Queen Maud Land

Queen Maud Land

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Queen Maud Land'
Start a new discussion about 'Queen Maud Land'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Queen Maud Land is a c. 2.7 million-square-kilometre (1 million sq mi) region of Antarctica claimed as a dependent territory by Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

. The territory lies between 20° west
20th meridian west
The meridian 20° west of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, Greenland, Iceland, the Atlantic Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

 and 45° east
45th meridian east
The meridian 45° east of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, Europe, Asia, Africa, the Indian Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

, between the British Antarctic Territory
British Antarctic Territory
The British Antarctic Territory is a sector of Antarctica claimed by the United Kingdom as one of its 14 British Overseas Territories. It comprises the region south of 60°S latitude and between longitudes and , forming a wedge shape that extends to the South Pole...

 to the west and the Australian Antarctic Territory
Australian Antarctic Territory
The Australian Antarctic Territory is a part of Antarctica. It was claimed by the United Kingdom and placed under the authority of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1933. It is the largest territory of Antarctica claimed by any nation...

 to the east. The latitudinal
Latitude
In geography, the latitude of a location on the Earth is the angular distance of that location south or north of the Equator. The latitude is an angle, and is usually measured in degrees . The equator has a latitude of 0°, the North pole has a latitude of 90° north , and the South pole has a...

 limits of the territory are not officially defined. Positioned in East Antarctica
East Antarctica
East Antarctica, also called Greater Antarctica, constitutes the majority of the Antarctic continent, lying on the Indian Ocean side of the Transantarctic Mountains...

, the territory comprises one-sixth of the total area of Antarctica. The claim is named for Maud
Maud of Wales
Princess Maud of Wales was Queen of Norway as spouse of King Haakon VII. She was a member of the British Royal Family as the youngest daughter of Edward VII and Alexandra of Denmark and granddaughter of Queen Victoria and also of Christian IX of Denmark. She was the younger sister of George V...

 (1869–1938), queen consort
Queen consort
A queen consort is the wife of a reigning king. A queen consort usually shares her husband's rank and holds the feminine equivalent of the king's monarchical titles. Historically, queens consort do not share the king regnant's political and military powers. Most queens in history were queens consort...

 of King Haakon VII of Norway
Haakon VII of Norway
Haakon VII , known as Prince Carl of Denmark until 1905, was the first king of Norway after the 1905 dissolution of the personal union with Sweden. He was a member of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg...

.

Norwegian Hjalmar Riiser-Larsen
Hjalmar Riiser-Larsen
Hjalmar Riiser-Larsen was a Norwegian aviation pioneer, polar explorer and businessman. Among his achievements, he is generally regarded as the founder of the Royal Norwegian Air Force....

 was the first person to set foot in the territory in 1930. On 14 January 1939, the territory was claimed by Norway. From 1939 until 1945, Germany claimed New Swabia
New Swabia
New Swabia is a cartographic name sometimes given to an area of Antarctica between 20°E and 10°W in Queen Maud Land, which within Norway is administered as a Norwegian dependent territory under the Antarctic Treaty System...

, which consisted of part of Queen Maud Land. On 23 June 1961, Queen Maud Land became part of the Antarctic Treaty System
Antarctic Treaty System
The Antarctic Treaty and related agreements, collectively called the Antarctic Treaty System or ATS, regulate international relations with respect to Antarctica, Earth's only continent without a native human population. For the purposes of the treaty system, Antarctica is defined as all of the land...

, making it a demilitarised zone. It is one of two Antarctic claims made by Norway, the other being Peter I Island
Peter I Island
Peter I Island is an uninhabited volcanic island in the Bellingshausen Sea, from Antarctica. It is claimed as a dependency of Norway, and along with Queen Maud Land and Bouvet Island comprises one of the three Norwegian dependent territories in the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic. Peter I Island is ...

. They are administrated by the Polar Affairs Department of the Norwegian Ministry of Justice and the Police
Norwegian Ministry of Justice and the Police
The Royal Norwegian Ministry of Justice and the Police is a Norwegian government ministry in charge of justice, police and domestic intelligence. The main purpose of the Ministry is to provide for the maintenance and development of the basic guarantees of the rule of law...

 in Oslo
Oslo
Oslo is a municipality, as well as the capital and most populous city in Norway. As a municipality , it was established on 1 January 1838. Founded around 1048 by King Harald III of Norway, the city was largely destroyed by fire in 1624. The city was moved under the reign of Denmark–Norway's King...

.

Most of the territory is covered by the Antarctic ice sheet
Antarctic ice sheet
The Antarctic ice sheet is one of the two polar ice caps of the Earth. It covers about 98% of the Antarctic continent and is the largest single mass of ice on Earth. It covers an area of almost 14 million square km and contains 30 million cubic km of ice...

, and a tall ice wall stretches throughout its coast. In some areas further within the ice sheet, mountain ranges breach through the ice, allowing for birds to breed and the growth of a limited flora
Flora
Flora is the plant life occurring in a particular region or time, generally the naturally occurring or indigenous—native plant life. The corresponding term for animals is fauna.-Etymology:...

. The region is divided into the Princess Martha Coast
Princess Martha Coast
Princess Martha Coast is that portion of the coast of Queen Maud Land lying between 05° E and the terminus of Stancomb-Wills Glacier, at 20° W. The entire coastline is bounded by ice shelves with ice cliffs 20 to 35 m high....

, Princess Astrid Coast
Princess Astrid Coast
Princess Astrid Coast is that portion of the coast of Queen Maud Land lying between 5° and 20° E. The entire coast is bordered by ice shelves. Discovered by Capt. H. Halvorsen of the Sevilla in March 1931 and named for Princess Astrid of Norway....

, Princess Ragnhild Coast
Princess Ragnhild Coast
Princess Ragnhild Coast is the portion of the coast of Queen Maud Land in Antarctica lying between 20° E and the Riiser-Larsen Peninsula, at 34° E. All but the eastern end of the coast is fringed by ice shelves. It was discovered by Capt. Hjalmar Riiser-Larsen and Capt. Nils Larsen in aerial...

, Prince Harald Coast
Prince Harald Coast
Prince Harald Coast is a portion of the coast of Queen Maud Land encompassing Lutzow-Holm Bay, lying between Riiser-Larsen Peninsula, at 34° E, and the east entrance point of Lutzow-Holm Bay, marked by the coastal angle at 40° E. It was discovered during a flight on February 4, 1937, by Viggo...

 and Prince Olav Coast
Prince Olav Coast
Prince Olav Coast is that portion of the coast of Queen Maud Land between the east entrance point of Lutzow-Holm Bay, marked by the coastal angle at 40° E, and Shinnan Glacier at 44° 38' E. It was discovered by Capt. Hjalmar Riiser-Larsen in January 1930 on a flight from the Norvegia, and named...

