Vernadsky Research Base

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Vernadsky Research Base

Антарктична станція Академік Вернадський
Antarctic base
Vernadsky Station research base in January 2014
Vernadsky Station research base in January 2014
Official Vernadsky Station emblem
Location within Antarctica
Location within Antarctica
Vernadsky Research Base
Location within Antarctica
Coordinates: 65°14′45″S 64°15′28″W / 65.245791°S 64.257786°W / -65.245791; -64.257786Coordinates: 65°14′45″S 64°15′28″W / 65.245791°S 64.257786°W / -65.245791; -64.257786
Country Ukraine
Islands of AntarcticaWilhelm Archipelago
Argentine Islands
RegionGraham Land
Antarctic Peninsula
LocationGalindez Island
Established1947 (by the United Kingdom)
TransferredFebruary 1996 (1996-02) (to Ukraine)
Named forVladimir Vernadsky
 • TypeDirectorate
 • BodyNational Antarctic Scientific Center of Ukraine
Population 12
Time zoneUTC-3 (ART)
TypeAll year-round

The Vernadsky Research Base (Ukrainian: Академік Вернадський) is a Ukrainian Antarctic Station at Marina Point on Galindez Island in the Argentine Islands, Antarctica. It is named after Soviet and Ukrainian mineralogist Vladimir Vernadsky (1863–1945).


Map of Gerlache Strait region, Cartographic base: Antarctic Digital Database

Station F[edit]

The station was established by the British Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey as Station F,[2] or "Argentine Islands", on Winter Island in 1947.

The main hut, built on the site of an earlier British Graham Land Expedition hut, was named "Wordie House" after Sir James Wordie, a member of Shackleton's Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition who visited during its construction.[3]

Wordie House has been restored and is designated as Historic Site and Monument No. 62.[4] The base moved to the present site on adjacent Galindez Island in May 1954 where the main building was named "Coronation House".

The base was renamed Faraday Station in August 1977 in honour of British scientist Michael Faraday.[2]


Ukraine took over the operation of the base in February 1996,[2] which was sold by the UK for a symbolic one pound. The cost of disassembling the base with good environmental practices and standards would be too costly. The National Antarctic Scientific Center of Ukraine continues a programme of meteorology, upper atmospheric physics, geomagnetism, ozone, seismology, glaciology, ecology, biology and physiology research.[5]

The building[edit]

The station consists of nine buildings standing on rock foundations. A 1961 extension at the east end of the hut provided living quarters for 15 people. Major alterations in 1980 updated the living and working accommodation. A two-storey extension provides sleeping accommodation for 24 people, a clothing store, boiler room and reverse osmosis plant on the ground floor. Upstairs are a lounge, library, dining room, gift store and kitchen. The lounge is considered the southernmost public bar in the world, where visitors could purchase $3 shots of horilka (made on the premises) up until 2016. The old part of the building is now mostly laboratories and work rooms, together with the surgery and washrooms. The generator shed was erected in 1978-79, with the old one now used as a frozen food store and a carpenter's workshop. Other buildings include two non-magnetic buildings, a balloon launching shed (now skidoo garage), and a general store.[3]


During 2013-14, Vernadsky Station is staffed by 12 Ukrainians who make up the XVIII Ukrainian Antarctic Expedition.[1]


The climate of the base is classified as marine subantarctic.[6] The climate is strongly influenced by the surrounding Pacific Ocean, moderating winter and summer temperatures.[6] Thus, winter temperatures rarely fall below −20 °C (−4 °F) owing to the warmer waters while in summer, the cool waters and snow cover causes temperatures to rarely reach above 0 °C (32 °F).[6] The mean annual temperature is −4 °C (25 °F) although within the last decade, temperatures have risen with much of it in winter and autumn.[6]

Being located in the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, the climate is dominated by the low pressure systems that develop over the Pacific Ocean and move eastwards towards the peninsula mountain range.[6] This process leads to frequent precipitation and strong winds in the base.[6] Unpredictable and short snowfalls and snowstorms occur often.[6] On average, the base receives 300 days with snow per year.[6] Anticyclone weather patterns caused by high pressure systems in the interior of Antarctica or from the north are rare.[6] In the cases that they occur, when the weather is influenced by the high pressure system from the interior of the continent, cold air masses from the south moves northwards.[6] This can occasionally lead to foggy conditions and hoarfrost.[6]


Climate data for Vernadsky Research Base
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 10.0
Average high °C (°F) 2.6
Daily mean °C (°F) 1.4
Average low °C (°F) 0.3
Record low °C (°F) −10.6
Average relative humidity (%) 87 84 81 84 81 79 80 81 84 83 84 86 83
Source: Deutscher Wetterdienst[7]

Climate research[edit]

As one of the longest operating bases in Antarctica, Vernadsky Station has been the subject of scientific research studies on long-term temperature trends that indicate global warming. A study published in the April 2013 issue of the International Journal of Climatology examined the daily observed temperature at the Faraday/Vernadsky station from 1947 to 2011. It concluded that “Faraday/Vernadsky is experiencing a significant warming trend of about 0.6°C/decade (1.1°F) over the last few decades. Concurrently, the magnitude of extremely cold temperatures has reduced.”[8]


Vernadsky Station operates several services for visiting tourists. A post office accepts postcards at a cost of US$2 each. This is one of only a few post offices where visitors may send mail from Antarctica. Stamps for letters cost $6. Mail will take several months to be delivered.[8] In addition to selling postage and accepting outgoing mail, the post office sells commemorative postcards and envelopes for $2 to $3 each.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b XVIII Ukrainian Antarctic Expedition
  2. ^ a b c "Faraday station". British Antarctic Survey. Retrieved 2007-11-24.
  3. ^ a b "History". Ukrainian Antarctic Station "Akademik Vernadsky". Archived from the original on November 21, 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-24.
  4. ^ "Wordie House". British Antarctic Survey. Retrieved 2007-11-24.
  5. ^ "Research projects in Sixth Ukrainian Antarctic expedition 2001-2002". Retrieved 2007-11-24.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Meteorological conditions in Vernadsky Station area". National Antarctic Scientific Center of Ukraine. Archived from the original on 5 April 2017. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  7. ^ "Klimatafel von Faraday / Argentine Island (Großbritannien) / Antarktis" (PDF). Baseline climate means (1961-1990) from stations all over the world (in German). Deutscher Wetterdienst. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  8. ^ a b Vernadsky Station -- TravelPod

External links[edit]