The British Antarctic Survey has announced it is relocating Halley VI, a research facility that sits atop the floating Brunt Ice Shelf in Antarctica. The ice shelf happens to be moving toward the Weddell Sea at 0.4 kilometers (approximately a quarter of a mile) per year.
There is a higher possibility of huge chunks of ice breaking off as icebergs. The relocation of Halley VI is to prevent the award-winning facility from drifting off with an iceberg.
Halley VI is equipped with seven GPS sensors that continuously monitor its position on the shelf, as well as the movement of the water below the floating ice. Each sensor allows the facility to accurately determine its position and predict any possible calvings of ice.
Because of data gathered by the team, the Halley research station is being moved 23 kilometers away from where it currently sits and further inland.
Preparation for the move began in the last Antarctic Summer between 2015 and 2016, and teams are currently ready to tow the facility to its new home.
"We are especially keen to minimize the disruption to the science programmes. We have planned the move in stages — the science infrastructure that captures environmental data will remain in place while the stations modules move," says Tim Stockings, BAS director of operations.
What Is The Halley VI?
Halley VI is a state-of-the-art, internationally renowned research facility. It is made up of eight modules that can be individually adjusted based on snow levels and easily relocated. It is the world's first relocatable research facility and provides significant contributions to the scientific community.
Despite the challenges posed by living in the Antarctic, scientists at Halley provide excellent work, collaborating with other organizations such as SPACESTORM, and is part of the Global Atmospheric Watch.
With modern facilities and laboratories, Halley is able to contribute accurate weather forecasts and monitor changes in the atmosphere. It enables experts to study global issues such as climate change and sea level rise more deeply.
Accurate scientific and meteorological measures have been made at Halley since it was established in 1956, and it was this facility that discovered the Antarctic Ozone Hole in 1985. The facility's exceptional capability and design have earned it awards such as the 2014 Civic Trust Award and the Architizer A+ Award for the same year.