. The waters off the coast are called the King Haakon VII Sea
King Haakon VII Sea
King Haakon VII Sea is an arm of the Southern Ocean on the coast of East Antarctica.-Geography:From the international point of view, King Haakon VII Sea lies between Weddell Sea and Lazarev Sea, and thus stretches only along Kronprinsesse Märtha Kyst from Cape Norvegia at 12°18'W, the easternmost...

.

There is no permanent population, although there are twelve active research stations housing a maximum average of 40 scientists, the numbers fluctuating depending on the season. Six are occupied year-round, while the remainder are seasonal summer stations. The main aerodromes for intercontinental flights, corresponding with Cape Town
Cape Town
Cape Town is the second-most populous city in South Africa, and the provincial capital and primate city of the Western Cape. As the seat of the National Parliament, it is also the legislative capital of the country. It forms part of the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality...

, South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

, are Troll Airfield
Troll airfield
Troll Airfield is an airstrip located from the research station Troll in Princess Martha Coast in Queen Maud Land, Antarctica. Owned and operated by the Norwegian Polar Institute, it consists of a runway on glacial blue ice on the Antarctic ice sheet...

, near the Norwegian Troll
Troll (research station)
Troll is a research station located at Jutulsessen, from the coast in the eastern part of Princess Martha Coast in Queen Maud Land, Antarctica. It is Norway's only all-year research station in Antarctica, and is supplemented by the summer-only station Tor...

 research station, and a runway at the Russian Novolazarevskaya Station
Novolazarevskaya Station
Novolazarevskaya Station is a Russian, formerly Soviet, Antarctic research station. The station is located at Schirmacher Oasis, Queen Maud Land, 75 km from the Antarctic coast, from which it is separated by Lazarev Ice Shelf. It was opened on January 18, 1961 by the 6th Soviet Antarctic...

.

Geography

Regions and boundaries
Region Western
border
Eastern
border
Princess Martha Coast 20°00'W 05°00'E
Princess Astrid Coast 05°00'E 20°00'E
Princess Ragnhild Coast 20°00'E 34°00'E
Prince Harald Coast 34°00'E 40°00'E
Prince Olav Coast 40°00'E 44°38'E
Queen Maud Land 20°00'W 44°38'E

Queen Maud Land extends from the boundary with Coats Land
Coats Land
Coats Land is a region in Antarctica which lies westward of Queen Maud Land and forms the eastern shore of the Weddell Sea, extending in a general northeast-southwest direction between 20º00´W and 36º00´W. The northeast part was discovered from the Scotia by William S. Bruce, leader of the Scottish...

 in the west to the boundary with Enderby Land
Enderby Land
Enderby Land is a projecting land mass of Antarctica, extending from Shinnan Glacier at to William Scoresby Bay at .Enderby Land was discovered in February 1831 by John Biscoe in the whaling brig Tula, and named after the Enderby Brothers of London, owners of the Tula, who encouraged their...

 in the east, and is divided into the Princess Martha Coast
Princess Martha Coast
Princess Martha Coast is that portion of the coast of Queen Maud Land lying between 05° E and the terminus of Stancomb-Wills Glacier, at 20° W. The entire coastline is bounded by ice shelves with ice cliffs 20 to 35 m high....

, Princess Astrid Coast
Princess Astrid Coast
Princess Astrid Coast is that portion of the coast of Queen Maud Land lying between 5° and 20° E. The entire coast is bordered by ice shelves. Discovered by Capt. H. Halvorsen of the Sevilla in March 1931 and named for Princess Astrid of Norway....

, Princess Ragnhild Coast
Princess Ragnhild Coast
Princess Ragnhild Coast is the portion of the coast of Queen Maud Land in Antarctica lying between 20° E and the Riiser-Larsen Peninsula, at 34° E. All but the eastern end of the coast is fringed by ice shelves. It was discovered by Capt. Hjalmar Riiser-Larsen and Capt. Nils Larsen in aerial...

, Prince Harald Coast
Prince Harald Coast
Prince Harald Coast is a portion of the coast of Queen Maud Land encompassing Lutzow-Holm Bay, lying between Riiser-Larsen Peninsula, at 34° E, and the east entrance point of Lutzow-Holm Bay, marked by the coastal angle at 40° E. It was discovered during a flight on February 4, 1937, by Viggo...

 and Prince Olav Coast
Prince Olav Coast
Prince Olav Coast is that portion of the coast of Queen Maud Land between the east entrance point of Lutzow-Holm Bay, marked by the coastal angle at 40° E, and Shinnan Glacier at 44° 38' E. It was discovered by Capt. Hjalmar Riiser-Larsen in January 1930 on a flight from the Norvegia, and named...

. The territory is estimated to cover around 2700000 sqkm. It is not officially defined where the limits of the claim are in the south and in the sea in the north. The sea that extends off the coast between the longitudal limits of Queen Maud Land is generally called King Haakon VII Sea
King Haakon VII Sea
King Haakon VII Sea is an arm of the Southern Ocean on the coast of East Antarctica.-Geography:From the international point of view, King Haakon VII Sea lies between Weddell Sea and Lazarev Sea, and thus stretches only along Kronprinsesse Märtha Kyst from Cape Norvegia at 12°18'W, the easternmost...

.

There is no ice-free land at the coast; the coast consists of a 20 to 30 m (65.6 to 98.4 ft) wall of ice throughout almost the entire territory. It is thus only possible to disembark from a ship in a few places. Some 150 to 200 km (93.2 to 124.3 ) from the coast, rocky peaks pierce the ice cap, itself at a mean height of around 2000 metres (6,561.7 ft) above sea level
Sea level
Mean sea level is a measure of the average height of the ocean's surface ; used as a standard in reckoning land elevation...

, with the highest point at Jøkulkyrkja
Jøkulkyrkja
Jøkulkyrkja , also known as Massiv Yakova Gakkelya, is a broad, ice-topped mountain with several radial rock spurs, standing east of Lunde Glacier in the Mühlig-Hofmann Mountains of Queen Maud Land, East Antarctica. At elevation, it is the highest elevation in Queen Maud Land, and also the highest...

 (3148 metres or 10,328.1 ft) in the Mühlig-Hofmann Mountains
Mühlig-Hofmann Mountains
The Mühlig-Hofmann Mountains is a major group of associated mountain features extending east to west for 65 miles between the Gjelsvik Mountains and the Orvin Mountains in Queen Maud Land, East Antarctica...

. The other major mountain ranges are the Heimefront Range
Heimefront Range
Heimefront Range is a range of mountains in three groups trending NE-SW for 65 nautical miles , situated 50 nautical miles west-southwest of Kirwan Escarpment in Queen Maud Land. The range was observed and photographed by the Norwegian-British-Swedish Antarctic Expedition in the course of air...

