Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Troll station, Antarctica: obviously, Norwegian

Troll Station is a Norwegian research station in the north of Antarctica, 235 kilometers from the coast in the eastern part of  Queen Maud Land.

The sector named Dronning Maud Land was annexed by Norway on the 14 January 1939.

Troll Station is Norway's only all-year research base in Antarctica, and is supplemented by the summer-only station Tor (just a small container shelter and lab).
Troll is operated by the Norwegian Polar Institute (Polaristitutt) and also features facilities for the Meteorological Institute and the Institute for Air Research.

Troll station opened as a summer-only station in 1990 and was taken into use as an all-year station in 2005. Norway sent two major expeditions to the territory in the 1940s and 1950s.

Location: 72° 01′S, 2° 32′ E , some 3800 km from the Souh Pole.
Occupation: 8 to 30, max. ~ 60 research crew.

The main building consists of improved red containers assembled on stilts. Other countries had more imagination in creating special buldings.

Contrary to most other research stations on the continent, Troll is placed on a snow-free slope of solid rock breaking through the ice sheet, the Jutulsessen nunatak, 1275 meters above mean sea level.

The main building has eight bedrooms, a gym, a sauna, a large kitchen, a communications center and office spaces available for overwintering.

Several separate buildings that house laboratory supplies store, aggregate plant and garage, as well as a the auxiliary with room for eight people listed in safe distance from the base in case of fire or other accidents.

With luck, an outdoor bathtub and a sauna heated by excess heat from the power generator are available luxuries.

The station is also equipped with several vehicles like snowmobiles and tracked-tractors.

A researchers' convoy, pulled by belts driven by tracked vehicles.

The station under tempestuous catabatic winds.

The Polar Institute runs the research station and conducts meteorological and atmospheric measurements.

The base has a meteo station, a radiation source for measuring including UV radiation, and a field station for glaciological, biological and physical field program.


Troll Station is presently served by Troll Airfield, a 3000 meter long airstrip that was built on blue ice, 7 kilometers north from the research station.

The airfield runway has capacity for large planes like H C-130, Ilyushin 76 or even (recently) a Boeing 737.

Troll airfield's path must be regularly maintained using icescraper and snow clearing machines, but the dominant wind direction from east helps to keep the path free of snow most of the year.

Being located south of the Antarctic Circle, Troll has midnight sun in the summer and polar night during the winter.

Austral Auroras, or Southern Lights, can be seen here in the antarctic winter, March to September: