Tractor
All eight modules were towed across the ice shelf to the new location further from the sea

The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) has completed the move of its Halley research station.

The base is sited on the floating – and moving – Brunt Ice Shelf, and had to be relocated or face being dumped in the ocean.

Tractors were used to tow the futuristic-looking Halley’s eight modules 23km further “inland”.

Last month, BAS announced it would “mothball” the station for the duration of the coming Antarctic winter.

The decision was made after a new crack opened in the ice shelf.

This fissure is a long way (17km) from Halley’s new position but it has prompted some concern about the stability of the whole area.

Glaciologists want more time to assess the situation, and safety considerations demand staff be withdrawn before deteriorating weather conditions and 24-hour darkness make access and egress extremely difficult.

Drone video of the new crack on the Brunt Ice Shelf

Halley’s move was facilitated by its novel design.

The base has a hydraulic leg and ski system that allows it to be raised above the annual snowfall, and periodically shifted.

If these adjustments were not to happen, the station would eventually be buried and carried to the shelf edge where it would then be dropped into the ocean inside an iceberg.

Halley bases I to IV were abandoned to this fate. The new design makes any adjustments easier and less labour intensive.

“The relocation has gone really well,” BAS director of operations Captain Tim Stockings told BBC News.

“When you consider the big red module, which contains the general living and recreation space, weighs over 200 tonnes, I’m sure you can understand what a big exercise this is.

“And, yes, we plan it really well, but until you see these things actually move, you’re always going to be a little nervous.”

And the head of BAS, Prof Dame Jane Francis, added: “The relocation is a terrific achievement for our operational teams. Everyone…