008 by BAS Bloggers

Hello from the new boy. December was a great month for me, my first full month on the station. This of course meant as the incoming Field GA, lots of …


Halley Diary — November 2008

30 November, 2008 by Joseph Corner

November, the 11th month of the year, and the 12th month that everyone, apart from Dean, has been living in the Antarctic. After 8 months of just 11 of us …


Halley Diary — October 2008

31 October, 2008 by BAS Bloggers

Hello everyone! I must apologise to all who are not flower lovers, but it seems apt to start this month’s instalment with another flower… plus I like flowers so that …


Halley Diary — September 2008

30 September, 2008 by Agnieszka Fryckowska

September is the ninth month of the year in the Gregorian Calendar and one of four Gregorian months with 30 days. In Latin, septem means “seven” and septimus means “seventh”; …


Halley Diary — August 2008

31 August, 2008 by BAS Bloggers

The Sun Returns Could it be a case of pre-Christmas cheer, or early Christmas gifts, or just pure coincidence? What on earth am I on about? Well… it turns out …


Halley Diary — July 2008

31 July, 2008 by Joseph Corner

Red sky at night… July is always a quiet month here at Halley. Midwinter has come and gone, the sky is still dark and sometimes the base feels like a …


Halley Diary — June 2008

30 June, 2008 by BAS Bloggers

Hello and welcome to the Halley June Diary. June is a very important month for all those wintering in Antarctica. This is because we celebrate Midwinter, this is our Christmas, …


Halley Diary — May 2008

30 May, 2008 by BAS Bloggers

The darkness cometh… Darkness came slowly, creeping up on us through April like a tiger stalking its prey. Then, ominously, the morning glow through the dining room windows is marching …


Halley Diary — April 2008

30 April, 2008 by BAS Bloggers

“1, 2, 3, 4, er…d’oh, damn it, I lost count! 1, 2, 3, 4…” By the end of April, the residents of Halley 2008 had experienced “winter” life for just …


Halley Diary — March 2008

31 March, 2008 by BAS Bloggers

March may be the third month in the Gregorian calendar, but to the hardy Antarctic Heroes at Halley, March might as well be the first. You’re probably asking yourself why… …


Halley Diary — February 2008

28 February, 2008 by BAS Bloggers

What a busy month! With so many people on Halley, I suppose it’s no surprise but it’s difficult to know where to start: Halley Lifetime studies, Halley VI construction, panels …



Halley Diary — November 2007

30 November, 2007 by Peter Milner

Thump – Thump – Splash’ > Good ‘Thud’ > Bad Leaving aside the strange title of this diary, November has been a pretty eventful month for the Halley crew. We …


Halley Diary — October 2007

31 October, 2007 by Mark Wales

October started for us with some spectacular weather, not so much calm bright and sunny but very windy, the good thing is when it’s windy the temperature tends to be …


Halley Diary — September 2007

30 September, 2007 by BAS Bloggers

One of the great secrets of the Halley winter is that the period after the end of permanent darkness is filled with bad weather. While the fresh-faced eager first year …


Halley Diary — August 2007

31 August, 2007 by BAS Bloggers

August already. How time flies. With the coming of the summer light, many of the yearly jobs can now be undertaken, jobs which have been caused by the relentless Antarctic …


Halley Diary — July 2007

31 July, 2007 by Neil Brough

Some months in the Antarctic calendar are slightly less exciting than others for various reasons but still have enough originality to be enjoyed, more so by the fresh and innocent …


Halley Diary — June 2007

30 June, 2007 by BAS Bloggers

Midwinter Mischief June here was all about Midwinter, the biggest event in the Antarctic calendar. Most people (myself included), spent every spare moment in the run up to Midwinter’s Day …


Halley Diary — May 2007

31 May, 2007 by BAS Bloggers

May be the month of Pirates. No wait, not pirates, I mean Sundown. Or is it Ninjas? I’m going to go with Sundown. A setting Sun, to most people wont …




Auf Deutsch

30 April, 2007 by BAS Bloggers

Aus meteorologischer Sicht dauert der antarktische Herbst vom 1.3. bis zum 31.5. Somit ist der April mittendrin im antarktischen Herbst. Und man wird sich bewusst: Der Sommer mit seinen angenehmen …


Halley Diary — March 2007

31 March, 2007 by BAS Bloggers

March is an underrated time of year at Halley, falling in the Antarctic Autumn, a season sandwiched between the hustle and bustle of summer and the stunning auroras of winter. …


Halley Diary — February 2007

28 February, 2007 by BAS Bloggers

February is usually an odd month at Halley. The summer ends, the crowds depart, and Halley is left in the hands of the wintering team once again. A huge amount …


