Ice Crack Shuts Down UK Antarctic Base

Posted: Jan 17 2017, 11:09am CST | by , Updated: Jan 17 2017, 11:12pm CST, in News | Latest Science News

Ice Crack Shuts Down UK Antarctic Base
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  • Ice Crack Closes UK Antarctic Base

UK Antarctic base closed due to ice crack

A large crack has developed in the Brunt Ice Shelf that contains Halley research station. The crack did not affect any staff members and the base also remained safe. But, still it had to be closed for testing.

The plan will restart in November after winter. As reported by officials, Halley station has high tech pods installed on hydraulic legs and skis to move them, and taking them away from shelf edge where icebergs exist in the ocean.

BAS will relocate completely as most part is shifted instead of last pod that will soon be shifted 23 km to a new destination, according to BBC.

The reason behind this move was a chasm that appeared in the shelf that could break Halley, however it did not. The damage happened to station’s west part but it did not cause the closure.

But, there was another crack in the north and east of the base, named Halloween crack as it was detected on October 3i. Though, the organizations not worried about the crack, but planed a shift to prevent from any future damage.

The organization decided to close its plan looking at the situation, especially in winter when it’s very dark. So there won’t be any aircraft, till summer, said BAS director of operations Captain Tim Stockings told BBC News.

Halley is well known for carrying scientific activity in UK along with Rothera base on the Antarctic Peninsula.

Halley collects data about weather and climate. It also had prominent part in detecting ozone in 1985. Study on solar activity is also done in Halley. Aurora lights happen on base and they are very famous. These are particles created by sun in the atmosphere.

Halley has permanent staff members, including 20 members, who carry experiments in winter. BAS is not yet sure if it should move the staff and stop the experiments.

BAS scientists have installed sensors on both sides of the 40 km long crack to study its behavior. BAS will also capture images with satellite,and will reopen the station in summer to verify the situations, said Captain Stockings.

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