Antarctic Record (Mar 2011)

Activity report of the 40th Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition wintering party in 1999-2000

  • Hiroshi Miyaoka

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 55, no. 1
pp. 1 – 43


Read online

The 40th Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition (JARE-40) wintering party, with 40 members, has successfully conducted the third-year project of the Vth five-year JARE program, over the period from 1st February 1999 to 31st January 2000, at Syowa Station, Antarctica.The framework of the JARE-40 wintering party program was the same as those of JARE-38 and JARE-39, comprising three routine observation programs and project/monitoring research observation programs in upper atmospheric physics, atmospheric sciences and glaciology, geophysics, and biology. In addition to many continuing projects, several new observations were started: 50MHz/112MHz aurora radars and a VLF wave receiver as part of the ionosphere program, aerosol sonde observations of Polar Stratospheric Clouds (PSCs) as part of the meteorological program, HF/MF radars as part of the upper atmospheric physics program, frequent VLBI experiments as part of the geophysics program, and biological field surveys (including two dives), including monitoring of the undersea behavior of Weddell seals using bio-logging devices.In terms of inland field surveys, two parties were organized: fuel transportation and glaciological/meteorological observations along the route to Mizuho Station in August-September and to Dome Fuji/Yamato air-basecamp in November-January. These surveys involved snow sampling, precise GPS positioning, and sub-glacial surveys using three types of ice radar.Logistical activities, conducted in cooperation with the JARE-40 summer party, included the construction of a second summer lodge, the startup of a second 300 kVA generator and co-generator system, the development of a sewage plant, solar power panels, an access road to the A-heliport, and the cleanup of disused buildings. During the wintering period, efforts were directed towards the maintenance of all facilities at Syowa Station, safety management, and practical support for field operations.The Antarctic Environmental Protection Law came into force in January 1998. Since this time, the outdoor burning of all packaging materials has been restricted at Syowa Station; consequently, we sent a large amount of waste (136t, including 98t of large-size material) back to Japan onboard the RV Shirase.