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Halley Research Station Z — History

Location of Station Z — Halley

(Known as Halley Bay until 15 Aug 1977)

Position: Lat. 75° 35′ S, Long. 26° 39′ W (2012 Halley VI)
General location: Brunt Ice Shelf, Caird Coast

Previous locations:

  • 1956 (IGY) Lat. 75° 31′ S, Long. 26° 36′ W
  • 1957 (IGY) Lat. 75° 30′ S, Long. 26° 36′ W
  • 1967 (Z II) Lat. 75° 31′ S, Long. 26° 39′ W
  • 1973 (Z III) Lat. 75° 31′ S, Long. 26° 43′ W
  • 1983 (Z IV) Lat. 75° 36′ S, Long. 26° 40′ W
  • 1989 (Z IV) Lat. 75° 36′ S, Long. 26° 46′ W
  • 1988 (Z V) Lat. 75° 35′ S, Long. 26° 14′ W
  • 1992 (Z V) Lat. 75° 35′ S, Long. 26° 19′ W
  • 1998 (Z V) Lat. 75° 35′S, Long. 26° 30′ W
  • 2001 (ZV) Lat. 75° 35′ S, Long. 26° 34′ W


Primarily atmospheric sciences, but also survey, geology and glaciology.


6 Jan 1956 to the present.


Approximately 1.2 metres of snow accumulate each year on the Brunt Ice Shelf and buildings on the surface become covered and eventually crushed by snow, necessitating periodic rebuilding of the station. This part of the ice shelf is also moving westward by approx. 700m per year.

Halley I

The original station, Halley I, was established by the Royal Society on 6 Jan 1956 for the International Geophysical Year (IGY) 1957/58. It was a traditional hut with a pitched roof. FIDS took over the operation of the station on 14 January 1959. A new main hut and dog kennels were built close to the original IGY buildings in February 1961, by which time the latter were completely covered by snow. Closed early 1968.

Antarctic Observatory

A 4 minute narrated video filmed at Halley I in 1959.

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Halley II

Halley II was built January–March 1967. It was designed with a pitched roof reinforced with steel supports. Halley I and Halley II were both occupied during the 1967 winter, Halley II being known as The Village and Grillage Village. Closed 1973.

Halley III

Halley III was begun in early 1973. It was built of prefabricated huts housed inside corrugated steel conduits. Halley II and Halley III were both occupied in the 1973 winter. Closed February 1984. Site cleaned up in 1991.

Halley IV

Halley IV was established 2 January 1983. It was composed of two-storey huts housed inside conduits made from interlocking plywoodfaced panels. Both Halley III and Halley IV were occupied in the winter of 1983. Closed 19 February 1992. Site cleaned up during the 1992/93 season.

Halley V

Halley V was begun in January 1989 and was fully operational from 19 February 1992. To avoid destruction by accumulating snow the buildings of Halley V are positioned on platforms which are raised every year so that they remain above the ice surface.

  • The Laws building, named after Dr R M Laws, Director of BAS 1973–1987, is the main accommodation building.
  • The Piggott building, named after Dr W R Piggott, Head of Atmospheric Sciences Division of BAS 1973–1979, contains the space sciences laboratories.
  • The Simpson building, named after Sir George Clarke Simpson, meteorologist on Scott’s expedition 1910–1913 and Director of the Meteorological Office 1920–1938, contains the meteorological laboratories.
  • The Drewry building, named after Dr D J Drewry, Director of BAS 1987–1994, provides summer accommodation. Following the example of a new garage installed the year before, the Drewry building is mounted on skis which enables it to be repositioned every year.

Halley VI

Halley VI Research Station is the first fully re-locatable research station in the world. It was commissioned in 2006 and its unique and innovative structure was the result of an international design competition in collaboration with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). The state-of-the-art research facility is segmented into eight modules, each sitting atop ski-fitted, hydraulic legs. These can be individually raised to overcome snow accumulation and each module towed independently to a new location. It was officially opened on 5th February 2013.

Field huts

The Bob-Pi hut was erected in the hinge zone on 6 November 1962. It was used as a depot and staging post for journeys into Coats Land as well as for recreational purposes.

Coats Station was established in Coats Land, at Lat. 77° 54′ S, Long. 24° 08′ W, 200 miles south of Halley Station on 30 November 1964. It was positioned to allow the triangulation of ionospheric measurements to be taken in conjunction with Halley Station and the Argentine General Belgrano Station. It was manned until 18 March 1965 when it was removed.


  • N S Mann, 15 Aug 1963: plaque at Halley Station.
  • J T Bailey, D P Wild and J K Wilson, 12 Oct 1965: plaques erected on Survey Point, Vardeklettane, Heimfrontfjella and at Halley Station.
  • M V Mosley, 2 Feb 1980: memorial at Halley Station.

Current Status

Operational throughout the year.