The Norvegia field station on Bouvetøya

Bouvetøya is located between South Africa and Antarctica, and is more remote from civilisation in all directions than anywhere else in the world. Bouvetøya is the southernmost Norwegian nature reserve. The Norwegian Polar Institute has studied and monitored seals, penguins and other birds on Bouvetøya since the mid-1990s. A new research station was erected in 2014, after the previous one had blown out to sea.


NEW STATION The new station was prefabricated and equipped in Tromsø, and was taken to Bouvetøya by ship from Cape Town to be erected there Photo: Marius Bratrein / Norwegian Polar Institute

The new station has space for six people for periods of 2-4 months and is constructed and equipped to tackle hard weather. It is built to be able to remain on the island for 20 years, but in addition to wind and frequent landslides, the ground will probably melt and make it less stable as time passes. The island is usually shrouded in cloud or dense fog, and as much as 94 % of the land area is covered by glaciers. The island lacks a quay or harbour, and people and equipment have to be transported by helicopter.

The station is equipped with cameras and meteorological sensors which continually transmit data via satellite. It is self-sufficient as regards electricity, being supplied by wind and solar energy which operate the measuring equipment, also in the long periods when the station is unmanned.