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A number of governments maintain permanent research stations in Antarctica and these bases are widely distributed. Unlike the bases set up in the Arctic (see Drifting ice station), the research stations of the Antarctic are constructed either on rock or on ice that is (for practical purposes) fixed in place.
Many of the stations are staffed around the year. A total of 30 countries (as of October 2006), all signatories to the Antarctic Treaty, operate seasonal (summer) and year-round research stations on the continent. The population of people performing and supporting scientific research on the continent and nearby islands varies from approximately 4,000 during the summer season to 1,000 during winter (June). In addition to these permanent stations, approximately 30 field camps are established each summer to support specific projects.[dubious ]
During the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration in the early 20th century, the first bases on the continent were established. In 1903, Dr William S. Bruce's Scottish National Antarctic Expedition set off to Antarctica, with one of its aims to establish a meteorological station in the area.
After the expedition failed to find land, Bruce decided to head back to the South Orkneys and find an anchorage there. The islands were well-situated as a site for a meteorological station, and their relative proximity to the South American mainland allowed a permanent station to be established. Bruce instituted a comprehensive programme of work, involving meteorological readings, trawling for marine samples, botanical excursions, and the collection of biological and geological specimens.
The major task completed during this time was the construction of a stone building, christened "Omond House". This was to act as living accommodation for the parties that would remain on Laurie Island to operate the proposed meteorological laboratory. The building was constructed from local materials using the dry stone method, with a roof improvised from wood and canvas sheeting. The completed house was 20 feet square (6m × 6m), with two windows, fitted as quarters for six people. Rudmose Brown wrote: "Considering that we had no mortar and no masons' tools it is a wonderfully fine house and very lasting. I should think it will be standing a century hence ..."
Bruce later offered to Argentina the transfer of the station and instruments on the condition that the government committed itself to the continuation of the scientific mission. Bruce informed the British officer William Haggard of his intentions in December 1903, and Haggard ratified the terms of Bruce proposition.
The Scotia sailed back for Laurie Island on 14 January 1904 carrying on board Argentinean officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, National Meteorological Office, Ministry of Livestock and National Postal and Telegraphs Office. In 1906, Argentina communicated to the international community the establishment of a permanent base on South Orkney Islands.
Little happened for the following forty years until the Second World War, when the British launched Operation Tabarin in 1943, to establish a presence on the continent. The chief reason was to establish solid British claims to various uninhabited islands and parts of Antarctica, reinforced by Argentine sympathies toward Germany.
Prior to the start of the war, German aircraft had dropped markers with swastikas across Queen Maud Land in an attempt to create a territorial claim, see New Swabia. Led by Lieutenant James Marr, the 14-strong team left the Falkland Islands in two ships, HMS William Scoresby (a minesweeping trawler) and Fitzroy, on Saturday January 29, 1944. Marr had accompanied the British explorer Ernest Shackleton on his Antarctic expeditions in the 1920s.
Bases were established during February near the abandoned Norwegian whaling station on Deception Island, where the Union Flag was hoisted in place of Argentine flags, and at Port Lockroy (on February 11) on the coast of Graham Land. A further base was founded at Hope Bay on February 13, 1945, after a failed attempt to unload stores on February 7, 1944. These bases were the first ever to be constructed on the mainland Antarctica.
The Operation provoked a massive expansion in international activity after the war. Chile organized its First Chilean Antarctic Expedition in 1947–48. Among other accomplishments, it brought the Chilean president Gabriel González Videla to personally inaugurate one of its bases, thereby becoming the first head of state to set foot on the continent. Signy Research Station (UK) was established in 1947, Dumont d'Urville Station was the first French station in 1956. In the same year McMurdo Station was built by the United States and the Mirny Station was established by the Soviet Union.