, Orvin Mountains
Orvin Mountains
The Orvin Mountains constitute a major group of mountain ranges, extending for about 65 miles between the Wohlthat Mountains and the Mühlig-Hofmann Mountains in Queen Maud Land...

, Wohlthat Mountains
Wohlthat Mountains
Wohlthat Mountains is a large group of associated mountain features consisting of the Humboldt Mountains, Petermann Ranges, and the Gruber Mountains, located immediately east of the Orvin Mountains in Fimbulheimen in the central Queen Maud Land. Discovered by the Third German Antarctic Expedition ,...

 and Sør Rondane Mountains.

Geologically, the ground of Queen Maud Land is dominated by precambrian
Precambrian
The Precambrian is the name which describes the large span of time in Earth's history before the current Phanerozoic Eon, and is a Supereon divided into several eons of the geologic time scale...

 gneiss
Gneiss
Gneiss is a common and widely distributed type of rock formed by high-grade regional metamorphic processes from pre-existing formations that were originally either igneous or sedimentary rocks.-Etymology:...

, formed c. 1–1.2 Ga, before the creation of the supercontinent Gondwana
Gondwana
In paleogeography, Gondwana , originally Gondwanaland, was the southernmost of two supercontinents that later became parts of the Pangaea supercontinent. It existed from approximately 510 to 180 million years ago . Gondwana is believed to have sutured between ca. 570 and 510 Mya,...

. The mountains consist mostly of crystalline
Crystallinity
Crystallinity refers to the degree of structural order in a solid. In a crystal, the atoms or molecules are arranged in a regular, periodic manner. The degree of crystallinity has a big influence on hardness, density, transparency and diffusion. In a gas, the relative positions of the atoms or...

 and granitic
Granite
Granite is a common and widely occurring type of intrusive, felsic, igneous rock. Granite usually has a medium- to coarse-grained texture. Occasionally some individual crystals are larger than the groundmass, in which case the texture is known as porphyritic. A granitic rock with a porphyritic...

 rocks, formed c. 500–600 Ma in the Pan-African orogeny
Pan-African orogeny
The Pan-African orogeny was a series of major Neoproterozoic orogenic events which related to the formation of the supercontinents Gondwana and Pannotia about 600 million years ago....

 during the assembly of Gondwana. In the farthest western parts of the territory, there are younger sedimentary
Sedimentary rock
Sedimentary rock are types of rock that are formed by the deposition of material at the Earth's surface and within bodies of water. Sedimentation is the collective name for processes that cause mineral and/or organic particles to settle and accumulate or minerals to precipitate from a solution....

 and volcanic rock
Volcanic rock
Volcanic rock is a rock formed from magma erupted from a volcano. In other words, it is an igneous rock of volcanic origin...

s. Research on the thickness of the ice has revealed that without the ice, the coast would be similar to those of Norway and Greenland
Greenland
Greenland is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark, located between the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, east of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Though physiographically a part of the continent of North America, Greenland has been politically and culturally associated with Europe for...

, with deep fjord
Fjord
Geologically, a fjord is a long, narrow inlet with steep sides or cliffs, created in a valley carved by glacial activity.-Formation:A fjord is formed when a glacier cuts a U-shaped valley by abrasion of the surrounding bedrock. Glacial melting is accompanied by rebound of Earth's crust as the ice...

s and islands.

Early activity


Queen Maud Land was the first part of Antarctica to be sighted, on 27 January 1820 by Fabian von Bellingshausen
Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen
Fabian Gottlieb Thaddeus von Bellingshausen was an officer in the Imperial Russian Navy, cartographer and explorer, who ultimately rose to the rank of Admiral...

. It was however among the last to be explored, as it required aircraft in combination with ships to undertake systematic exploration. Early Norwegian research activities in Antarctica rested entirely on whaling
Whaling in Norway
Whaling in Norway involves the hunting of the Minke whale for the purpose of using the whale meat for human consumption, generally in Northern Norway. This hunting has occurred since the early 20th Century, and some still continue the practice in the modern day.- History :Norwegian whaling has a...

 and sealing expeditions funded by ship owners, particularly by Christen Christensen and his son Lars. The first two Norwegian expeditions were carried out by sealing ships in 1892–93 and 1893–94. While they were primarily sent for exploring, sealing, and whaling possibilities, they also performed scientific research. Further Norwegian expeditions were mounted into the first decades of the 20th century.

The Antarctic Plateau
Antarctic Plateau
The Antarctic Plateau is a large area of Central Antarctica, which extends over a diameter of about , and which includes the region of the South Pole and the Amundsen-Scott Station...

 was claimed for Norway by Roald Amundsen
Roald Amundsen
Roald Engelbregt Gravning Amundsen was a Norwegian explorer of polar regions. He led the first Antarctic expedition to reach the South Pole between 1910 and 1912 and he was the first person to reach both the North and South Poles. He is also known as the first to traverse the Northwest Passage....

 as the King Haakon VII Plateau when his expedition
Amundsen's South Pole expedition
The first expedition to reach the geographic South Pole was led by the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen. He and four others arrived at the pole on 14 December 1911, five weeks ahead of a British party led by Robert Falcon Scott...

 was the first to reach South Pole
South Pole
The South Pole, also known as the Geographic South Pole or Terrestrial South Pole, is one of the two points where the Earth's axis of rotation intersects its surface. It is the southernmost point on the surface of the Earth and lies on the opposite side of the Earth from the North Pole...

 on 14 December 1911. It was mapped as a circular territory comprising the plateau around the South Pole, including all the land below 85°S. However, roughly the same area had been claimed by the British as the King Edward VII Plateau, which rejected the Norwegian claim. Amundsen's claim has never been officially claimed by the Norwegian government.
The name Queen Maud Land was initially applied in January 1930 to the land between 37°E and 49°30'E discovered by Hjalmar Riiser-Larsen
Hjalmar Riiser-Larsen
Hjalmar Riiser-Larsen was a Norwegian aviation pioneer, polar explorer and businessman. Among his achievements, he is generally regarded as the founder of the Royal Norwegian Air Force....

 and Finn Lützow-Holm
Finn Lützow-Holm
Finn Trond Lützow-Holm was a Norwegian military officer, aviation pioneer and polar explorer.He was born in Nesseby as a son of priest and politician Ole Arntzen Lützow-Holm and Anne Marie Riddervold Jensen . His mother was a daughter of Peter Andreas Jensen and granddaughter of Hans Riddervold...

 during Lars Christensen's Norvegia expedition of 1929–30. It was named after the Norwegian queen consort at the time, Maud
Maud of Wales
Princess Maud of Wales was Queen of Norway as spouse of King Haakon VII. She was a member of the British Royal Family as the youngest daughter of Edward VII and Alexandra of Denmark and granddaughter of Queen Victoria and also of Christian IX of Denmark. She was the younger sister of George V...