Halley Diary — January 2007

31 January, 2007 by BAS Bloggers

Unlike last year, when relief finished by New Years Eve, this year the madness started on New Year’s Day. After a week of the ship being stuck 50 miles from …


Halley Diary — December 2006

31 December, 2006 by BAS Bloggers

Happy New Year! Hope you all had an excellent Christmas as well. It’s been a bit strange here, not being bombarded by the constant Christmas advertising since September it all …


Halley Diary — November 2006

30 November, 2006 by BAS Bloggers

November — Who needs running water? November at Halley saw an average temperature of -9.2°C, average pressure of 978.8hPa, mean scalar wind speed of 14.8 knots. We had 21 days of …


Halley Diary — October 2006

31 October, 2006 by BAS Bloggers

October is a busy month here at Halley. We have many winter trips going on and a lot of other stuff to have the base ready for the summer season, …


Halley Diary — September 2006

30 September, 2006 by Mark Wales

September started for us with temperatures of -40°C and lower, even a simple task of walking to one of the other platforms requires dressing up in full combat gear completely …


Halley Diary — August 2006

31 August, 2006 by BAS Bloggers

August has whizzed by with the return of the sun and the trips to see the Emperor penguins. During the first week of August I was very fortunate to combine …


Halley Diary — July 2006

31 July, 2006 by BAS Bloggers

July traditionally a month of lulls, was full of anticipation and preparations for the return of the sun to brighten up our days. It got off to a swinging start …


Halley Diary — June 2006

30 June, 2006 by BAS Bloggers

June is a month which seems to be largely compressed into a week, the week around our winter solstice. Midwinter is a big issue down here, signifying the point at …


Halley Diary — May 2006

31 May, 2006 by BAS Bloggers

Hello from Halley. This month started off with the May Bank Holiday. In the absence of a maypole we considered dancing round one of the Comms masts but the idea …


Halley Diary — April 2006

30 April, 2006 by BAS Bloggers

Well, another month passes at Halley. For me, April started with a week on nightshift. As well as the pleasure of cleaning the toilets every night, this was also a …


Halley Diary — March 2006

31 March, 2006 by BAS Bloggers

Working Hard Winter is on its way. Halley feels almost empty as the summer crowd have escaped and left sixteen happy souls to make the place their own. March is …


Halley Diary — February 2006

28 February, 2006 by BAS Bloggers

A few words from Alex Gough — Winterer for 2006 Well, everyone’s about to leave us in peace. Almost everyone went early on Saturday morning, but five or six spare …


Halley Diary — December 2005

31 December, 2005 by BAS Bloggers

New faces At the beginning of the month with the arrival of the aeroplanes new people come to Halley. Basler DC3 The first arrivals to break the Winter isolation were …


Halley Diary — November 2005

30 November, 2005 by BAS Bloggers

First visitors It feels strange to recall the end of the winter now that summer is in full swing! During November we went on the last of the post winter …


Halley Diary — October 2005

31 October, 2005 by BAS Bloggers

Perpetual Sunlight Well the month started with a long storm with the pressure dropping off the charts (for those met geeks among us). This kept the Sledge Golf party (Kev …


Halley Diary — September 2005

30 September, 2005 by BAS Bloggers

The Last Aurora! Are you sure it’s September already? I’m sure it’s already been said but it is amazing how quickly time passes down here. The beginning of the month …


Halley Diary — August 2005

31 August, 2005 by BAS Bloggers

Sun Up!, written by Mike Rooney As usual, August was a busy, fun packed month. We found ourselves looking eagerly towards the Northern Horizon for a brief hint of the …


Halley Diary — July 2005

31 July, 2005 by BAS Bloggers

Another month passes quickly, written by Jamie Koplick (Heating/Ventilation Engineer) The month began pretty much the same as all the others, without me realising it! Time really does fly down …


Halley Diary — June 2005

30 June, 2005 by BAS Bloggers

Midwinter celebrations, written by Bryn Jones (AIS Engineer) June began where May left off, with the temperature hovering around the very chilly mark of -50°C. However, life inside our warm …


Halley Diary — May 2005

31 May, 2005 by BAS Bloggers

Sundown The month started with the yearly Sundown ceremony, to mark the day that the sun disappears and we start three months of darkness. As the oldest member of the …


Halley Diary — April 2005

30 April, 2005 by BAS Bloggers

A Chef Writes – knocked together by Kevin (the Sheff-Chef) O’Donnell This month started off with winds of 40 knots and temperatures of −30°C and pretty much stayed the same …


