Adélie Land

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Adélie Land
Terre Adélie
Flag of Adélie Land
Motto: "Liberté, égalité, fraternité"
Location of Adélie Land
Official languagesFrench
• President
Emmanuel Macron
• Administrator
Cécile Pozzo di Borgo[1]
• Head of District
François Grosvalet[2]
French overseas territory
• Coastline discovered
• Claimed by France
• Total
432,000 km2 (167,000 sq mi)
• Estimate
c. 33 (winter)
< 80 (summer)
CurrencyEuro (EUR)
Time zoneUTC+10
Calling code+262 262 00 2

Adélie Land (French: Terre Adélie) is a claimed territory on the continent of Antarctica. It stretches from a coastline area along the Great Southern Ocean inland all the way to the South Pole. This territory is claimed by France as one of five districts of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands, although most countries have not given this their diplomatic recognition.[citation needed]


Adélie Land lies between 136° E (near Pourquoi Pas Point at 66°12′S 136°11′E / 66.200°S 136.183°E / -66.200; 136.183) and 142° E (near Point Alden at 66°48′S 142°02′E / 66.800°S 142.033°E / -66.800; 142.033), with a shore length of about 350 kilometres (220 mi) and with its inland part extending as a sector of a circle about 2,600 kilometres (1,600 mi) toward the South Pole. Adélie Land has borders with the Australian Antarctic Territory both on the east and on the west, namely on Clarie Land (part of Wilkes Land) in the west, and George V Land in the east. Its total land area, mostly covered with glaciers, is estimated to be 432,000 square kilometres (167,000 sq mi).


The coast of Adélie Land was discovered in 1840 by the French explorer Jules Dumont d'Urville (1790–1842) who named it after his wife, Adèle.[3] This is the basis of the French claim on this Antarctic land.

Research stations[edit]

Dumont d'Urville Station[edit]

Since January 12, 1956, a manned French research base has been located year-round at 66°40′S 140°01′E / 66.667°S 140.017°E / -66.667; 140.017, the Dumont d'Urville Station, with a winter population around 33, but which goes up to about 78 during the Antarctic summer.

Port Martin[edit]

The first French station, Port Martin, was built April 9, 1950, at 66°49′04″S 141°23′39″E / 66.81778°S 141.39417°E / -66.81778; 141.39417, but it was destroyed by a fire during the night of January 22–23, 1952. Port Martin housed a winter population of 11 in 1950–51 and 17 in 1951–52.[4]

Charcot Station[edit]

Charcot Station (69°22′30″S 139°01′00″E / 69.375°S 139.016667°E / -69.375; 139.016667) was a French inland base located on the Antarctic ice sheet at 320 kilometres (200 mi) from the coast and from Dumont d'Urville Station, at an elevation of about 2,400 metres (7,900 ft). The station, built for the International Geophysical Year of 1957–58, pay homage to Jean-Baptiste Charcot), and was occupied from January 1957 through 1960 housing alone three men.

The base was composed by a main body of 24 square metre (the "barrack") which consisted of half-cylindrical sections of sheet metal assembled end to end. This form was planned to give the best withstand to the snow pressure accumulated on it. Horizontal galleries were connected to house scientific measurement devices, while a vertical air conduct opened a few meters above the level of the snow assured the aeration.[5]

Cap Prud'Homme Camp[edit]

Cap Prud'Homme (66°41′28″S 139°53′44″E / 66.691104°S 139.895677°E / -66.691104; 139.895677) is an Italian-French camp, opened in 1994, located on the coast of the Antarctic ice sheet, in Adélie Land, about 5 km from Petrel Island, where the French Dumont d'Urville Station is. From Cap Prud'Homme depart all the supplies and equipment directed to the Italian-French Concordia Station transported by combined convoy of Caterpillar tractors (up to 7), Kassbohrer trailblazers and a team of up to 9 people; every convoy transports an average of 150 tons of payload.[6]

In popular culture[edit]

The Dumont d'Urville research station was the filming location of the documentary March of the Penguins (2005).[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Official nomination
  2. ^ List of chefs de district
  3. ^ Dunmore, John (2007). From Venus to Antarctica: The Life of Dumont D'Urville. Auckland: Exisle Publ. p. 209. ISBN 9780908988716.
  4. ^ "Fire destroys station in Antarctica, French expedition's loss". The Times. January 26, 1952.
  5. ^ "Base Charcot". French Wikipedia. Wikimedia. Retrieved October 7, 2018.
  6. ^ "Cap Prud'Homme". Italiantartide. Retrieved October 7, 2018.
  7. ^ "The Emperor's Close-Up". National Geographic's Adventure. National Geographic Society. 2007. Archived from the original on 5 June 2013. Retrieved 29 May 2013.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 75°00′S 139°00′E / 75.000°S 139.000°E / -75.000; 139.000