Casey Station

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Research stations and territorial claims in Antarctica (2002)
Casey Station from the air

Casey Station is a permanent base in Antarctica managed by the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD). It lies on the northern side of the Bailey Peninsula overlooking Vincennes Bay on the Budd Coast of Wilkes Land in the Australian Antarctic Territory.

History[edit]

Casey is close to the now-abandoned Wilkes Station established by the United States of America to support science and exploration of Antarctica during the International Geophysical Year (IGY) in 1957/8. The base was named after Richard Casey, Baron Casey.[1]

Australia took over Wilkes after the IGY, but the American buildings were already unusable due to the build-up of ice around them. Australia built the first Casey Base (originally as 'Repstat'[2]) on the opposite south side of the Newcomb Bay in the late 1960s. This set of buildings was a unique attempt to prevent the problem of ice build-up by elevating the buildings on stilts, to encourage the wind to blow beneath as well as above, and connecting the entire line of buildings with a corrugated iron tunnel.[3] This would, it was hoped, clear the build up of snow each year, while allowing personnel to move between buildings without having to brave the elements.[2] It worked for some time until corrosion occurred.[3]

The current Casey Station headquarters (the "Red Shed") was built in the late 1980s as part of the Australian Government's Antarctic Re-building Program. It was prefabricated in Hobart, Tasmania by Hobart construction firm, Contas Pty Ltd, trial-erected on the wharf at Hobart, then dismantled, packaged and shipped to Antarctica. It was erected at Casey by tradesmen employed as workers on the normal summer expedition crews. It incorporates innovative design features to prevent the transfer of heat through the structure. The "Shed" is conspicuously located near the top of the hill on which the old radio masts stood. It is probably the largest single structure on Antarctica and was first occupied in 1988.

One of the reasons for having a base at Casey is to study the Law Dome, a miniature version of the entire Antarctic Ice Cap.

Airstrips[edit]

Casey is significant as a transport hub for the Australian Antarctic program, with the introduction of intercontinental jet flights for scientists and operational staff from Hobart to the Wilkins ice runway, 65 km inland from Casey station. The inaugural landing of the AAD's Airbus A319 aircraft was on the evening of 9 December 2007.

The smaller Casey Station Skiway is located 8 km east of the station, and opened on 30 December 2004.

In March 2009, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's (ABC-TV) international affairs program "Foreign Correspondent" featured air operations at Casey Station as part of a report titled: "Antarctica - What Lies Beneath".[4]

Climate[edit]

Casey Station experiences a polar climate:

Climate data for Casey Station
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 9.2
(48.6)
6.6
(43.9)
3.6
(38.5)
3.0
(37.4)
4.5
(40.1)
4.2
(39.6)
2.4
(36.3)
5.0
(41)
3.9
(39)
1.1
(34)
4.9
(40.8)
8.0
(46.4)
9.2
(48.6)
Average high °C (°F) 2.2
(36)
−0.1
(31.8)
−4.1
(24.6)
−7.5
(18.5)
−11.1
(12)
−10.4
(13.3)
−10.2
(13.6)
−10.2
(13.6)
−9.7
(14.5)
−8.0
(17.6)
−2.5
(27.5)
1.4
(34.5)
−5.9
(21.4)
Average low °C (°F) −2.6
(27.3)
−5.0
(23)
−9.8
(14.4)
−14.6
(5.7)
−18.5
(−1.3)
−18.3
(−0.9)
−18.4
(−1.1)
−18
(0)
−17.1
(1.2)
−15.1
(4.8)
−9.0
(15.8)
−3.7
(25.3)
−12.5
(9.5)
Record low °C (°F) −10.3
(13.5)
−18.0
(−0.4)
−22.3
(−8.1)
−31.3
(−24.3)
−34.4
(−29.9)
−34.1
(−29.4)
−33.3
(−27.9)
−37.5
(−35.5)
−31.2
(−24.2)
−31.2
(−24.2)
−23.4
(−10.1)
−13.0
(8.6)
−37.5
(−35.5)
Precipitation mm (inches) 9.3
(0.366)
15.2
(0.598)
18.0
(0.709)
20.6
(0.811)
25.6
(1.008)
27.5
(1.083)
28.5
(1.122)
21.0
(0.827)
17.3
(0.681)
16.5
(0.65)
12.7
(0.5)
12.9
(0.508)
222.5
(8.76)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 6.6 7.5 8.9 9.3 9.7 11.2 10.3 8.5 8.6 8.1 5.9 5.9 100.5
Mean monthly sunshine hours 161.2 135.6 99.2 60.0 21.7 3.0 12.4 43.4 87.0 139.5 213.0 182.9 1,158.9
Source: Bureau of Meteorology [5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Australian Philatelic Bulletin, Vol. 16, p. 28
  2. ^ a b Founding Davis and Casey
  3. ^ a b A brief history
  4. ^ What Lies Beneath?
  5. ^ "Climate Statistics for Casey". Climate statistics for Australian locations. Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 

External links[edit]

See also[edit]

Brown Bay

Coordinates: 66°16′54″S 110°31′28″E / 66.28167°S 110.52444°E / -66.28167; 110.52444