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  • Station or cluster: CryoNet Station
  • Type: Primary
  • Attribute(s):
  • WMO ID (if any): 89062
  • Latitude, longitude: -67.5, -68.1
  • Altitude and/or range (m): 32; 0-100
  • Landscape: Coastal
  • Year established: 1976
  • Year-round? Yes
  • Operations contact: Steven Colwell
  • Science contact: Steven Colwell
  • Data contact: Steven Colwell
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Primary CryoNet Station Information

Built on a rock promontory at the southern tip of the Wormald Ice Piedmont, Rothera Research Station is situated on Adelaide Island to the west of the Antarctic Peninsula.

Adelaide Island is 1,860km south of the Falkland Islands and 1,630km south-east of Punta Arenas, Chile. The island, which is 140km long, is mountainous and heavily glaciated. Its highest peak is 2,565 metres.


Summer temperatures are typically between 0 and +5°C, and in winter range from –5°C to – 20°C, but because of its coastal location and the Southern Ocean low-pressure weather systems, temperatures can vary widely at any time of year.

You can find sea ice at Rothera from late May to late November, although it takes prolonged periods of calm conditions for ice to form and become fast.

Prevailing winds are northerlies, reaching gale force on around 70 days a year. While it can snow at any time of year, in recent years the main snow fall has come at the end of winter. Rain occasionally falls at Rothera.

Because the station is just south of the Antarctic circle, it is light for 24 hours a day during summer, and for a few weeks in winter the sun never rises above the horizon.

Other Networks to Which This CryoNet Station Belongs

Measurement Methods Used

Data Information


The measurements made at Rothera are listed in the following tables. (Note: If End Year is blank, measurements are ongoing.)

Cryosphere Measurements

Element Variable Start Year End Year Frequency
SeaiceClass (pack, fast ice)2010Sporadic
SeaiceForm of ice (floe size)2010Sporadic
SeaiceStage of development2010Sporadic
PermafrostSoil temperature2010Continuous

Atmosphere Measurements

Element Variable Start Year End Year Frequency
MetAir temperature1976Continuous
MetHumidity/vapour pressure1976Continuous
MetWind speed and direction1976Continuous
MetAir pressure1976Continuous
RadiationDownwelling shortwave2005Continuous
RadiationUpwelling shortwave2005Continuous
RadiationDownwelling longwave2005Continuous
RadiationUpwelling longwave2005Continuous
RadiationSunshine duration2000Continuous

Last updated: 6 December 2017