Halley Diary — March 2005

31 March, 2005 by BAS Bloggers

Winter Trips Deutsch March is always an exciting time at Halley because after the ship has left, winterers begin their winter trips. It is our type of holiday down here …


März – Winter Trips

31 March, 2005 by BAS Bloggers

M�rz 2005 – Winter Trips English Der Monat M�rz ist in Halley immer ein besonders spannender Monat, weil die �berwinterer, nachdem das Schiff Halley zum letzten Mal f�r dieses Jahr …


Halley Diary — February 2005

28 February, 2005 by BAS Bloggers

Goodbye to the Shackleton by Craig Nicholls It was a month in which we said goodbye to old friends, the ones who worked all summer getting the base ready for …


Halley Diary — January 2005

31 January, 2005 by BAS Bloggers

Hoc of Halley by Hoc Baldock, Summer Admin Support After working for BAS for 14 years you feel you know a bit about it, but how different the reality can …


Halley Diary — December 2004

31 December, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

Summer arrives by Simon Coggins December is always a hectic month at Halley as it signals the end of the months of isolation and the beginning of the busy summer …


Halley Diary — November 2004

30 November, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

Preparations for Summer By Russ Locke November has been a busy month here at Halley with preparations for the coming summer season well and truly underway. As the winter begins …


Halley Diary — October 2004

31 October, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

October Web Page By Allan “Tommo” Thomas Hello there, and welcome to October’s web diary. My name is Allan Thomas, I’m Station Electrician, and I shall be your guide this …


Halley Diary — September 2004

30 September, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

Life at Halley by Jeff Cohen Having past the spring equinox on the 22nd of September the hours of daylight now exceeds the hours of darkness and the amount of …



Work at Halley September 2004

30 September, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

Digging the melt tank is a daily task which everyone takes turns in doing. It can become one of the worst tasks on the station when the weather turns bad. …


Science at Halley September 2004

30 September, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

The main event at the Caslab this month was the “intensive” these are carried out around the Equinoxes and Solstices when the frequency of data sampling is increased. Instead of …


Equinoxes and Solstices

30 September, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

Equinoxes and Solstices In the Northern hemisphere the Equinoxes are the two times each year when the length of the day equals the length of the night and are the …


Kiting at Halley September 2004

30 September, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

With the landscape being flat at Halley Kiting gives skiers and snow boarders an extra dimension to their sport. The only other practical options would be ski jouring when the …



Post winter trips September 2004

30 September, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

In preparation for the post winter trips and any fieldwork that might be required Ed our GA gave some practice sessions in the garage jumaring up to the garage ceiling …


Halley Diary — August 2004

31 August, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

Sun up! by Edwyn Dodd August is a busy month at Halley. The end of the 105 or so days or darkness arrives on the 10th-ish (debate about when the …


Halley Diary — July 2004

31 July, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

A month of birthdays by Graham Gillie July started quietly and after all the midwinter celebrations it was back to work as normal — or as normal as it gets …


Halley Diary — June 2004

30 June, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

Midwinter by Nigel Colgan Midwinter’s day is approaching and the workshop doors have been busy swinging back and forth with eager base members working away on their midwinter presents to …


Halley Diary — May 2004

31 May, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

Sundown By Rhian La La caveat: don’t believe anything you read below,- none of us are to be trusted any more!!!! Welcome to May at Halley. Halley in May. Mad …


Halley Diary — April 2004

30 April, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

Pish Tash By Vanessa O’Brien April has seen the end of the first winter trips and for two weeks the base has been at full capacity. It is very odd …


Halley Diary — March 2004

31 March, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

Bath Time By Stéphane Bauguitte Page en Français March was punctuated by three week-long pre-winter field trips, with Sledge Bravo, Sledge Charlie and Sledge Delta boldly going where Sledge Alpha …


Mar – Temps De Bath

31 March, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

Page de Mars 2004 par St�phane Bauguitte Page in English Le mois de Mars a �t� ponctu� par trois voyages pr�-hivernaux d�une dur�e d�une semaine chacun, les tra�neaux Bravo, Charlie …


Halley Diary — February 2004

28 February, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

Visitors! By Craig Nicholls Well hello to you all…! It has been a totally packed February you couldn’t squeeze anymore in if you tried… Visitors?… we’ve had more than you …


Halley Diary — January 2004

31 January, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

Apologies for the tardiness of this first diary installment of 2004. Life at Halley has been very hectic to say the least since RRS Ernest Shackleton arrived for first call …


Jan – New Year, new faces…

31 January, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

Gavin Francis (Base Doctor) New Year, new Halley wintering team, and a lot of new faces at Halley (mine being one of them). Jon Seddon, 2002 AIS engineer, has handed …


