Vostok, Antarctica

From Academic Kids

Vostok, Antarctica is a Russian research station located near the Geomagnetic South Pole (see South Pole), at the center of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. The station is 3488 m above sea level. It is the most isolated of all of the established research stations on the Antarctic continent.

It is the place on Earth at which the lowest temperature has been reliably measured (though since the temperature decreases with height, it is virtually certain that lower temperatures occurred higher up towards the summit of the ice sheet). During the long winter temperatures average about -65 °C; in the brief summer, about -30 °C. The place is known as the Southern Pole of Cold. The coldest temperature ever recorded on Earth, -89.2 °C (-128.6 °F), was measured here on July 21, 1983. Although still unofficial, Vostok Station may have broken its own record for the coldest temperature on Earth. It has been reported that Vostok reached the temperature of -91 °C during the winter of 1997.

Vostok is sitting on top of the world's most southerly lake, Lake Vostok.

Vostok research station was built in 1957 during the IGY and has operated year-round for more than 37 years. The station was temporarily closed in January 1994. This station is now cooperatively operated by Russian, American, and French scientists.

Vostok ice cores

In the 1970s the Soviet Union drilled a set of cores 500–952 m deep. These have been used to study the oxygen isotope composition of the ice, which showed that ice of the last glacial period was present below about 400 m depth. Then three more holes were drilled: in 1984, Hole 3G reached a final depth of 2202 m; in 1990, Hole 4G reached a final depth of 2546; and in 1993 Hole 5G reached a depth of 2755 m; after a brief closure drilling continued during the winter of 1995. This ice core, drilled collaboratively with the French, produced a record of past environmental conditions stretching back 420,000 years and covering four previous glacial periods. For a long time it was the only core to cover several glacial cycles; but it has recently (2004) been exceeded by the EPICA core, which whilst shallower, covers a longer time span [1] (http://www.agu.org/sci_soc/vostok.html).

External links

ru:Станция Восток, Антарктида

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