Troll – the Norwegian research station in Antarctica

Troll is the Norwegian research station in Antarctica. Meteorological observations and measurements of radiation, including UV radiation, are undertaken, as well as field research programmes on glaciology, biology and physics. Troll operates all the year round.

Builings on ice

Photo: Sven Lidström / Norwegian Polar Institute

Troll is around 235 km from the coast, at Jutulsessen in Dronning Maud Land, a central area for Norwegian research in Antarctica. Located at 72° 01´ S, 2° 32´ E, Troll Station stands on bare ground 1270 m above sea level on the Jutulsessen nunatak, entirely surrounded by the vast Antarctic ice cap, unlike most research stations in Antarctica, which are placed on snow.

The station is manned all the year round. It can accommodate eight people in the Antarctic winter and many more in summer. The station had to withstand temperatures as low as -60 °C and wind speeds of up to 60 m a second.

The new building is approximately 300 m2 in size and has eight bedrooms, an exercise room, a sauna, a large kitchen, a communications room and office space for all those wintering there. Several separate buildings contain laboratories, stores, generators and a garage, in addition to emergency living quarters for eight people at a safe distance from the main base in the event of a fire or other mishap.

The Norwegian Troll Station seen from Nonshøgda.

The Norwegian Troll Station seen from Nonshøgda. Troll is in Dronning Maud Land in Antarctica and operates throughout the year.
Photo: Stein Tronstad / Norwegian Polar Institute

Troll Airfield

Airplane parked on snow next to snowmobile

Photo: Sven Lidström / Norwegian Polar Institute

Transportatin to and from Troll is conducted on a 3000-metre-long airstrip Troll Airfield, located on the blue ice a few kilometres from the research station. The airstrip is operative in the Antarctic summer, between October and February and is reserved for scientific activities and cannot be used by commercial operatives.

Personnel from the research station take care of safety aspects and maintain the runway. The airstrip is part of the Queen Maud Land Air Network Project, a cooperative project between eleven nations working in Queen Maud Land.

Environment in focus

The original Troll research station was built before the Antarctic Treaty Environmental Protocol in 1991, but focus on the environment has now been integrated into all the activity.

Some of the environmental measures

  • to demarcate the area used so that development of the station takes place within a limited area.
  • to reduce energy consumption, in part by ensuring that excess heat is not released into the environment but is used to melt snow and ice for drinking water and the central heating system.
  • the modules of the station itself are constructed in an energy effective manner.
  • Reducing waste achieved by planning purchasing and recycling.
  • The waste is sorted and compressed before being transported out of the Antarctic.
  • Fuel is stored and handled in such a way that a chance of even the smallest spills is minimised. There is equipment and emergency plans to deal with any spills that should occur.

In addition to all these precautions, the institute carries out thorough monitoring and registering to follow-up the intention that Troll Station be a leading environmental station in the Antarctic.