Halley Diary — December 2003

31 December, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

Planes, cranes & snowmobiles by Mark Maltby, SHARE Engineer December has mainly been a month of Planes, Ships, Snowcats, Cranes, Dozers and doos. Plane loads of cargo and people continued early …


Halley Diary — November 2003

30 November, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

Summer has arrived! by Gavin Francis, Base Doctor Summer has arrived! There has been a lot going on in November. The post-winter field trips all returned, the sea-ice is breaking …


Halley Diary — October 2003

31 October, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

Halley House of Horror Halloween Special Written by Craig Nicholson Chief pot and bottle washer The following diary took place between the 1st October 2003 and 31st October 2003. All events, …


Halley Diary — September 2003

30 September, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

Spring by Robert Shortman, Base Plumber Hello to all! This month has been the start of the post winter trips so everybody is getting ready to get away from base …


Halley Diary — August 2003

31 August, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

By Stuart Colley, Meteorologist Without a doubt, the most important event this month has been the return of the Sun after 103 days. Over the last couple of weeks we’ve …


Halley Diary — July 2003

31 July, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

By Annette Faux, Meteorologist This month for all of us wintering in the Antarctic has been overshadowed by the tragedy at Rothera. Our thoughts have been very much with the …


Halley Diary — June 2003

30 June, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

By Elaine Cowie, Meteorologist June has been a very busy month as this month we celebrated a very important date 21st June, Mid-Winters Day. So we can officially say that …


Halley Diary — May 2003

31 May, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

By Allan Thomas Hello from the land of darkness and cold! Can you hear me? May has definitely been a month of ups and downs for us all here at …


Halley Diary — April 2003

30 April, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

By Paul Torode April has been a very quiet month at Halley, characterised by a steady decrease in daylight hours as the winter approaches. For many of us wintering for …


Halley Diary — March 2003

31 March, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

By Russ Locke (AIS Engineer) Finding things to put into this months diary has been an easy job because we’ve been so busy here since the RRS Ernest Shackleton left …


Halley Diary — February 2003

28 February, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

February has been a whirlwind month with the arrival and departure of the ship RRS Ernest Shackleton on it’s second and final call to the station, the realigning of the …


Halley Diary — January 2003

31 January, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

Gavin Francis (Base Doctor) New Year, new Halley wintering team, and a lot of new faces at Halley (mine being one of them). Jon Seddon, 2002 AIS engineer, has handed …


NEWS STORY: Free event on Halley VI

27 May, 2015

FREE Public Event – Work in a cold climate: designing for the most extreme place on Earth London Festival of Architecture 2015 Thursday 18 June 2015, 18:30 – 20:00 The …


NEWS STORY: Ozone hole 30th anniversary

11 May, 2015

30th Anniversary of the Discovery of Ozone Hole This week British Antarctic Survey (BAS) commemorates the 30th anniversary of one of its most important scientific discoveries that affected the world …





NEWS STORY: 2nd award for BAS manager

5 February, 2015

Long serving BAS manager awarded second honour Mike Pinnock, one of the British Antarctic Survey’s longest serving managers, has been awarded a Second Clasp by HM The Queen. The Second …


NEWS STORY: Christmas in Antarctica

19 December, 2014

British Antarctic Survey staff prepare to celebrate Christmas far away from home As you make the last preparations for the festive period, spare a thought for those who will be …


NEWS STORY: World Ozone Day

16 September, 2014

Today, 16 September, is the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer. The date commemorates the signing of the Montreal Protocol, which sought to reduce atmospheric levels of …


NEWS STORY: Signs of ozone recovery

11 September, 2014

First signs of ozone layer recovery The ozone layer is showing the first signs of future recovery thanks to international action against ozone depleting substances, say the United Nations Environment …


NEWS STORY: Power-down update

12 August, 2014

UPDATE Power-down at British Antarctic Survey Halley Research Station The 13 members of staff at Halley Research Station continue to remain safe and well following the power-down incident on 30 …


NEWS STORY: Power-down at Research Station

6 August, 2014

Power-down at British Antarctic Survey Halley Research Station – Statement British Antarctic Survey (BAS) is dealing with a serious operational incident at its Halley Research Station. On Wednesday 30 July …


NEWS STORY: Midwinter’s Day in Antarctica

20 June, 2014

Midwinter’s Day celebrations take place at Antarctic Research Stations Staff at the British Antarctic Survey are celebrating Midwinter’s Day in Antarctica. In a tradition which began in the days of …


