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Dome Fuji Station in East Antarctica and the Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition

  • Kazuyuki Shiraishi (a1)

Abstract

Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition (JARE) commenced on the occasion of International Geophysical Year in 1957–1958. Syowa Station, the primary station for JARE operations, is located along the northeastern coastal region of Lützow-Holm Bay, East Antarctica (69° 00′S, 39° 35′E), and was opened on 29 January 1957. Since then, JARE have been carrying out research in various fields of earth and planetary sciences and life science. Astronomical science, however, has not been popular in Antarctica. In 1995, JARE established a new inland station, Dome Fuji Station (77° 19′S, 39° 42′E), which, at 3,810 m a.s.l., is located on one of major domes of the Antarctic ice sheet, some 1,000 km south of Syowa. The climatic conditions at Dome Fuji are harsh, with an annual average air temperature of −54°C, and a recorded minimum of −79°C. In 2007, JARE completed scientific drilling to obtain ice core samples of the Antarctic ice sheet reaching 3,050 m in depth. These ice cores record environmental conditions of the earth extending back some 720,000 B.P. In recent years, it is widely known that the high-altitude environment of inland Antarctica is suitable for astronomical observations and the Japanese astronomy community identified Dome Fuji Station as a potential candidate for a future astronomical observatory. In this article, the history of Japanese Antarctic activities are described in terms of access to the inland plateau of the Antarctic continent. The general scheme and future plans of science objectives and logistics of JARE will also be introduced.

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References

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Dagnell, L., & Shibata, H. (Translated into English) 2011 The Japanese South Pole Expedition 1910–12 A Record of Antarctica. (Compiled and edited by the Shirase Antarctic Expedition Supporters' Association. Originally published in Japanese in 1913 by Nankyoku Tanken Koenkai, Tokyo), Bluntisham Books & Erskine Press, 414pp.
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Dome Fuji Station in East Antarctica and the Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition

  • Kazuyuki Shiraishi (a1)

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