|Aboa||Summer||Finland||1989||Finnish Antarctic Research Program||Queen Maud Land|
|Almirante Brown Antarctic Base||Summer||Argentina||1951||Argentine Antarctic Institute||Antarctic Peninsula||iUTC-3|
|Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station||Permanent||United States||1957||United States Antarctic Program||Geographical South Pole||xUTC+12*|
|Artigas Base||Permanent||Uruguay||1984||Uruguayan Antarctic Institute||King George Island||iUTC-3|
|Asuka Station||Summer||Japan||1985||National Institute of Polar Research|
|Queen Maud Land|
|Belgrano II||Permanent||Argentina||1979||Argentine Antarctic Institute||Coats Land||iUTC-3|
|Bellingshausen Station||Permanent||Russia||1968||Russian Antarctic Expedition||King George Island|
|Bernardo O'Higgins Station||Permanent||Chile||1948||Chilean Army|
|Bharati||Permanent||India||2012||Indian Antarctic Program||Larsemann Hills|
|Byrd Station||Summer||United States||1957||United States Antarctic Program||Marie Byrd Land|
|Captain Arturo Prat Base||Permanent||Chile||1947||Chilean Navy||Greenwich Island||hUTC-4*|
|Casey Station||Permanent||Australia||1957||Australian Antarctic Division||Vincennes Bay||tUTC+8|
|Comandante Ferraz Antarctic Station||Permanent||Brazil||1984||Brazilian Antarctic Program||King George Island||iUTC-3|
|Concordia Station||Permanent|| Italy|
|2005||Concordia Station is a joint french-italian research facility, managed by PNRA (National Antarctic Research Program of Italy) and IPEV (Institut Polaire Français Paul Émile Victor)|
research topics: human biology, geomagnetic observations, geodesy, glaciology, meteorological observations, astronomy, seismology and environmental monitoring 
|Dome C, Antarctic Plateau||sUTC+10|
|Davis Station||Permanent||Australia||1957||Australian Antarctic Division||Princess Elizabeth Land||sUTC+7|
|Dome Fuji Station||Summer||Japan||1995||National Institute of Polar Research||Queen Maud Land|
|Dumont d'Urville Station||Permanent||France||1956||IPEV (Institut Polaire Français Paul Émile Victor)||Adélie Land||vUTC+10|
|Base Presidente Eduardo Frei Montalva and Villa Las Estrellas||Permanent||Chile||1969||Chilean Air Force||King George Island||hUTC-4*|
|Esperanza Base||Permanent||Argentina||1975||Argentine Antarctic Institute||Hope Bay||iUTC-3|
|Gabriel de Castilla Station||Summer||Spain||1989||CSIC|
Marine biology 
|Gonzalez Videla Station||Summer||Chile||1951||Chilean Air Force||Paradise Bay, Water Boat Point.|
|Great Wall Station||Permanent||China||1985||Polar Research Institute of China||King George Island|
|Halley Research Station||Permanent||United Kingdom||1956||British Antarctic Survey ||Brunt Ice Shelf|
|Henryk Arctowski Polish Antarctic Station||Permanent||Poland||1977||Polish Academy of Sciences||King George Island|
|Jang Bogo Station||Permanent||South Korea||2014||Korea Antarctic Research Program||Terra Nova Bay||UTC+11|
|Jinnah Antarctic Station||Summer||Pakistan||1991||Pakistan Antarctic Programme||Sør Rondane Mountains, Queen Maud Land|
|Juan Carlos I Station||Summer||Spain||1988||CSIC|
Laboratory, investigation and meteorogical station.
|South Bay, Livingston Island|
|Jubany||Permanent||Argentina||1953||Argentine Antarctic Institute||King George Island||iUTC-3|
|King Sejong Station||Permanent||South Korea||1988||Korea Antarctic Research Program||King George Island||UTC-3|
|Kohnen-Station||Summer||Germany||2001||Alfred Wegener Institute||Queen Maud Land|
|Kunlun Station||Summer||China||2009||Polar Research Institute of China||Dome A|
|Law-Racoviţă Station||Permanent||Romania||1986||Romanian Polar Research Institute||Larsemann Hills, Princess Elizabeth Land|
(re-opening in 2007-2008)
|Russian Antarctic Expedition||Oates Coast, Victoria Land|
|Machu Picchu Research Station||Summer||Peru||1989||Peruvian Antarctic Institute (INANPE) ||Admiralty Bay, King George Island|
|Maitri Station||Permanent||India||1989||Indian Antarctic Program||Schirmacher Oasis|
|Maldonado Base||Summer||Ecuador||1990||Ecuadorian Antarctic Institute||Greenwich Island|
