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Murchisonfjord: Kinnvika

Panorama of the IGY station built in 1957

Kinn­vi­ka is cer­tain­ly the most well-known place in Murchi­son­fjord. Situa­ted in a well shel­te­red bay on the nort­hern side of the fjord, it was a rese­arch sta­ti­on built during the Inter­na­tio­nal Geo­phy­si­cal Year 1957-59 main­ly as a Swe­dish-Fin­nish effort. The sta­ti­on was qui­te sub­stan­ti­al, with no less than 10 buil­dings spread over some area in case one of them would catch fire.

An old amphi­bi­an vehi­cle is still the­re and some other stuff, some of it dating back to the Geo­phy­si­cal Year 1957-59, others is youn­ger: in 2003-04, Marie Tie­che and Hau­ke Trinks win­te­red in Kinn­vi­ka. The sta­ti­on was again put into use, fol­lowing the ori­gi­nal inten­ti­on of the place being a rese­arch area, during the latest Inter­na­tio­nal Polar Year of 2007-08, when sci­en­tists from 10 coun­tries inves­ti­ga­ted the area in detail. The ice cap Ves­t­fon­na was an important focus of their work.

The­se two indoor panos are from the lar­gest of the buil­dings in Kinn­vi­ka. Not much is left of the charme of an old polar sta­ti­on, it is qui­te empty and does not com­pa­re to the his­to­ri­cal huts in Ant­arc­ti­ca (Cape Evans or Cape Royds, for examp­le), which look as if their ori­gi­nal inha­bi­tants had left just yes­ter­day.

And of cour­se the Swe­dish and Fin­nish guys from 1957-59 did not for­get to build a sau­na! It is cer­tain­ly the nort­hern­most one in Sval­bard.

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last modification: 2019-02-23 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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