. The territory was explored further during the Norvegia expedition of 1930–31. During this whaling season, a total of 265 whaling ships, mostly Norwegian, worked off the coast of Queen Maud Land. In the same season, Riiser-Larsen discovered the Prince Olav Coast, Princess Martha Coast and Princess Ragnhild Coast from the air. Captain H. Halvorsen of the whaler Sevilla discovered the Princess Astrid Coast independently at the same time. Six years later, during Christensen's expedition of 1936–37, Viggo Widerøe
Viggo Widerøe
Viggo Widerøe was a Norwegian aviator and entrepreneur. He founded Widerøe's Flyveselskap, Norway's third largest airline, in 1934. The airline is still in operation today.-Personal life:...

 flew over and discovered the Prince Harald Coast. Negotiations with the British government in 1938 resulted in the western border of Queen Maud Land being set at 20°W.

Norway's claim was disputed by Germany, which in 1938 dispatched the German Antarctic Expedition, led by Alfred Ritscher
Alfred Ritscher
Alfred Ritscher was a German polar explorer. A captain in the German Navy, he led the third German Antarctic Expedition in 1938-39, which mapped the New Swabia area of Queen Maud Land. Ritscher Peak and Ritscher Upland there are named for him.-External links:*...

, to fly over as much of it as possible. The ship Schwabenland reached the pack ice off Antarctica on 19 January 1939. During the expedition, an area of about 350000 sqkm was photographed from the air by Ritscher, who dropped darts inscribed with swastika
Swastika
The swastika is an equilateral cross with its arms bent at right angles, in either right-facing form in counter clock motion or its mirrored left-facing form in clock motion. Earliest archaeological evidence of swastika-shaped ornaments dates back to the Indus Valley Civilization of Ancient...

s every 26 kilometres (16.2 mi). Germany eventually attempted to claim the territory surveyed by Ritscher under the name New Swabia
New Swabia
New Swabia is a cartographic name sometimes given to an area of Antarctica between 20°E and 10°W in Queen Maud Land, which within Norway is administered as a Norwegian dependent territory under the Antarctic Treaty System...

, but lost any claim to the land following its defeat in the Second World War
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

.
On 14 January 1939 (five days prior to the German arrival), Queen Maud Land was annexed by Norway, after a royal decree announced that the land bordering the Falkland Islands Dependencies
Falkland Islands Dependencies
Falkland Islands Dependencies was the constitutional arrangement for administering the British territories in Sub-Antarctica and Antarctica from 1843 until 1985.-Background:...

 in the west and the Australian Antarctic Dependency
Australian Antarctic Territory
The Australian Antarctic Territory is a part of Antarctica. It was claimed by the United Kingdom and placed under the authority of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1933. It is the largest territory of Antarctica claimed by any nation...

 in the east was to be brought under Norwegian sovereignty. The primary basis for the annexation was the Norwegian explorations, and to secure the Norwegian whaling industry's access to the region. Scientific operations were also a basis, with Norwegian contributions to international polar science extending back to the late 19th century. Norway was in addition forced to contend with competing claims made by the United Kingdom and other countries in the years prior to the Norwegian claim, including the new threat of German claims in Queen Maud Land. The Norwegian claim was sometimes referred to as the "Bouvet sector", drawing from the previously annexed Bouvet Island
Bouvet Island
Bouvet Island is an uninhabited Antarctic volcanic island in the South Atlantic Ocean, 2,525 km south-southwest of South Africa. It is a dependent territory of Norway and, lying north of 60°S latitude, is not subject to the Antarctic Treaty. The centre of the island is an ice-filled crater of an...

. In 1946–47, vast areas of Queen Maud Land were photographed during the expedition of Richard Evelyn Byrd
Richard Evelyn Byrd
Rear Admiral Richard Evelyn Byrd, Jr., USN was a naval officer who specialized in feats of exploration. He was a pioneering American aviator, polar explorer, and organizer of polar logistics...

. In 1948, Norway and the United Kingdom agreed to limit Queen Maud Land to from 20°W to 45°E, and that the Bruce Coast and Coats Land
Coats Land
Coats Land is a region in Antarctica which lies westward of Queen Maud Land and forms the eastern shore of the Weddell Sea, extending in a general northeast-southwest direction between 20º00´W and 36º00´W. The northeast part was discovered from the Scotia by William S. Bruce, leader of the Scottish...

 were to be incorporated into Norwegian territory.

Later developments


The Norwegian–British–Swedish Antarctic Expedition of 1949–52 was the first international scientific expedition in Antarctica. The expedition established its winter quarters at a base called Maudheim at 71°S, 11°W, and mapped much of western Queen Maud Land. During the International Geophysical Year
International Geophysical Year
The International Geophysical Year was an international scientific project that lasted from July 1, 1957, to December 31, 1958. It marked the end of a long period during the Cold War when scientific interchange between East and West was seriously interrupted...

 in 1957–58, year-round stations was established in Queen Maud Land by Norway, the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

 and Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

. The Norwegian expedition continued with topographical mapping, while the others started geophysical and geological research. Norway's Norway Station was lent to South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

 following the withdrawal of the Norwegian expedition in 1960. South Africa later built the SANAE
SANAE
SANAE is the South African National Antarctic Expedition. The name refers both to the overwintering bases, and the team spending the winter . The current base, SANAE IV, is located at Vesleskarvet in Queen Maud Land, Antarctica...

 station, near the now-defunct Norway Station. The Soviet Union, and later Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, has maintained continual operations, although it moved from Lazarev Station to Novolazarevskaya Station
Novolazarevskaya Station
Novolazarevskaya Station is a Russian, formerly Soviet, Antarctic research station. The station is located at Schirmacher Oasis, Queen Maud Land, 75 km from the Antarctic coast, from which it is separated by Lazarev Ice Shelf. It was opened on January 18, 1961 by the 6th Soviet Antarctic...

