KC4/OE8NOK – GANOVEX VII-Project Gamble “Camp La Gorce” WAP MNB-19, New Entry

The seventh German Antarctic North Victoria Land Expedition (GANOVEX VII) took place in the austral summer of 1992/93.  

GANOVEX VII Multinational expedition was again funded by the Federal Agency for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR). Expedition leader was Dr. Roland, the ship “PolarQueen” was used, researchers from the various institutes BGR, AWI, DLR, Uni Frankfurt/M and others as well as from Holland, USA and New Zealand were involved, the Americans and a team from Australia took care of the helicopter service.

During GANOVEX VII, Geological and geophysical investigations were carried out on both sides of the Ross Sea: on King Edward VII Peninsula, Marie Byrd Land, in the east, and in Northern Victoria Land and the adjacent Oates Coast in the West.
See: Geology and Geophysics of Marie Byrd Land, Northern Victoria Land, and Oates Coast. GANOVEX VII — Schweizerbart science publishers

For the first time, BGR also carried out research in the GANOVEX Marie-Byrd-Land, Project GAMBLE in the Camp “La Gorce”  at 76°50’ South, 153°41’ West; radio operator was Werner Thonhauser, OE8NOK Austrian radio operator and electronics technician during Ganovex I to VII, signing KC4/OE8NOK.

Marie Byrd Land hosted the Operation Deep Freeze base Byrd Station (originally at 80°S, 120°W, rebuilt at 80°S, 119°W), beginning in 1957, in the hinterland of Bakutis Coast. Byrd Station  (WAP USA-19) was the only major base in the interior of West Antarctica for many years. In 1968, the first ice core to fully penetrate the Antarctic Ice Sheet was drilled here. The year-round station was abandoned in 1972, and after operating for years as a temporary summer encampment, Byrd Surface Camp (WAP USA-20),

Byrd Station (WAP USA-19), was reopened by the United States Antarctic Program (USAP) in 2009–2010 to support operations in northern West Antarctica. USA did set  another large number of Camps at Marie Bird Land, (Bentley camps, J-9 Bern camp, Orset D Camp, Reedy Glacier Camp, Tam Camp, Taylor Camp and Twaites Camp, all listed on WAP-WADA Directory as USA-NEW.

Ham Radio activity from all the USA Stations & Camps on Marie Bird Land  have been referenced  on WAP-WADA Directory  (See: WAP USA-Ø3, Ø4, 14, 18, 19, 2Ø, 3Ø, 35, 41 and 45).

On Ruppert Coast of Marie Byrd Land is the Russian station Russkaya (WAP RUS-12), which was occupied 1980–1990 and now closed East of the Siple Coast off the Ross Ice Shelf, Siple Dome Camp (WAP USA-18) was established as a summer science camp in 1996. Ice cores have been drilled here to retrieve the climate history of the last 100,000 years. This camp also served as a base for airborne geophysical surveys supported by the University of Texas Insistute for Geophisics (UTIG).

In 1998–1999, East Camp (WAP USA-32) was operated at the Ford Ranges (FRD) in western Marie Byrd Land, supporting a part of a United States Antarctic Program (USAP) airborne survey initiated by UCSB and supported by the UTIG flying out of Siple Dome (WAP USA-18).

In 2004–05, a large Camp Thwaites (THW),  WAP USA-NEW, was established by the USAP 150 km (93 mi) north of NBY, in order to support a large airborne geophysical survey of eastern Marie Byrd Land by the UTIG.

In 2006, a major encampment WAIS Divide (WSD) WAP USA-24 (Pic on the Right) was established on the divide between the Ross Sea Embaymnent and the Amundsen Sea Embayment, in easternmost Marie Byrd Land, in order to drill a high resolution ice core. Drilling and coring ended in 2014


About Werner Thonhauser, OE8NOK (pic aside),  he is now retired. He was ship electrical engineer and electronics technician, radio amateur, as reported on his professional career, his worldwide seafaring, his activities in the Antarctic, and the state of the art of communication technology at that time.

Training in Austria and Germany. Stations in Wolfsberg, Villach, Munich, Bremerhafen, Bremen. Education at the University of Applied Sciences Oldenburg, Department of Maritime Affairs.
Until 1980 he served as a radio officer on various ships, in 1979 for the first time with the destination Antarctica.  1981-1996 radio officer and electronics technician on board the research vessel POLARSTERN.

For 7-fold participation in GANOVEX Antarctic expeditions for the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources released as radio officer. Assignment for the “Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar Research” with the task of dismantling the radio system of the “Georg von Neumayer Station” and setting up the communication systems of the new station “Georg Neumayer”.

1996 – 1998 Further training as a state-owned certified marine electrical engineer at the Fachschule für Seefahrt in Flensburg.  1998 – 2000 Service on container ships in the East Asia service.
Thonhauser Rock (1020 m) is a rocky outcrop in Victoria land, Antarctica. It rises in the Bowers Mountains at the western end of Platypus Ridge. It was named by scientists of the German expedition GANOVEX I (1979–1980)after the Austrian Werner Thonhauser OE8NOK, radio operator on the MS Schepelsturm on this research trip.

GANOVEX VII-Project Gamble “Camp La Gorce” 76°50’ South, 153°41’ West , Marie Bird Land, Western Antarctica  is now referenced as WAP MNB-19
TNX Olivier F6EPN
& Heinz OE6HVD