Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Growing ice cracks shut Halley VI station

Halley VI  British Antarctic Survey

The Halley VI Antarctic Research Station, recently voted People’s Champion Project at the British Construction Industry Awards (BCIA), is shutting over winter after cracks deepened on its ice shelf.

A new crack, known as the Halloween crack, which appeared last October, has continued to rip eastwards. As the research station sits on the floating 150m-thick ice shelf the BAS has decided to shut the station over the 2018 Antarctic winter.

Glaciologists working for the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) previously discovered that a chasm in the Brunt Ice Shelf which had been dormant for 35 years has got worse. In March the Halley VI station was relocated 23km upstream of the previously dormant ice crack.

Due to the 24-hour darkness and frozen seas, access to the station by ship or plane in an emergency would be extremely difficult.

“What we are witnessing is the power and unpredictability of nature,” said BAS director Jane Francis.

“The safety of our staff is our priority in these circumstances. Our Antarctic summer research operation will continue as planned, and we are confident of mounting a fast uplift of personnel should fracturing of the ice shelf occur.”

It is the second time Halley VI has been shut down over winter after the Halloween crack closed the station from March to November this year.

Earlier this month Halley VI beat competition including High Speed 1 and the Shard to be crowned the top project of the last 30 years at the BCIA awards.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.