. Japan has been based at its Showa Station since 1957, except for a hiatus of a few years. Belgium closed its Roi Baudouin station in 1961, though it mounted limited operations in cooperation with the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 in 1964–66. The United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 established the temporary Plateau Station in 1966.
In 1948, the newly created Norwegian Polar Institute
Norwegian Polar Institute
The Norwegian Polar Institute is Norway's national institution for polar research. It is run under the auspices of the Norwegian Ministry of Environment. The institute organizes expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic regions and runs a research station at Ny-Ålesund...

 was assigned the administration of Norwegian territories in the Arctic and Antarctic, including Queen Maud Land. Norway sent two major expeditions to the territory in the 1940s and 1950s, but its efforts declined after that. On 21 June 1957, Queen Maud Land became subject to Norwegian sovereignty
Sovereignty
Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory. It can be found in a power to rule and make law that rests on a political fact for which no purely legal explanation can be provided...

 as a dependency (biland), and the Antarctic Treaty officially went into force on 23 June 1961. Norwegian activity during the 1960s was limited to some minor co-expeditions with the United States, until it gradually picked up again following a larger expedition to western Queen Maud Land and the eastern Weddell Sea
Weddell Sea
The Weddell Sea is part of the Southern Ocean and contains the Weddell Gyre. Its land boundaries are defined by the bay formed from the coasts of Coats Land and the Antarctic Peninsula. The easternmost point is Cape Norvegia at Princess Martha Coast, Queen Maud Land. To the east of Cape Norvegia is...

 by the Norwegian Polar Institute in 1976–77.

Founded in 1978, the Polar Affairs Department of the Norwegian Ministry of Justice and the Police
Norwegian Ministry of Justice and the Police
The Royal Norwegian Ministry of Justice and the Police is a Norwegian government ministry in charge of justice, police and domestic intelligence. The main purpose of the Ministry is to provide for the maintenance and development of the basic guarantees of the rule of law...

, headquartered in Oslo, has been assigned the administration of the Norwegian polar areas including Queen Maud Land. Since 1979, the Norwegian Polar Institute has been a directorate under the Ministry of the Environment.

In 1992, an expedition by Ivar Tollefsen made the first ascents of several mountains, including the tallest, Jøkulkyrkja. Norway established the summer station Troll in 1989–90. In 2003, Environmental Minister Børge Brende
Børge Brende
Børge Brende is a Norwegian politician from the Conservative Party. He held the government posts of Cabinet minister of the Environment, 2001 to 2004, and Cabinet minister of Trade and Industry, 2004 to 2005. He has also been a member of the Norwegian parliament for more than 10 years...

 was the first Norwegian minister to visit Queen Maud Land, and he soon allocated funds to expand the Troll station. Troll was improved to a year-round station in 2005 as part of the anniversary of Norway's 100 years of independence. Among the guests were Foreign Minister Jan Petersen
Jan Petersen
Jan Petersen is a Norwegian politician for the Conservative Party.He was elected to the Norwegian Parliament from Akershus in 1981, and was re-elected on six occasions. He had previously served as a deputy representative during the term 1973–1977. From 2001 to 2005, when the second cabinet...

 and Environmental Minister Knut Arild Hareide
Knut Arild Hareide
Knut Arild Hareide is a Norwegian businessperson and the leader of the Christian Democratic Party. Hareide served as Minister of the Environment from 2004 to 2005...

, and Troll was officially opened by Queen Sonja of Norway
Queen Sonja of Norway
Queen Sonja of Norway is the wife of King Harald V of Norway.-Prior to marriage:Sonja was born in Oslo on 4 July 1937 as the daughter of clothing merchant Karl August Haraldsen and Dagny Ulrichsen .Queen Sonja grew up in the district of Vinderen in Oslo and completed her lower secondary schooling...

, the first queen to ever visit Antarctica. In 2008, Jens Stoltenberg
Jens Stoltenberg
is a Norwegian politician, leader of the Norwegian Labour Party and the current Prime Minister of Norway. Having assumed office on 17 October 2005, Stoltenberg previously served as Prime Minister from 2000 to 2001....

, accompanied by 40 officials, scientist and reporters, visited Queen Maud Land as the first Norwegian prime minister to do so. He personally named three mountains around the Troll station where he was based, although he chose to sleep outdoors in a tent, rather than in a bed inside. He stated as the purpose of the visit to claim Norway's belonging in Antarctica, as well as to learn more about the climate research at Troll, which he said was key to better understand the global climate change
Climate change
Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. It may be a change in average weather conditions or the distribution of events around that average...

.

Legal status



Like all other territorial claims in Antarctica, the Norwegian claim of Queen Maud Land (and Peter I Island
Peter I Island
Peter I Island is an uninhabited volcanic island in the Bellingshausen Sea, from Antarctica. It is claimed as a dependency of Norway, and along with Queen Maud Land and Bouvet Island comprises one of the three Norwegian dependent territories in the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic. Peter I Island is ...

) is subject to the Antarctic Treaty System
Antarctic Treaty System
The Antarctic Treaty and related agreements, collectively called the Antarctic Treaty System or ATS, regulate international relations with respect to Antarctica, Earth's only continent without a native human population. For the purposes of the treaty system, Antarctica is defined as all of the land...

. The treaty makes clear that Antarctica can only be used for peaceful purposes, and assures the freedom of scientific activity. It promotes international scientific cooperation, and bans any nuclear
Nuclear power
Nuclear power is the use of sustained nuclear fission to generate heat and electricity. Nuclear power plants provide about 6% of the world's energy and 13–14% of the world's electricity, with the U.S., France, and Japan together accounting for about 50% of nuclear generated electricity...

 activity. Although territorial claims are not invalidated by the treaty, all claims are effectively suspended as long as the treaty is in force. Norway, Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

 and the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 have all mutually recognised each other's claims in Antarctica.

Norwegian administration of Queen Maud Land is controlled by the Polar Affairs Department of the Norwegian Ministry of Justice and the Police
Norwegian Ministry of Justice and the Police
The Royal Norwegian Ministry of Justice and the Police is a Norwegian government ministry in charge of justice, police and domestic intelligence. The main purpose of the Ministry is to provide for the maintenance and development of the basic guarantees of the rule of law...

, located in Oslo
Oslo
Oslo is a municipality, as well as the capital and most populous city in Norway. As a municipality , it was established on 1 January 1838. Founded around 1048 by King Harald III of Norway, the city was largely destroyed by fire in 1624. The city was moved under the reign of Denmark–Norway's King...

. The annexation of the territory is regulated by the Dependency Act of 24 March 1933, with Queen Maud Land added on 21 June 1957. It establishes that Norwegian criminal law
Criminal law
Criminal law, is the body of law that relates to crime. It might be defined as the body of rules that defines conduct that is not allowed because it is held to threaten, harm or endanger the safety and welfare of people, and that sets out the punishment to be imposed on people who do not obey...

, private law
Private law
Private law is that part of a civil law legal system which is part of the jus commune that involves relationships between individuals, such as the law of contracts or torts, as it is called in the common law, and the law of obligations as it is called in civilian legal systems...

 and procedural law
Procedural law
Procedural law or adjective law comprises the rules by which a court hears and determines what happens in civil lawsuit, criminal or administrative proceedings. The rules are designed to ensure a fair and consistent application of due process or fundamental justice to all cases that come before...

 applies to the territory, in addition to other laws that explicitly state they are valid in the territory. Furthermore, it establishes that all the land belongs to the state, and prohibits both nuclear explosions and the storage of nuclear waste.

