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Research station that walks on water

© Sam Burrell_Halley VI_winter view

Now this is clever. Aside from cracking and melting, floating ice shelves in Antarctica move in more predictable ways. Think of mountains of warm, flowing cheese. The ice-snow mixtures that make up ice shelves are flowing to the coast and out to sea. That means research stations will be lost, unless they can move:

Wired UK — There has been a research station at the Brunt Ice Shelf in the Antarctic since 1957, when the Royal Society led an expedition there. Halley VI, opened last February, is the first one to have the capacity to stand up and wander over to another spot on the ice to escape burial-by-snow, however.Okay, so it doesn’t exactly walk — its eight modules are fitted with four four-metre-high hydraulic legs each, with skis on their ends. It means that, for the first time in the history of Antarctic exploration, when conditions get too extreme the British Antarctic Survey will be able to relocate its research station simply by instructing it to “climb” out of snow drifts, then tow it.

Comments

  1. StevoR, fallible human being says

    Why is it that I’m suddenly thinking of those Imperial Walkers from ‘Star Wars : the Empire Strikes Back’ and those scenes from Hoth?

    Cool in more ways than just temperature ~wise. Cheers.

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