Argentine is one of the original treaty signatories and had been closely involved into an international level of cooperation. As a matter of fact there are joint projects that are implemented on a regular basis with other countries.



For more actual information please visit the spanish version of this page.



This spirit of international collaboration started with the logistical support to the Dr. Otto Nordenskjöld´s expedition to the Antarctica and his rescue for the corvette Uruguay under the command of the Liutenant Julián Irizar in 1903.

Since February 22, 1904 a meteorological station in the Laurie Island   (South Orkney Islands) has been operated continuously for the argentinean government.

At the present there are six permanent scientific stations in the Argentine Antarctic Sector : Orcadas, Marambio, Jubany, Esperanza, San Martín and Belgrano II. The principal scientist investigations involve biology, geology, glaciology, geophysics, meteorology, vulcanology, upper atmospherics, human biology and medicine, environmental, fisheries, and global change phenomena.

Argentine Scientific Stations

   In the other hand are seven only-summer scientific stations : Brown, Matienzo, Primavera, Cámara, Melchior, Petrel and Decepción. These instalations brings the necesary infractructure to support specific science programs in the summer, like studies on biotic communities, systematic collection of data and samples and conservation of the historic monuments. In the Antarctic, people are needed to provide shipping and air services, to build and mantain scientific stations, to look after the health of expeditioners, and to help researchers in the field.

The Antarctic program is logistically supported by the icebreaker Almirante Irizar using helicopters and watercrafts to move personnel and cargo from ship-to-shore and in the other hand include improving infractructure to support scientific research, environmental protection, and waste managment more effectively.

Since 1979 this ship has served every year in the antarctic continent not only suppliying scientific research stations but also working as a floating laboratory or carrying out search and rescue.

The ship has laboratories and has berthing to accommodate scientists, the cranes and work areas give the scientists the capability to do at-sea studies of geology, oceanography, sea-ice physics, and other several disciplines. At the present time is the only icebreaker in all the South Hemisphere.


redball.gif (211 bytes) International cooperation

 In cojunction with the argentinean station Jubany on King George Island ( Antarctic Peninsula, South Shetland Islands ) the Alfred Wegener Intitute operates The Dallmann Laboratoty, together with Argentina and The Netherlands. In January 1994 the Alfred Wegener Institute and the Instituto Antártico Argentino jointly opened the Dallmann Laboratory and  this is the first reseach facility in the Antarctic for wich an international agreement was concluded for colaboration between reseachers from Germany, The Netherlands and Argentina.   The Dallmann Laboratory can accomaodate twelve scientists, it offers living and working space, and is equipped with four laboratories, storage space, an aquarium container, diving equipment and some igloo huts. Although the Jubany station develops her activities throughout the year, the Dallmann Laboratory is only open during the summmer months between October and March. There are few Antarctic areas where the coastline is not covered by thick shelf ice and this is the most important quality avaible at Jubany station. Reseach divers investigate the composition and stability of algal and faunal communities.

Partners from Argentina, The Netherlands and Germany are jointly involved in most of the projects. However, the laboratory is also opened to reseachers from other countries.




The passenger’s ship "CLIPPER ADVENTURER" been freed from the pack-ice by the Argentine Icebreaker A.R.A "Almirante Irizar".



On January 31, 2000, while the Icebreaker ARA "Almirante Irizar" (RHAI) was performing repairs on beacons an some oceanography tasks, on the Bismark narrows at 07:55 local time, a call was received from the Passenger Ship "Clipper Adventurer" (CA) on position Lat 66º43´S Long 67º31´W asking for the assistance of an icebreaker because it was trapped by the pack-ice. The distance from the ship to clear waters was 28 km and the passenger ship could not sail them. The wind and the tide on this zone made the ice press the hull of the ship more as the time was passing.

The Clipper Adventurer was north of Belgrano Island, with 70 passengers and 115 crew members. It has 300 feet overall length and is not prepared to navigate on conditions with packed ice. She was more than 400 km from the Almirante Irizar's position.

The order given by Irizar's Captain was to navigate at maximum speed possible and to get ready the different rescue systems for the tow at the same time.

At 18:30 hrs the icebreaker arrived at the Matha narrows. Our helicopter made a flight to overview the situation, which was defined as complex. It was going to take several hours of continuous work to free the Clipper Adventurer from the pack-ice. The density of the field was 10 tenths and made the maneuver a difficult one.

A few minutes before midnight, the Almirante Irizar reached the ice near the Clipper Adventurer. The intention was to release the pressure of the ice on the hull of the ship and create a channel in order to have some free waters for the return trip. At the same time we had to turn the ship since it was pointing south and the exit was on the north. We made several maneuvers close to the ship, sometimes close to 10 meters.

At 02:25 hrs the first tow line was passed between the bow of the CA and the stern of the RHAI, turning it 30º to starboard to drive it inside the channel opened by the icebreaker.

At 05:06 hrs, after turning the ship, we started the tow through the opened channel.

At 07:05 hrs we had to let go the tow line in order to open a new channel because the first one was closed and had changed it’s position

At 0818 hrs we passed the tow line again and towed the Clipper Adventurer to open waters.

A few minutes later, at 09:10 hrs we finally left the icefield, and the Icebreaker Almirante Irizar escorts the Clipper Adventurer until her Captain confirms no damage was caused and she could sail in perfect conditions.



redball.gif (211 bytes) Breaking the ice

Some basic concepts about the technics employed for the icebreakers.


 Although an icebreaker, like the Almirante Irizar,  is capable of breaking very thick ice it takes longer and consumes more combustible therefore if possible the ship will avoid the ice.The most efficient form to break through ice is to find the weakest points and break through where less force will be required.

 This is normally done by exploting open areas when there are none, the ship is piloted , when it is possible, over the first year ice due to one important fact:as sea ice gets older it becames stronger.

  Another kind of ice is multiple year ice, it has a vissible quality, a deeper blue color and its hardness is even more distinctive, and causes the icebreaker to slam and shudder.

  So the ship has to back and ram, to proceed forward through this type of ice.

  When the pack stop the vessel, it willl back down between one half and two ship lenghts though the track cut at her stern, so  the icebreaker uses its engines to create as much forward momentum as possible.The momentum of the ship ( the product between her displacement and her speed) will carry it up higher on the ice, and push it ahead with more force to breaf through, the ice is pushed down by the weight of the ship wich causes the ice to break off in chunks.The broken ice is then pushed out of the way by the hull of the icebreaker as it proceeds forward.

  In the other hand this process consumes much greater amounts of fuel and time. The hull is designed to absorb high-powered rams into ice.The form of the bow allows the icebreaker to firts ride up on top of the ice, then the bow is levered down by gravity through the ice and causes his collapse.