Since 5 May 1995, Norwegian law has required all Norwegian activity in Antarctica to follow international environmental law for Antarctica. Norwegian citizens who plan activities in Queen Maud Land must therefore report to the Norwegian Polar Institute
Norwegian Polar Institute
The Norwegian Polar Institute is Norway's national institution for polar research. It is run under the auspices of the Norwegian Ministry of Environment. The institute organizes expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic regions and runs a research station at Ny-Ålesund...

, which may prohibit any nonconforming activity. Those who visit Queen Maud Land must follow laws regarding protection of nature, treatment of waste, pollution and insurance for search and rescue
Search and rescue
Search and rescue is the search for and provision of aid to people who are in distress or imminent danger.The general field of search and rescue includes many specialty sub-fields, mostly based upon terrain considerations...

 operations.

Fauna and flora



There are three types of bird
Bird
Birds are feathered, winged, bipedal, endothermic , egg-laying, vertebrate animals. Around 10,000 living species and 188 families makes them the most speciose class of tetrapod vertebrates. They inhabit ecosystems across the globe, from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Extant birds range in size from...

s around Troll: the Antarctic petrel
Antarctic Petrel
The Antarctic Petrel is a boldly marked dark brown and white petrel, found in Antarctica, most commonly in the Ross and Weddell seas. They eat Antarctic krill, fish, and small squid...

, the snow petrel
Snow Petrel
The Snow Petrel is the only member of the genus Pagodroma. It is one of only three birds that breed exclusively in Antarctica and has been seen at the South Pole. It has the most southerly breeding distribution of any bird.-Taxonomy:...

 and the only raptor
Bird of prey
Birds of prey are birds that hunt for food primarily on the wing, using their keen senses, especially vision. They are defined as birds that primarily hunt vertebrates, including other birds. Their talons and beaks tend to be relatively large, powerful and adapted for tearing and/or piercing flesh....

 in Queen Maud Land, the South Polar skua
South Polar Skua
The South Polar Skua, Stercorarius maccormicki, is a large seabird in the skua family Stercorariidae. An older name for the bird is MacCormick’s Skua, after explorer and naval surgeon Robert McCormick, who first collected the type specimen...

. The Antarctic petrel lives on the sea ice
Sea ice
Sea ice is largely formed from seawater that freezes. Because the oceans consist of saltwater, this occurs below the freezing point of pure water, at about -1.8 °C ....

 for most of the year, with the exception of its breeding season (in Antarctica, from November to February), when it moves to the inland mountains and nunatak
Nunatak
A nunatak is an exposed, often rocky element of a ridge, mountain, or peak not covered with ice or snow within an ice field or glacier. The term is typically used in areas where a permanent ice sheet is present...

s. The 3.9 sqkm area of ice-free cliffs in Princess Astrid Coast called Svarthamaren Mountain
Svarthamaren Mountain
Svarthamaren Mountain is a prominent ice-free mountain at the east side of the mouth of Vestreskorve Glacier in the Muhlig-Hofmann Mountains of Queen Maud Land. Mapped from surveys and air photos by the Norwegian Antarctic Expedition and named Svarthamaren ....

 hosts Antarctica's largest known inland colony of breeding seabirds, almost 1 million (250,000 pairs) Antarctic petrels. Many snow petrels and South Polar skuas also breed in this area. Snow petrels are generally spread out in smaller colonies throughout the mountainous areas of Queen Maud Land. During the breeding season, the South Polar skua feeds exclusively upon the eggs, as well as both young and adult birds, of both petrel species.

The Emperor penguin
Emperor Penguin
The Emperor Penguin is the tallest and heaviest of all living penguin species and is endemic to Antarctica. The male and female are similar in plumage and size, reaching in height and weighing anywhere from . The dorsal side and head are black and sharply delineated from the white belly,...

 has some of its breeding places concentrated in Queen Maud Land. All four of the true Antarctic seals, namely the Weddell seal
Weddell Seal
The Weddell seal , is a relatively large and abundant true seal with a circumpolar distribution surrounding Antarctica. Weddell seals have the most southerly distribution of any mammal, with a habitat that extends as far south as McMurdo Sound...

, leopard seal
Leopard Seal
The leopard seal , also referred to as the sea leopard, is the second largest species of seal in the Antarctic...

, crabeater seal
Crabeater Seal
The crabeater seal, Lobodon carcinophagus, is a true seal with a circumpolar distribution around the coast of Antarctica. They are medium to large-sized , relatively slender and pale-colored, found primarily on the free floating pack ice that extends seasonally out from the Antarctic coast, which...

 and Ross seal
Ross Seal
The Ross seal is a true seal with a range confined entirely to the pack ice of Antarctica. It is the only species of the genus Ommatophoca. First described during James Clark Ross' British Antarctic Expedition in 1841, it is the smallest, least abundant and least well known of the Antarctic...

, can be found in the King Haakon VII Sea off Queen Maud Land. The Ross seal is notably found in its greatest numbers in the King Haakon VII Sea.

The nunatak areas have a scarcity of flora, limited to lichen
Lichen
Lichens are composite organisms consisting of a symbiotic organism composed of a fungus with a photosynthetic partner , usually either a green alga or cyanobacterium...

, bryophyte
Bryophyte
Bryophyte is a traditional name used to refer to all embryophytes that do not have true vascular tissue and are therefore called 'non-vascular plants'. Some bryophytes do have specialized tissues for the transport of water; however since these do not contain lignin, they are not considered to be...

 and algae
Algae
Algae are a large and diverse group of simple, typically autotrophic organisms, ranging from unicellular to multicellular forms, such as the giant kelps that grow to 65 meters in length. They are photosynthetic like plants, and "simple" because their tissues are not organized into the many...

. Flowering plant
Flowering plant
The flowering plants , also known as Angiospermae or Magnoliophyta, are the most diverse group of land plants. Angiosperms are seed-producing plants like the gymnosperms and can be distinguished from the gymnosperms by a series of synapomorphies...

s are not found there. The Norwegian Polar Institute has not registered the occurrence of any threatened or rare plants or animals in Queen Maud Land, the known ones thus existing in healthy populations.

Recent research activity


Research stations in Queen Maud Land are connected by the Dronning Maud Land Air Network Project (DROMLAN), which is a cooperative agreement for transportation between eleven nations with research stations in East Antarctica. Long-range aircraft fly between Cape Town, South Africa and either the Troll Airfield
Troll airfield
Troll Airfield is an airstrip located from the research station Troll in Princess Martha Coast in Queen Maud Land, Antarctica. Owned and operated by the Norwegian Polar Institute, it consists of a runway on glacial blue ice on the Antarctic ice sheet...

