Dumont d'Urville Station

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The Dumont d'Urville Station (French: Base antarctique Dumont-d'Urville) is a French scientific station in Antarctica. It is on Île des Pétrels, archipelago of Pointe-Géologie in Adélie Land. It is named after explorer Jules Dumont d'Urville. His expedition landed on Débarquement Rock in the Dumoulin Islands at the northeast end of the archipelago on January 21, 1840. The station is run by the "French Polar Institute Paul-Émile Victor".

History[change | change source]

The station in 1959

The first French Antarctic research station was at Port Martin, 62 kilometres (39 mi) east of D'Urville. It was destroyed by fire on January 23, 1952. In 1952, a small base called Base Marret, was built on Île des Pétrels to study a rookery of emperor penguins. When the Port Martin station was destroyed, Base Marret was used in the winter of 1952/1953. A new main base, Dumont D'Urville station, was built on the same island and opened on January 12, 1956. This became the centre for French scientific research during the Antarctic International Geophysical Year 1957/1958. It has remained in active use ever since.

The station allows 30-40 people to come ashore at one time. Ice and strong katabatic winds often prevent landings, either by boat or by helicopter. The station can accommodate about 30 people in winter and 120 during the summer. The icebreaker ship L'Astrolabe carries supplies and people to the station from the port of Hobart, Tasmania. It does five trips between November and March.

The Academy Award-winning documentary movie La Marche de l'empereur, in English March of the Penguins, was filmed in the region around this base.