NEWS STORY: Design award for Halley VI

16 May, 2014

Halley VI honoured for outstanding design and construction It’s been quite a week for Halley VI, picking up numerous Architizer A+ awards in New York and winning two more at …


NEWS STORY: Accolade for Halley VI engineers

10 April, 2014

Halley engineers AECOM Shortlisted for ICE London Civil Engineering Award AECOM’s British Antarctic Survey Halley VI Antarctic Research Station project has been shortlisted for the ICE London Civil Engineering Awards’ …


NEWS STORY: Another award for Halley VI

3 April, 2014

Halley VI: recognition for a unique and innovative research station After receiving two Civic Trust awards last month, British Antarctic Survey’s Halley VI Research Station has scooped yet another award …


NEWS STORY: Halley VI wins two awards

12 March, 2014

British Antarctic Survey’s Halley Research Station scoops two 2014 Civic Trust Awards British Antarctic Survey’s Halley Research Station received a 2014 Civic Trust Award and a Civic Trust Special Award …


NEWS STORY: Greetings from Antarctica

24 December, 2013

Christmas messages from Antarctic staff Many British Antarctic Survey scientists and support staff will be spending this Christmas thousands of miles from home on the frozen continent. BAS has five …


NEWS STORY: Staff head into deep Antarctica

20 December, 2013

British Antarctic Survey field season is underway On the eve of the centenary year of Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance Expedition the ship which bears his name is playing a crucial role …


NEWS STORY: Mapping Antarctica’s last frontier

13 December, 2013

Mapping of remote Antarctic frontier will help model its reaction to climate change and unlock secrets of Earth’s ancient supercontinents. For the first time scientists have begun mapping one of …


NEWS STORY: Book prize for Halley doctor

4 November, 2013

Former BAS doctor wins prestigious book prize A GP who wrote a book about his time working as the British Antarctic Survey’s doctor at the Halley V research station has …


NEWS STORY: Ice Lab exhibition in Manchester

17 October, 2013

Ice Lab: New Architecture and Science in Antarctica 21 October 2013 – 6 January 2014, 11am – 5pm Free entry Museum of Science & Industry, Liverpool Road, Castlefield, Manchester M3 …


NEWS STORY: Construction award for Halley VI

10 October, 2013

British Antarctic Survey’s Halley Research Station wins British Construction Industry Award 2013 British Antarctic Survey’s Halley Research Station won a prestigious British Construction Industry (BCI) International Award at a ceremony …


NEWS STORY: Closing event for Ice Lab in Glasgow

24 September, 2013

Exciting closing event for Ice Lab exhibition, Gallery Two, The Lighthouse, Glasgow Commissioned by the British Council and curated by the Arts Catalyst, Ice Lab: New Architecture and Science in …


NEWS STORY: Halley Research Station at Ice Lab

3 September, 2013

New Architecture and Science in Antarctica 26 Jul – 02 Oct Gallery Two, The Lighthouse, Glasgow Commissioned by the British Council and curated by the Arts Catalyst, Ice Lab: New …


NEWS STORY: Midwinter’s Day celebrations

21 June, 2013

  Celebrating Midwinter’s Day in Antarctica Staff at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) celebrate Midwinter’s Day today (21 June , 2013). Celebrated as the Summer Solstice in the northern hemisphere, …


NEWS STORY: Improving space weather forecasting

9 June, 2013

Space weather forecasting system used by satellite operators Weather forecasting is a tricky enough job on Earth, but doing it for the outer atmosphere and beyond is even more problematic. …


NEWS STORY: Halley VI featured in exhibition

22 May, 2013

Halley VI Research Station to feature in Architectural Exhibition A new international touring exhibition illustrating how innovative contemporary architecture is enabling scientists to live and work in one of the …


NEWS STORY: Halley VI awarded new status

7 May, 2013

Halley VI receives environmental science status upgrade The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has announced British Antarctic Survey’s Halley VI research station has attained Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) Global station status. …


PRESS RELEASE: New research station operational

5 February, 2013

New state-of-the-art Antarctic research station becomes fully operational this month Britain’s latest Antarctic Research Station becomes fully operational this month, signalling a new dawn for 21st Century polar research. Opening …


NEWS STORY: Ice games for Diamond Jubilee

4 June, 2012

Jubilee Celebrations in Antarctica Scientists and support staff at the British Antarctic Survey Halley Research Station enjoyed a ‘mad hatters’ teaparty and some outdoor pursuits in Antarctica to celebrate the …


PRESS RELEASE: New jobs in Antarctica

12 February, 2009

Antarctic jobs offer opportunity of a lifetime Trades people looking for a career with a difference should check the national press this week. British Antarctic Survey (BAS) launches a recruitment …