, located at the Troll research station, or the runway at the Novolazarevskaya Station
Novolazarevskaya Station
Novolazarevskaya Station is a Russian, formerly Soviet, Antarctic research station. The station is located at Schirmacher Oasis, Queen Maud Land, 75 km from the Antarctic coast, from which it is separated by Lazarev Ice Shelf. It was opened on January 18, 1961 by the 6th Soviet Antarctic...

. From these two main airfields, smaller aircraft may fly further to other Antarctic destinations.

Through the Troll Airfield, Norway's Troll station serves as a major hub of the DROMLAN network. Research at Troll include air and atmospheric measurements, monitoring of greenhouse gas
Greenhouse gas
A greenhouse gas is a gas in an atmosphere that absorbs and emits radiation within the thermal infrared range. This process is the fundamental cause of the greenhouse effect. The primary greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone...

es and bird colonies, as well as meteorological
Meteorology
Meteorology is the interdisciplinary scientific study of the atmosphere. Studies in the field stretch back millennia, though significant progress in meteorology did not occur until the 18th century. The 19th century saw breakthroughs occur after observing networks developed across several countries...

 and climate research. The other Norwegian station, Tor
Tor (research station)
Tor research station is a Norwegian Antarctic research station in Queen Maud Land, in the easternmost part of Princess Martha Coast at Svarthamaren Mountain, established in 1993. It is located 1625 metres above sea level, about 200 km from the coast. It is smaller than the other Norwegian...

, was established for researching birds at the breeding colony in Svarthamaren Mountain
Svarthamaren Mountain
Svarthamaren Mountain is a prominent ice-free mountain at the east side of the mouth of Vestreskorve Glacier in the Muhlig-Hofmann Mountains of Queen Maud Land. Mapped from surveys and air photos by the Norwegian Antarctic Expedition and named Svarthamaren ....

. Activities conducted by Russia's Novolazarevskaya Station
Novolazarevskaya Station
Novolazarevskaya Station is a Russian, formerly Soviet, Antarctic research station. The station is located at Schirmacher Oasis, Queen Maud Land, 75 km from the Antarctic coast, from which it is separated by Lazarev Ice Shelf. It was opened on January 18, 1961 by the 6th Soviet Antarctic...

 include environmental monitoring, geodesy
Geodesy
Geodesy , also named geodetics, a branch of earth sciences, is the scientific discipline that deals with the measurement and representation of the Earth, including its gravitational field, in a three-dimensional time-varying space. Geodesists also study geodynamical phenomena such as crustal...

/mapping, geomagnetic
Earth's magnetic field
Earth's magnetic field is the magnetic field that extends from the Earth's inner core to where it meets the solar wind, a stream of energetic particles emanating from the Sun...

 and meteorological observations, glaciology
Glaciology
Glaciology Glaciology Glaciology (from Middle French dialect (Franco-Provençal): glace, "ice"; or Latin: glacies, "frost, ice"; and Greek: λόγος, logos, "speech" lit...

, biology
Biology
Biology is a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy. Biology is a vast subject containing many subdivisions, topics, and disciplines...

, ionospheric
Ionosphere
The ionosphere is a part of the upper atmosphere, comprising portions of the mesosphere, thermosphere and exosphere, distinguished because it is ionized by solar radiation. It plays an important part in atmospheric electricity and forms the inner edge of the magnetosphere...

/auroral observations, limnology
Limnology
Limnology , also called freshwater science, is the study of inland waters. It is often regarded as a division of ecology or environmental science. It covers the biological, chemical, physical, geological, and other attributes of all inland waters...

, geology
Geology
Geology is the science comprising the study of solid Earth, the rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which it evolves. Geology gives insight into the history of the Earth, as it provides the primary evidence for plate tectonics, the evolutionary history of life, and past climates...

, geophysics
Geophysics
Geophysics is the physics of the Earth and its environment in space; also the study of the Earth using quantitative physical methods. The term geophysics sometimes refers only to the geological applications: Earth's shape; its gravitational and magnetic fields; its internal structure and...

 and seismology
Seismology
Seismology is the scientific study of earthquakes and the propagation of elastic waves through the Earth or through other planet-like bodies. The field also includes studies of earthquake effects, such as tsunamis as well as diverse seismic sources such as volcanic, tectonic, oceanic,...

.
South Africa's SANAE IV
SANAE IV
SANAE IV is the current research base of the South African National Antarctic Expedition and is part of the South African National Antarctic Program...

 station was finished in 1997, as the successor to three former stations. Research at SANAE IV include invasion biology
Invasion biology terminology
The need for a clearly defined and consistent invasion biology terminology has been acknowledged by many sources. Invasive species, or invasive exotics, is a nomenclature term and categorization phrase used for flora and fauna, and for specific restoration-preservation processes in native habitats...

/ecology
Ecology
Ecology is the scientific study of the relations that living organisms have with respect to each other and their natural environment. Variables of interest to ecologists include the composition, distribution, amount , number, and changing states of organisms within and among ecosystems...

, geology, geomorphology
Geomorphology
Geomorphology is the scientific study of landforms and the processes that shape them...

 and atmospheric sciences
Atmospheric sciences
Atmospheric sciences is an umbrella term for the study of the atmosphere, its processes, the effects other systems have on the atmosphere, and the effects of the atmosphere on these other systems. Meteorology includes atmospheric chemistry and atmospheric physics with a major focus on weather...

. Its facilities include a small hospital and a two-helicopter hangar.

The Swedish Wasa station and the Finnish Aboa
Aboa (research station)
Aboa is a Finnish research station in Antarctica. It was built in 1988. It is located in Queen Maud Land, about 130 kilometers from the coast, on a nunatak called Basen in the Vestfjella Mountains...

 station together make up the Nordenskiöld Base
Nordenskiöld Base
The Nordenskiöld Base is a name sometimes used for the facilities shared by the Antarctic stations Wasa and Aboa ....

, and cooperate in research and logistics. Research carried out includes geodesy/mapping, glaciology, human biology, meteorological observations, geology and geophysics.
The German Neumayer-Station III
Neumayer-Station III
Neumayer-Station III, also known as Neumayer III after geophysicist Georg von Neumayer, is a German South pole research station of the Alfred-Wegener-Institut in the Antarctic. It is located on the approximately 200-metre thick Ekstrom Ice Shelf several kilometres south of Neumayer-Station II. The...

, finished in 2009, succeeded two former stations that were buried by snow and ice. It conducts geophysical, meteorological and seismological research, as well as air chemistry measurements and atmospheric ozone monitoring. Germany's other station, Kohnen, was opened as part of a major ice-drilling project.

