Agenda Item: CEP
REVIEW OF THE HISTORIC SITE
HSM- 44 (A PLAQUE ERECTED AT
“DAKSHIN GANGOTRI” STATION)
Review of The of Historic Site and Monument
Historic site and monument Number HSM 44 (a plaque erected at “Dakshin
Reviewed by Director
National Center for Antarctic and Ocean
Research, Head Land Sada,
Vasco da Gama, Goa – 403 804
Does the site still exist, either in whole? or Yes, the site still exists, though the original
in part plaque erected has been buried under snow
Does the site continue to meet the Yes, the foundation of Indian Polar Research
guideline for Historic Sites and Monuments Programme in Antarctica was laid during the
set out in Resolution 8 (1995) third Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica in
1983-84 by establishing a permanent base
“Dakshin Gangotri” on the shelf of the Princes
Astrid Coast, Central Dronning Maud Land,
East Antarctica. Indian scientists started
carrying out polar research round the year after
establishment of this permanent station.
Presently the “Dakshin Gangotri” station is
buried under 3-4 m of ice cover. Since the
establishment of this permanent station marks
the advent of Indian foray in Antarctic
Research, this site has a special significance
and place of honor in Indian History
Does the description of the site require Amended description is given in annexure 1.
amending or updating? Map (1) and photographs 1,2,3 and 4 enclosed
Are boundaries required to define the site Yes, area between Latitudes 70o03’30” S to
70o06’00” S and Longitude 11o58’30” E to
12o06’00” E (map-2 enclosed)
Does the site require special protection or No, the site is recommended as Historical Site
management and if so, should it be only.
designate as an Antarctic Specially
Protected Area or as an Antarctic Specially
In light of this review, should the site be Not recommended for delisting from HSM 44
Should other parties be included in, or Not required. Members of Indian Expedition to
assume responsibility for, the management Antarctica visit the adjoining area (supply base)
of this Historic Site or Monuments? regularly. They look after the site for its upkeep
Description of the area
The first Indian permanent station in Antarctica, “Dakshin Gangotri” which is
totally buried under snow, is located on ice-shelf on Princess Astrid Coast (70O
05’ 37”S Latitude to 12O00’00” Longitude). This station was commissioned in
1883-84 and provided excellent contemporary state of the art facilities and well-
equipped laboratories to carry out scientific research. The site is located about
10 km from the shelf edge towards the Schirmacher Oasis.
The Dakshin Gangotri Station was decommissioned in 1989-90 due to excessive
snow cover. The adjoining area at present is being used as Supply Base. The
permanent base was shifted to “Maitri” in Schirmacher Oasis. The scientific
activities in the adjoining area are still being continued by Indian Scientists.
The shelf shows a gently rolling topography with an average elevation of 20 m
above msl. The shelf thickness is least near the sea and increases towards
inland. This portion of the shelf is characterized by numerous melt-water
channels usually running in a NE-SW direction and frequently occurring surface
ponds and lakes, south of the present site, especially near the Schirmacher
Oasis. The shelf shows highs or domes where it rises over basement highs and
usually slopes towards the sea-ice interface. The coastline is characterized by
several longitudinal tension cracks, which often extends 1-2 km inside the shelf
thus forming several bays with a thin cover (3-5m) of fast ice. The surface of the
shelf region exhibits various glaciological features like sastrugis, grooves, drift
deposition etc. indicating the strong influence of wind erosion.
The information pertaining to subsurface as interpreted from seismic
investigations revealed 1 m thick (velocity 1350 m/sec) top porous ice layer
followed by 19 m (velocity varying form 3100 to 3600 m/sec) unconsolidated ice
layer. The compact ice layer underneath displaying velocity form 3600 to 4350
m/sec accounted for 395 m depth. The base is marked by 285 m thick glacial
sediment, which overlies the basement.
The average thickness of the ice shelf in the area is around 400 m. However, the
site of the Dakshin Gangotri station is virtually floating over a 1850 m deep
submarine valley with depth to top of the basement varying from 700 m to 800m .
Geological Survey of India
Sustained scientific studies on surface morphology of the shelf and ablation
intensity and pattern are being carried by the Geological Survey of India near
the DG station area. These studies indicate that this portion of the shelf is
comparatively stable (from major calving) and has an annual accumulation
rate of about 50 cm. Due to this deposition of snowdrift and natural sinking,
the DG station gradually got submerged below the surface.
India Meteorological Department
Six hourly met data including wind speed, wind direction, wet and dry
temperature used to be collected uninterruptedly form 1983-84 to 1989-90 by
India Meteorological Department.
Radiosonde data were collected during the year 1884 to 1986.
Hourly Global Solar Radiation data collected during the year 1984 to 1986
Indian Institute of Geomagnetism.
Indian Institute of Geomagnetism
Scientific experiments on geomagnetic field and magnetic pulsation were
conducted here for years till the station was lost to ever increasing snow
cover. Indian Institute of Geomagnetism is conducting following
experiments at Dakshin Gangotri:
A Proton Procession Magnetometer was operated most of the time to record
the variation in total magnetic field (F)
A fluxgate Magnetometer was operated to record variations in three
orthogonal components X, Y and Z
A 30 MHz Riometer was operated for recorded the cosmic radio noise
Dakshin Gangotri was one of the station for triangulation experiment operated
by any country in Antarctica. The experiment was operated with three
fluxgate Magnetometers operating at the vertices of a triangular with sides
100-200 km. The experiments were aimed at calculating the velocity of small
scale mobile auroral current systems. Such chain of experiments are
operated regularly in Alaska and northern hemisphere.
The Fluxgate Magnetometer at DG has been replaced by Digital Fluxgate
Magnetometer in the year 2003-2004. The new instrument has a better
sensitivity (0.1 nT) and range. The experiment is aimed at, studying the
storm- substorm relationship.
Snow & Avalanche Study Establishment
Energy budget model is prepared based on albedo and glacio-meteorological
parameters of different snow-ice media at Dakshin Gangotri in Antarctica. Snow
albedo and energy exchange studies is carried out on Antarctic Ice Shelf of
Dakshin Gangotri and following experiments conducted:
Variation in different snow-met parameters
Albedo variations with melt water concentration
Albedo variation with solar elevation angle
Albedo variation with cloud amount
Albedo decay wih age of snowpack
Energy balance studies over ice shelf