Antarctic Record (Dec 2016)

Activities of the summer operation of the 53rd Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition (JARE-53) in 2011-2012

  • Hisao Yamagishi

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 60
pp. 133 – 194


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In the second year of the 6-year Japanese Antarctic Research Project Phase Ⅷ, JARE-53 planned several large operations such as the reinforcement of the atmospheric radar; PANSY; and the constructions of a 20-kW wind generator, sewage disposal facilities, and the roof of the Natural Energy Control Building. Sea ice condition in Lutzow Holm Bay were very severe this season, i.e., there was hummock ice in the pack ice area and very thick fast ice with heavy snow above. Icebreaker Shirase struggled with this severe sea ice and finally gave up to proceed at a distance of about 20km from Syowa Station. We managed to transport the necessities for overwintering observation using a CH-101 helicopter onboard Shirase, snow motors, and sledge caravans on the sea ice. However, we were only able to transport only a minimal amount of supplies, and therefore had to give up major construction work. On the other hand, field observation teams conducted 80%-90% of their research plan, owing to the high performance of the chartered small helicopter. On the return voyage, the Shirase struggled with the sea ice again, and some of the research operations were canceled because of limited ship time. On the other hand, the geomorphological and geodetic survey team at Sor-Rondane Mountains and oceanographic observation team onboard the training and research ship Umitaka-maru were able toconduct their research works as planned.