The Maitri
Maitri
Maitri is India's second permanent research station in Antarctica. It was built and finished in 1989, shortly before the first station Dakshin Gangotri was buried in ice and abandoned in 1990-91...

 station succeeded the Dakshin Gangotri station in 1989, India's first Antarctic base. Maitri's research focus on geology, and the study of the supercontinent Gondwana
Gondwana
In paleogeography, Gondwana , originally Gondwanaland, was the southernmost of two supercontinents that later became parts of the Pangaea supercontinent. It existed from approximately 510 to 180 million years ago . Gondwana is believed to have sutured between ca. 570 and 510 Mya,...

, when India and Antarctica belonged to the same landmass. It also includes low-temperature engineering research that is relevant to conditions in the Himalayas
Himalayas
The Himalaya Range or Himalaya Mountains Sanskrit: Devanagari: हिमालय, literally "abode of snow"), usually called the Himalayas or Himalaya for short, is a mountain range in Asia, separating the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau...

.
The Showa Station is Japan's main research station in Antarctica. A vast array of research is conducted there, including upper atmosphere physics, meteorology, seismology, gravimetry
Gravimetry
Gravimetry is the measurement of the strength of a gravitational field. Gravimetry may be used when either the magnitude of gravitational field or the properties of matter responsible for its creation are of interest...

, geodesy/mapping, oceanography
Oceanography
Oceanography , also called oceanology or marine science, is the branch of Earth science that studies the ocean...

, glaciology, geology, marine and terrestrial biology, and medical research. Japan's other station, Dome Fuji Station was opened as part of a major ice-coring project. It mainly studies climate change, and conducts deep drilling and atmospheric observations.

Belgium's Princess Elisabeth Base
Princess Elisabeth Base
Princess Elisabeth Base, located on Utsteinen Nunatak in Dronning Maud Land is a Belgian polar station, taken into use on February 15, 2009. The station is the first polar base that combines eco-friendly construction materials, clean and efficient energy use, optimization of the station's energy...

 was established as a project to promote polar sciences, as well as to demonstrate the possibility of building a Zero emission
Zero emission
Zero emission refers to an engine, motor, or other energy source, that emits no waste products that pollutes the environment or disrupts the climate.-Zero emission engines:...

 station. Research is conducted by an international team of scientists, studying climatology, glaciology and microbiology
Microbiology
Microbiology is the study of microorganisms, which are defined as any microscopic organism that comprises either a single cell , cell clusters or no cell at all . This includes eukaryotes, such as fungi and protists, and prokaryotes...

.

List of current research stations


The following table lists the currently operational research stations in Queen Maud Land, sorted from westernmost to easternmost. The population figures show the winter average first (if applicable), and the peak (or maximum capacity in the case of the newly opened Princess Elisabeth Base) population last.
Detailed list of current research outposts
Research station Country Est. Type Pop.
(winter)
Pop.
(peak)
Coordinates Altitude
Wasa (Nordenskiöld Base
Nordenskiöld Base
The Nordenskiöld Base is a name sometimes used for the facilities shared by the Antarctic stations Wasa and Aboa ....

)
Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

1989 Seasonal 0 20 73°03′S 13°25′W 400 metres (1,312.3 ft)
Aboa
Aboa (research station)
Aboa is a Finnish research station in Antarctica. It was built in 1988. It is located in Queen Maud Land, about 130 kilometers from the coast, on a nunatak called Basen in the Vestfjella Mountains...

 (Nordenskiöld Base)
Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

1989 Seasonal 0 20 73°03′S 13°25′W 400 metres (1,312.3 ft)
Neumayer-Station III
Neumayer-Station III
Neumayer-Station III, also known as Neumayer III after geophysicist Georg von Neumayer, is a German South pole research station of the Alfred-Wegener-Institut in the Antarctic. It is located on the approximately 200-metre thick Ekstrom Ice Shelf several kilometres south of Neumayer-Station II. The...

Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

1981 Year-round 9 50 70°38′S 08°16′W 40 metres (131.2 ft)
SANAE IV
SANAE IV
SANAE IV is the current research base of the South African National Antarctic Expedition and is part of the South African National Antarctic Program...

South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

19621 Year-round 10 80 71°40′S 02°50′W 841 metres (2,759.2 ft)
Kohnen Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

2001 Seasonal 0 28 75°00′S 00°02′W 2900 metres (9,514.4 ft)
Troll
Troll (research station)
Troll is a research station located at Jutulsessen, from the coast in the eastern part of Princess Martha Coast in Queen Maud Land, Antarctica. It is Norway's only all-year research station in Antarctica, and is supplemented by the summer-only station Tor...

Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

19902 Year-round 7 40 72°00′S 02°32′E 1300 metres (4,265.1 ft)
Tor
Tor (research station)
Tor research station is a Norwegian Antarctic research station in Queen Maud Land, in the easternmost part of Princess Martha Coast at Svarthamaren Mountain, established in 1993. It is located 1625 metres above sea level, about 200 km from the coast. It is smaller than the other Norwegian...

Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

1985 Seasonal 0 4 71°53′S 05°09′E 1625 metres (5,331.4 ft)
Maitri
Maitri
Maitri is India's second permanent research station in Antarctica. It was built and finished in 1989, shortly before the first station Dakshin Gangotri was buried in ice and abandoned in 1990-91...

India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

1989 Year-round 25 65 70°46′S 11°44′E 130 metres (426.5 ft)
Novolazarevskaya Station
Novolazarevskaya Station
Novolazarevskaya Station is a Russian, formerly Soviet, Antarctic research station. The station is located at Schirmacher Oasis, Queen Maud Land, 75 km from the Antarctic coast, from which it is separated by Lazarev Ice Shelf. It was opened on January 18, 1961 by the 6th Soviet Antarctic...

Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

1961 Year-round 30 70 70°46′S 11°52′E 102 metres (334.6 ft)
Princess Elisabeth Base
Princess Elisabeth Base
Princess Elisabeth Base, located on Utsteinen Nunatak in Dronning Maud Land is a Belgian polar station, taken into use on February 15, 2009. The station is the first polar base that combines eco-friendly construction materials, clean and efficient energy use, optimization of the station's energy...

Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

2009 Seasonal 0 20 71°57′S 23°20′E 1397 metres (4,583.3 ft)
Showa Station Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

1957 Year-round 40 110 69°00′S 39°35′E 29 metres (95.1 ft)
Dome Fuji Station Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

1995 Seasonal 0 40 77°19′S 39°42′E 3810 metres (12,500 ft)

1 While the original SANAE
SANAE
SANAE is the South African National Antarctic Expedition. The name refers both to the overwintering bases, and the team spending the winter . The current base, SANAE IV, is located at Vesleskarvet in Queen Maud Land, Antarctica...

station was opened in 1962, the current SANAE IV station was opened in 1997, 200 kilometres (124.3 mi) south of the former stations.
2 The Troll station was in 1990 opened as a seasonal summer-only station, and was opened for year-round operations in 2005.

External links