Great Wall Station (Antarctica)

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Great Wall Station

Antarctic Great Wall Station.JPG
Great Wall Station
Antarctica relief location map.jpg
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Great Wall Station
Location of Great Wall Station in Antarctica
Coordinates: 62°13′01″S58°57′43″W / 62.216838°S 58.961855°W / -62.216838; -58.961855 Coordinates: 62°13′01″S58°57′43″W / 62.216838°S 58.961855°W / -62.216838; -58.961855
CountryFlag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China
Location in Antarctica Fildes Peninsula
King George Island
Administered by Polar Research Institute of China
Established20 February 1985 (1985-02-20)
10 m (30 ft)
  • Up to 40
TypeAll-year round
Website Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration

The Great Wall Station (simplified Chinese :长城站; traditional Chinese :長城站; pinyin :Chángchéng Zhàn) was the first Chinese research station in Antarctica and opened on 20 February 1985. It lies on the Fildes Peninsula on King George Island, and is about 2.5 kilometres (1.6 mi) from the Chilean Frei Montalva Station, and 960 kilometres (600 mi) from Cape Horn. The station is sited on ice-free rock, about 10 metres (33 ft) above sea level.

Simplified Chinese characters standardized Chinese characters developed in mainland China

Simplified Chinese characters are standardized Chinese characters prescribed in the Table of General Standard Chinese Characters for use in mainland China. Along with traditional Chinese characters, they are one of the two standard character sets of the contemporary Chinese written language. The government of the People's Republic of China in mainland China has promoted them for use in printing since the 1950s and 1960s to encourage literacy. They are officially used in the People's Republic of China and Singapore.

Traditional Chinese characters Traditional Chinese characters

Traditional Chinese characters are Chinese characters in any character set that does not contain newly created characters or character substitutions performed after 1946. They are most commonly the characters in the standardized character sets of Taiwan, of Hong Kong and Macau, and in the Kangxi Dictionary. The modern shapes of traditional Chinese characters first appeared with the emergence of the clerical script during the Han Dynasty, and have been more or less stable since the 5th century.

Hanyu Pinyin, often abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese in mainland China and to some extent in Taiwan. It is often used to teach Standard Mandarin Chinese, which is normally written using Chinese characters. The system includes four diacritics denoting tones. Pinyin without tone marks is used to spell Chinese names and words in languages written with the Latin alphabet, and also in certain computer input methods to enter Chinese characters.



In 1984, China organized its first scientific expedition to Antarctica, and Guo Kun was named the leader of the 591-member expedition team. The team departed Shanghai on 20 November 1984 on two ships, the Xiang Yang Hong 10 and the J121, and arrived at King George Island off the coast of Antarctica on 30 December. [1] A main part of their mission was to construct China's first antarctic base, the Great Wall Station. As the Xiang Yang Hong 10 was not an icebreaker, the team must leave before the end of the antarctic summer and had only a short window of opportunity to complete their mission. [1] Under Guo's supervision, the team worked 16 to 17 hours a day in often severe weather conditions, and completed the construction in only 40 days. The station was opened on 14 February 1985. [1] [2]

Guo Kun was a Chinese polar explorer. He led China's first expedition to Antarctica in 1984–1985 and participated in seven antarctic expeditions in total. He led the construction of China's first two antarctic bases, the Great Wall Station in 1985 and the Zhongshan Station in 1989, and served as Director of the Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration.

Shanghai Municipality in Peoples Republic of China

Shanghai is one of the four municipalities under the direct administration of the central government of the People's Republic of China, the largest city in China by population, and the second most populous city proper in the world, with a population of 24.18 million as of 2017. It is a global financial centre and transport hub, with the world's busiest container port. Located in the Yangtze River Delta, it sits on the south edge of the estuary of the Yangtze in the middle portion of the East China coast. The municipality borders the provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang to the north, south and west, and is bounded to the east by the East China Sea.

King George Island (South Shetland Islands) island of the South Shetland Islands

King George Island is the largest of the South Shetland Islands, lying 120 km off the coast of Antarctica in the Southern Ocean. The island was named after King George III.

In summer, the station holds up to 40 people; in winter, 14. The station's No. 1 Building, erected in 1985, lies at the centre of the station and has a total floor area of 175 square metres (1,880 sq ft). It marks the beginning of China’s presence in Antarctica and its Antarctic research program.

In 2012, the Antarctic Treaty System designated two sites at the station as Historic Sites and Monuments in Antarctica following nominations by China: a monolith erected to commemorate the establishment of the station and the station's No.1 Building. [3]

Antarctic Treaty System international treaties concerning the Antarctica

The Antarctic Treaty and related agreements, collectively known as the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS), regulate international relations with respect to Antarctica, Earth's only continent without a native human population. For the purposes of the treaty system, Antarctica is defined as all of the land and ice shelves south of 60°S latitude. The treaty entered into force in 1961 and currently has 53 parties. The treaty sets aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve, establishes freedom of scientific investigation, and bans military activity on the continent. The treaty was the first arms control agreement established during the Cold War. Since September 2004, the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat headquarters has been located in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

A Historic Site or Monument (HSM) is a protected location of historic interest on the continent of Antarctica, or on its adjacent islands. The list of historic sites was first drawn up in 1972, and has since expanded to cover 92 sites, with the most recent listed in 2015. Five sites have been removed from the list for various reasons.

See also

Many Antarctic research stations support satellite field camps which are, in general, seasonal camps. The type of field camp can vary – some are permanent structures used during the annual Antarctic summer, whereas others are little more than tents used to support short term activities. Field camps are used for many things, from logistics to dedicated scientific research.

The Polar Research Institute of China (PRIC) is the main Chinese research institute for the study of the Earth's polar regions. It is based in Shanghai, China.

MV <i>Xue Long</i> Chinese icebreaking research vessel

Xue Long is a Chinese icebreaking research vessel. Built in 1993 at Kherson Shipyard in Ukraine, she was converted from an Arctic cargo ship to a polar research and re-supply vessel by Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding of Shanghai by the mid-90s. The vessel was extensively upgraded in 2007 and 2013.

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  1. 1 2 3 "南极长城站首任站长逝世 曾发誓"拼命也要建好站"". Xinhua. 2019-04-06. Retrieved 2019-04-13.
  2. Liu Shiyao 刘诗瑶 (2019-04-10). "追记中国首次南极考察队长郭琨:一辈子惦记那片冰原". The Paper. Retrieved 2019-04-13.
  3. "List of Historic Sites and Monuments approved by the ATCM (2012)" (PDF). Antarctic Treaty Secretariat. 2012. Retrieved 2019-04-13.