Orcadas Base

Orcadas Base


Orcadas Base

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Orcadas Base is an Argentine base in Antarctica, and the first permanent base in the area defined by the Antarctic Treaty System. It is located on Laurie Island, one of the South Orkney Islands (), at above sea level and from the coastline.


The nearest port is the Argentine city of Ushuaia, which is away. The base has 11 buildings and four main topics of research: continental glaciology, seismology, sea-ice-zone glaciology (since 1985) and meteorological observations (since 1903).

In 1903 Dr William S. Bruce's Scottish National Antarctic Expedition established Omond House, a meteorological station on Laurie Island. During the expedition, however, the crew became stuck in the ice and, unable to sail off, were trapped in the station for the winter.

Bruce left the station in December of that year for Buenos Aires to fix the ship, leaving a few men to continue keeping observations.

Since February 22, 1904, Argentina has kept a permanently populated base there, one of six Argentine permanent bases in Argentina's claim to Antarctica, and the first permanently inhabited base in Antarctica.

Orcadas was the only base on the islands for 40 years until the British established a small summer base. It also had the first radiotelegraph in the continent (in 1927). The 11 buildings of the base house up to 45 people during the summer, and an average of 14 during winter.

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