|Marambio Base||Permanent||Argentina||1969||Argentine Antarctic Institute||Seymour-Marambio Island||iUTC-3|
|Mario Zucchelli Station||Permanent||Italy||1986||National Antarctic Research Program (PNRA)|
with the collaboration of ENEA and CNR
research topics: offshore marine biology, terrestrial biology, oceanography, geomagnetic observations, geodesy, onshore geology, glaciology, meteorological observations, ionospheric/auroral observations, cosmic ray observations, seismology and environmental monitoring 
|Terra Nova Bay, Ross Sea||xUTC+12|
|Mawson Station||Permanent||Australia||1954||Australian Antarctic Division||Mac Robertson Land||rUTC+6|
|McMurdo Station||Permanent||United States||1956||United States Antarctic Program||Ross Island||xUTC+12*|
|Mendel Polar Station||Summer||Czech Republic||2006||Masaryk University|
biological, geological and climate research
|James Ross Island|
|Mirny Station||Permanent||Russia||1956||Russian Antarctic Expedition|
glaciology, seismology, meteorology, polar lights, cosmic radiation, and marine biology
|Mizuho Station||Summer||Japan||1970||National Institute of Polar Research|
|Molodyozhnaya Station||Summer|| Russia|
(re-opening in 2007-2008)
|Russian Antarctic Expedition|
|Neumayer-Station III||Permanent||Germany||2009||Alfred Wegener Institute||Atka Bay||lUTC|
|Novolazarevskaya Station||Permanent||Russia||1961||Russian Antarctic Expedition||Queen Maud Land|
|Orcadas Base||Permanent||Argentina||1904||Argentine Antarctic Institute, Argentine Navy||Laurie Island, South Orkney Islands||iUTC-3|
|Palmer Station||Permanent||United States||1968||United States Antarctic Program|
Science labs, a dock and a helicopter pad.
|Princess Elisabeth Base||Permanent||Belgium||2007||Belgium Polar Secretariat|
Energy-passive research station.
|Queen Maud Land|
|Professor Julio Escudero Base||Permanent||Chile||1994||Chilean Antarctic Institute||King George Island||hUTC-4*|
|Progress Station||Summer||Russia||1988||Russian Antarctic Expedition||Prydz Bay|
|Rothera Research Station||Permanent||United Kingdom||1975||British Antarctic Survey||Adelaide Island|
(re-opening in 2007-2008)
|Russian Antarctic Expedition||Marie Byrd Land||fUTC-6|
|San Martín Base||Permanent||Argentina||1951||Argentine Antarctic Institute||Barry Island||iUTC-3|
|SANAE IV (South African National Antarctic Expedition)||Permanent||South Africa||1962|
|South African National Antarctic Programme||Vesleskarvet in Queen Maud Land||iUTC+2|
|St. Kliment Ohridski Base||Permanent||Bulgaria||1988||Bulgarian Antarctic Institute|
Biological research, laboratorial and meteorological measurements. First Eastern Orthodox chapel, St. Ivan Rilski
|Emona Anchorage, Livingston Island|
|Scott Base||Permanent||New Zealand||1957||Antarctica New Zealand|
Antarctic physical environments, Southern Ocean and Antarctic ecosystems.
|Showa Station||Permanent||Japan||1957||National Institute of Polar Research||East Ongul Island||oUTC+3|
|Signy Research Station||Summer (Permanent 1947-1995)||United Kingdom||1947||British Antarctic Survey||Signy Island, South Orkney Islands|
|Svea Research Station||Summer||Sweden||1988||Swedish Polar Research Secretariat||Queen Maud Land|
|Taishan Station||Summer||China||2014||Polar Research Institute of China||Princess Elizabeth Land|
|Tor Station||Summer||Norway||1993||Norwegian Polar Institute||Queen Maud Land|
|Troll Station||Permanent||Norway||1990||Norwegian Polar Institute||Queen Maud Land|
|WAIS Divide Camp||Summer||United States||2005||United States Antarctic Program|
Collect a deep ice core
|West Antarctic Ice Sheet|
|Wasa Research Station||Summer||Sweden||1989||Swedish Polar Research Secretariat||Queen Maud Land|
|Vernadsky Research Base||Permanent||Ukraine||1994||National Antarctic Scientific Center||Galindez Island||iUTC-3|
|Vostok Station||Permanent||Russia||1957||Russian Antarctic Expedition||Antarctic Ice Sheet||rUTC+6|
|Zhongshan (Sun Yat-Sen) Station||Permanent||China||1989||Polar Research Institute of China||Larsemann Hills in Prydz Bay|