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Argentine Antarctica

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Argentine Antarctica (Spanish: Antártida Argentina) is a sector of Antarctica claimed by Argentina as part of its national territory.

Argentine Antarctica

Argentine Antarctica (Spanish: Antártida Argentina) is a sector of Antarctica claimed by Argentina as part of its national territory. The Argentine Antarctic region, consisting of the Antarctic Peninsula and a triangular section extending to the South Pole, is delimited by the 25° West and 74° West meridians and the 60° South parallel. Administratively, Argentine Antarctica is a department of the province of Tierra del Fuego, Antarctica, and South Atlantic Islands. The provincial authorities reside in Ushuaia and the Governor annually designates his or her delegate for the Antarctica region.


The "civil power" of any of the administrators extends no further than that nation's own bases. The Argentine exploration to the continent started early in the 20th century. José María Sobral was the first Argentine to set foot on Antarctica in 1901, where he spent 2 seasons with the Swedish Antarctic Expedition of Doctor Otto Nordenskiöld. Shortly afterwards, in 1904, the Orcadas permanent base was already fully operational.


Years later other bases would be created, some permanent and others seasonal. The first Argentine expedition to reach the South Pole was the 1965 Operación 90.

Argentine actions in Antarctica are coordinated by the Instituto Antartico Argentino

According the last Argentine national census, on October 2010 (winter) there were 230 habitants in the six permament bases, including 9 families and 16 children as follow: 75 at Marambio, 66 at Esperanza, 33 at Jubany, 20 at San Martín, 19 at Belgrano II and 17 at Orcadas

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The geographic structure of the Argentine Antarctica continues some features of the Patagonia, located to the north of it. The highest peaks are located at the south of the Antarctic Peninsula, which has islands and archipelagos nearby. The land is under an ice sheet.
The region has a polar climate, with strong winds, snow and thick clouds.



antarctica argentina

Argentine claim

According to historical claims, the Argentine presence in the section began during the first decade of the 20th century; though some even affirm that it took place by the end of the previous century. However, navigators from other countries claimed the discovery of Antarctica for themselves. By the end of the 20th century the aid lent by Argentina to foreign expeditions, in particular that of Nordensöld, Gerlache and Charcot, was properly appreciated. This included the assignment of Argentine place names to Antarctic geographic features, such as the Argentine Islands, Uruguay Islands, General Roca, Quintana, and others.
In 1904 the permanent occupation began with the opening of Orcadas Base on Laurie Island just off the Antarctic mainland. Argentina was the only nation to have an Antarctic base for 40 years until the British built a base on the same islands.

Argentina bases its claims on this sector of Antarctica on the following grounds:

  • The Antarctic peninsula is geologically and geographically part of the Andes.
  • Argentina has maintained a permanent occupation for more than a century, and controls the oldest base in Antarctica (Orcadas Station on Laurie Island).
  • Argentina conducts many rescue missions in Antarctica.
  • Argentina has constructed lighthouses and other navigational aids in Antarctica.
  • Argentina constructed Antarctica's first airport in 1969
  • Argentines form more of Antarctica's peninsula's population than nationals of any other country.
  • The first Antarctican was born in Esperanza Base (Hope Base), namely Emilio Palma.
  • Argentina has sent more people to Antarctica than all the other countries together.

Argentina's claim to the Antarctic Peninsula overlaps with the Antarctic claims of Chile, 53°W to 90°W, and the UK claims, 20°W to 80°W, and is not recognized by most other countries. See List of Antarctic territorial claims.
Currently, there are no attempts by Argentina or any other country to enforce territorial claims in Antarctica.