Port Martin

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Port Martin, or Port-Martin, is an abandoned French research base at Cape Margerie on the coast of Adélie Land, Antarctica, as well as the name of the adjacent anchorage.

History[edit]

The site was discovered in 1950 by the French Antarctic Expedition under André-Franck Liotard and a landing made on 18 January 1950. The base was established by Liotard and a team of 11 men who raised the main building with several annexes to house scientific activities. It was named for expeditioner J.-A. Martin, originally second-in-command of the expedition, who had died en route to the Antarctic.[1]

On 6 January 1951 the base team was relieved by 17-member team under the leadership of Michel Barré. Over the following year they enlarged the main building while continuing the research program. They, in turn, were relieved on 4 January 1952 while a smaller team of four, led by Mario Marret, built a secondary base on Petrel Island, some 60 km to the west in the Géologie Archipelago.[1]

On the night of 23-24 January 1952 the Port Martin base was largely destroyed by a fire which burnt down its main building. No lives were lost nor injuries incurred but the base personnel were evacuated to Petrel Island, where they overwintered, and Port Martin abandoned.[1]

Historic site[edit]

Since 1952 the site has remained largely undisturbed. What remains in Port-Martin are the base's ancillary buildings, including a weather shelter and its coal and supply sheds, beneath a covering of snow. It represents an optimal site to design archeological methods and techniques in extreme climatic conditions. It is consisdered a valuable archaeological as well as a historic site and is protected under the Antarctic Treaty System as Antarctic Specially Protected Area (ASPA) No.166.[1] It has also been designated a Historic Site or Monument (HSM 46), following a proposal by France to the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Port Martin, Terre Adelie". Management Plan for Antarctic Specially Protected Area No. 166: Measure 1, Annex G. Antarctic Treaty Secretariat. 2006. Retrieved 2013-01-30. 
  2. ^ "List of Historic Sites and Monuments approved by the ATCM (2012)". Antarctic Treaty Secretariat. 2012. Retrieved 2014-01-02. 

 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Geological Survey document "Port Martin" (content from the Geographic Names Information System).


Coordinates: 66°49′S 141°24′E / 66.817°S 141.400°E / -66.817; 141.400