Brrr-illiant! Polar research station dubbed ‘portal into the inside of the earth’ to be reactivated after being abandoned over 40 years ago

A team of four scientists from the Institute of Geophysics at the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw will set out from the German port of Bremerhaven on the 10th of November on a two-month journey to reach the station by boat. Institute of Geophysics at the Polish Academy of Sciences

A team of Polish scientists are to reopen and restore a long-abandoned Polish research station in the Antarctic and use it to conduct important studies on the earth’s core.

Last used by Polish scientists over 40 years ago in 1979, the group of four from the Institute of Geophysics at the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw will set out from the German port of Bremerhaven on the 10th of November on a two-month journey to reach the station by boat.

The last crew of the Dobrowolski station pictured in 1978.Institute of Geophysics at the Polish Academy of Sciences

The Dobrowolski polar research station was first established by Russians in 1956 and gifted to Poland in 1959.

Located in the Southern Antarctic in the so called Bunger Hills area, the station’s hard-to-reach deep inland location, was the reason Russian scientists only used it for two years, but is also the reason the current group of Polish scientists see it as one of the best places on earth to conduct complex studies.

Institute of Geophysics at the Polish Academy of Sciences

Institute of Geophysics at the Polish Academy of Sciences

The station is comprised of two wooden houses christened “Warszawa” and “Kraków”. There are also smaller pavilions and a landing site located 15 kilometres from the buildings.Institute of Geophysics at the Polish Academy of Sciences

Professor Marek Lewandowski, leader of the expedition told Radio Poland: “It is a unique place on earth from which you can observe the structure of the earth’s core in a way which is uncontaminated, either by human activity or seismic waves induced by the ocean. It is simply a portal into the inside of the earth.”

At present the station is comprised of two wooden houses christened “Warszawa” and “Kraków”. There are also smaller pavilions and a landing site located 15 kilometres from the buildings.

CC BY-SA 3.0

Located in the Southern Antarctic in the so called Bunger Hills area, the station’s hard-to-reach deep inland location, was the reason Russian scientists only used it for two years, but is also the reason the current group of Polish scientists see it as one of the best places on earth to conduct complex studies.Institute of Geophysics at the Polish Academy of Sciences

Professor Monika A. Kusiak, one of the four scientists going on the expedition told Radio Poland: “To be honest, we don’t know what we will find when we get there.

“We will definitely need to clean up a bit, but we are scientists and we hope to conduct our own studies.”

Professor Marek Lewandowski, leader of the expedition told Radio Poland: “It is a unique place on earth from which you can observe the structure of the earth’s core in a way which is uncontaminated, either by human activity or seismic waves induced by the ocean.”Institute of Geophysics at the Polish Academy of Sciences

After their two-month outward journey, the scientists will spend a further two months on site conducting studies and preparing the station, with the aim of installing a solar-powered automated measuring device which will be able to independently conduct calculations and send the results to Warsaw.

Professor Lewandowski said: “As a result of the inhospitable environment of the place, our main aim is to put up year-round autonomic (in terms of energy supply) and automatic geophysical stations (seismic, magnetic), which will allow us to analyse deeper structures of the earth as well as the process of generating the earth’s magnetic field.

Institute of Geophysics at the Polish Academy of Sciences

Institute of Geophysics at the Polish Academy of Sciences

The Dobrowolski polar research station was first established by Russians in 1956 and gifted to Poland in 1959.Institute of Geophysics at the Polish Academy of Sciences

“We also plan to set up antennas to study the ionosphere, whose state, like that of the magnetosphere, will allow for improved prognosis of cosmic weather, which, contrary to assumptions, isn’t without influence on climate changes.”

He added: “The Bunger Hills area constitutes an amazing polygon of cooperation between science and companies developing technologies to build renewable sources of energy as well as teletransmission systems.”

The scientific team will also conduct an inventory in preparation for a deeper renovation of the station, which will enable the full return of Polish scientists to the station in the Southern Antarctic.

Prof. Lewandowski said the location “is simply a portal into the inside of the earth.”Institute of Geophysics at the Polish Academy of Sciences

Professor Wojciech Nawrot, another member of the expedition team told Radio Poland: “Our aim is to see what needs renovation so that the station can become a seasonal station. We don’t want to build an all-year station.

“We want to utilise the latest technology to install a device which will conduct as many automatic measurements as possible, which will give us flexibility in terms of planning further expeditions.”

The experienced team, who have been on polar expeditions before, will return to Poland from their Antarctic expedition by plane in early Spring 2022.