Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Iconic dome at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station deconstructed

Date:
March 9, 2010
Source:
National Science Foundation
Summary:
After more than three decades of service to researchers and staff stationed at the bottom of the world, the dome at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station was deconstructed this austral summer.

The geodesic dome at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station was deconstructed during the 2009-2010 austral summer. The materials were shipped to the U.S. Navy at Port Hueneme, Calif., as the dome was built by the U.S. Navy Seebees in the early 1970s.
Credit: Forest Banks, National Science Foundation

After more than three decades of service to researchers and staff stationed at the bottom of the world, the dome at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station was deconstructed this austral summer.

The dome provided a platform for countless scientific discoveries in astronomy, physics, climatology, and other fields, and it also provided a home away from home for the station's 'winter over' crew during 8 months at the station during the austral winter, much of the time in darkness. The dome could no longer accommodate the demands of research activities taking place there, however, and each year the structure sunk deeper into the ice it was built on. Blowing snow that collected on top of it had to be removed and hauled away, burning up precious fuel and crew time during the short austral summer. The international treaty that governs human activities in Antarctica requires that buildings and equipment no longer in use be removed and the site remediated whenever possible, necessitating the dome's deconstruction and removal.

Designed and constructed by the Seabees--the construction battalions of the U.S. Navy--in the early 1970s, the dome's geodesic design provided a unique solution to the challenges posed to engineers trying to build structures at the South Pole. The dome was sufficiently strong to withstand the weight of snow that would blow onto it, and its round shape helped deflect the fierce winds that blow almost constantly at the site. Because the dome needed no internal columns, it provided a wide and flexible space inside, where it protected buildings housing researchers and support staff, as well as laboratories, supplies, and other necessities from the harsh polar environment outside.

The dome was designed to be flown to the South Pole with relative ease in small pieces and then assembled using a system of struts, bolts and gusset plates. While construction at the South Pole is never easy, this simplicity in design helped the Seabees erect the dome and helped personnel from the U.S. Antarctic Program deconstruct it over the past few months with the assistance of some individuals involved in the dome's construction.

The National Science Foundation has replaced the dome with a state-of-the-art research facility that will serve science for the coming decades.

After so many years of service to science in the harshest place on Earth, the dome is being returned to southern California where it will be held in storage. The top sections of the dome have been specially preserved so that they can be re-assembled for a possible exhibit in a new U.S. Navy Seabees museum.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Science Foundation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Science Foundation. "Iconic dome at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station deconstructed." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100309161910.htm>.
National Science Foundation. (2010, March 9). Iconic dome at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station deconstructed. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100309161910.htm
National Science Foundation. "Iconic dome at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station deconstructed." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100309161910.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) — A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) — A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Phoenix Thunderstorm Creates Giant Wall of Dust

Phoenix Thunderstorm Creates Giant Wall of Dust

Reuters - US Online Video (July 26, 2014) — A giant wall of dust slowly moves north over the Phoenix area after a summer monsoon thunderstorm. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rare Lemur Among Baby Animals Debuted at Cleveland Zoo

Rare Lemur Among Baby Animals Debuted at Cleveland Zoo

Reuters - US Online Video (July 26, 2014) — A rare baby Lemur is among several baby animals getting their public debut at a Cleveland zoo. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins