Brown Station

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Brown Station
Estación Científica Almirante Brown
Base Brown
Estación Brown
Antarctic base
Brown Scientific Station
Brown in the austral summer of 2014
Brown in the austral summer of 2014
Location within Antarctica
Location within Antarctica
Brown Station
Location within Antarctica
Coordinates: 64°53′43″S 62°52′15″W / 64.89528°S 62.87083°W / -64.89528; -62.87083Coordinates: 64°53′43″S 62°52′15″W / 64.89528°S 62.87083°W / -64.89528; -62.87083
Country  Argentina
Province Tierra del Fuego, Antarctica, and South Atlantic Islands Province
Department Antártida Argentina
Region Graham Land, Antarctic Peninsula
Location Sanavirón Peninsula, Paradise Harbor, Danco Coast
Founded April 6, 1951 (1951-04-06) (1950–51 austral summer season)
Named for William Brown
 • Type Directorate
 • Body Dirección Nacional del Antártico
 • Operator Instituto Antártico Argentino
Area 1.4 ha (3.5 acres)
Elevation 10 m (30 ft)
Population [1]
  • Summer: 18
  • Winter: none
Time zone ART (UTC-3)
Type Summer-only
Status Active and operational
  • Main house
  • Radio station
  • Power plant
  • Warehouse and deposits
Map of Gerlache Strait region, Cartographic base: Antarctic Digital Database

Brown Station (Spanish: Estación Científica Almirante Brown, or more often Base Brown or Estación Brown) is an Argentine Antarctic base and scientific research station named after Admiral William Brown, the father of the Argentine Navy. It is located on Sanavirón Peninsula along Paradise Harbor, Danco Coast, in Graham Land, Antarctic Peninsula.

As of 2014 Brown is one of 13 research bases in Antarctica operated by Argentina.[2] From 1951 to 1984 it served as a permanent base; since then it is open during the summer season only.[3]


Brown Station dates to 6 April 1951, when Argentina established the Almirante Brown Naval Detachment at Paradise Harbor.[3]

In January 1956, the Argentine Navy inaugurated the Refugio Naval Conscripto Ortiz ("Conscripto Ortiz Naval Refuge"). The detachment worked as a meteorological observatory and as a base for Antarctic campaigns until it was temporarily closed in 1960.[3]

The Argentine Antarctic Institute took over the station in 1964–65, creating one of the most complete biology laboratories on the Antarctic Peninsula.[3] It included a main house of 292 m2 (3,140 sq ft); two folding 30,000 l (6,600 imp gal; 7,900 US gal) fuel tanks; and an additional building exclusive for scientific research, equipped with three labs, photography workshop, emergency radio station, office and library.[3] It was called Almirante Brown Research Station and inaugurated on 17 February 1965.[3]

Brown Station's original facilities were burned down by the station's doctor on 12 April 1984. Station personnel was rescued by the ship USS Hero and taken to United States’s Palmer Station.

Argentina rebuilt the base but it was demoted to summer-only status. During the summer campaign of 1995–96 the Logistics Department of the Argentine National Antarctic Directorate built two new habitable modules: a laboratory and a house with amenities. In the 1999–2000 campaign the Directorate built a new main house capable of comfortably accommodating 8 people; the new building consists of 4 bedrooms, kitchen and 2 bathrooms.[3]

Brown slipped into several years of inactivity during the 2000s decade but since 2007 is occupied during the summer again.[3]


Paradise Harbor is a large sea inlet southwest of Andvord Bay protected by an arc formed by the Lemaire, Cramer and Bryde islands. Along the harbor's deep water coast lies the small Sanavirón Peninsula, a rocky promontory crowned by a mound of almost 70 m (230 ft) high called Punta Proa, where the base facilities are located.[3]

In the area there are several beacons to help ship guidance: Punta Proa, in the homonymous place; Punta Vidt in General Ricchieri Cove; Punta Conesa, on the entrance to Puerto Leith; Hanka islet on the homonymous place in Paradise Harbor; Punta Piedras in Oscar Cove; and the lighthouse on Cramer Island.[3]

Brown is located 1,100 km (680 mi) from Ushuaia, the nearest port city.

As of 2014 the base spans a total area of 1.4 ha (14,000 m2; 150,000 sq ft). It can house a maximum of 18 people.[1]

Scientific activities[edit]

Research programs were developed for biology (zoology and botany), bacteriology, limnology, biochemistry, animal and human physiology, pathology, ecology, oceanography, meteorology, cosmic rays and ionospheric observations, environmental nuclear radiation, continental and sea ice glaciology, satellite geodesy, geology, geophysics, seismology, ozone monitoring and tide measurement.[3] Throughout the years of research and observations at Brown, more than 100 scientific papers were published by the Argentine Antarctic Institute.[3]


Thanks to its location on the Antarctica continent along the beautiful Paradise Harbor and to its relatively mild weather, Brown Station is a popular excursion destination for tourist expedition ships visiting Antarctica. In addition to visiting gentoo penguins, tourists may climb to a viewpoint 84 m (276 ft) above the station. Rather than walking down the steep slope, many visitors use the human bobsled course. All those visitors sledding downhill have created a ditch a few feet deep that makes for excellent sledding.

Tourists visiting Brown in austral summer, 2014


Weather in the area is relatively mild, the nearby mountains shelter the bay from strong winds. The average annual temperature is 2 °C (36 °F) and the minimum historical record is −29 °C (−20 °F) on 9 August 1958.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Intercambio de información – Información Permanente". Dirección Nacional del Antártico. Archived from the original on 17 May 2013. 
  2. ^ "Argentine Antarctic Stations". Dirección Nacional del Antártico. Archived from the original on 20 June 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Base Brown" (in Spanish). Fundaciòn Marambio. Archived from the original on 2 March 2014. 
  • "Antarctica", Reader's Digest, NSW, Australia: Surry Hills, p. 13, 1985 
  • Child, Jack (1988). Antarctica and South American Geopolitics: Frozen Lebensraum (1 ed.). New York: Praeger. ISBN 978-0275928865. 

External links[edit]