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Press Release_Marine Development Division

Date. 2016-02-17
Hit. 11482

Jang Bogo Station, opening up a new horizon for Antarctic research

 

The Antarctica, the coldest continent on Earth, is considered to be an archive that perfectly preserves the planet's history and an ideal platform of research on climate change. That's why it attracts many scientists who are eager to solve the mystery of the Earth.

 

Korean scientists are no exception. In extreme weather conditions, Jang Bogo Station, Korea's second permanent research station and the first station in the mainland, celebrated its second anniversary on February 12, 2016. Despite its relatively short history, it is said that the 4,500-square meter station has opened up a new horizon for Antarctic research and that its operating system has taken firm root over the course.

 

To ensure stable operation of the station, the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF) established cooperation networks with neighboring stations of USA, Italy and New Zealand. The four countries have had meetings on a regular basis to ensure stable provision of necessary items and efficient operation of their research stations by sharing their infrastructures including a Korean icebreaker RV ARAON.

 

The opening of Jang Bogo Station, which named after an 18 century maritime ruler of Korea, gives scientists an outpost deeper in the Antarctica, as the King Sejong Station is situated on King George Island, at the norther tip of the continent. With four research bases in Victoria Land, the station expanded its research scope up to 400 kilometers from itself.

 

In the expanded research areas, 166 meteorites and more than 300 kilograms of animal and plant fossils lying under the ice (including 300 million-year-old tree fossil) have been discovered, which will help us better understand the Antarctica's environment in the past. A map which well captures accumulated geological and meteorogical information has been published and distributed to relevant societies and libraries as well.

 
Last year, Korean scientists observed volcanic activities for the first time in 25 years from Mt. Melbourne. This year, seismometer and automatic weather observation system were installed in order to delve into its gas eruption activities. Continuous observation and analysis of gas from magma will help them develop volcano eruption prediction technology.

 

Another achievement was the discovery of 5 lakes under the ice including Lake David. MOF plans to launch a research on recently discovered lakes, which is  expected to help us find new organisms and give hints of paleoclimate.

 

Mr. Yeon Youngjin, Deputy Minister for Marine Policy Office, said that "This year Jang Bogo Station will be able to channel its time and energy into research activities after 2-year stabilization period. We will also continue our efforts to blaze a trail, the so-called 'Korean Route', to reach the South Pole."