Physiography Of The Arctic Region
PHYSIOGRAPHY OF THE ARCTIC REGION Geology. Although much remains to be done in the exploration of the North Polar area, the main features of the physical geography of the region have been determined beyond any reasonable doubt. Within the Arctic Circle the northern portions of Europe, Asia, America and Greenland surround a central area of deep sea, the southern margin of which forms a broad continental shelf bearing many islands. The ring of land and shallow sea is broken only by the broad channel between Greenland and Europe through which Atlantic water gains an entrance to the Arctic Sea. The physical conditions of this sea, which covers the greater part of the Arctic regions, are dealt with later in detail; but there is less to be said regarding the land.
In a climate which taxes human powers to the utmost to carry on the simplest route-surveys in the course of an exploring expedition, and in the presence of a snow covering which is permanent on all high ground and only disappears for a short time in summer, even on the shores and islands, it is obvious that any knowledge of the geology must be difficult to obtain. On the earlier Arctic expeditions enthusiastic collectors brought together quantities of specimens, many of which it was found impossible to bring home, and they have been found abandoned by later travellers. As Arctic exploration was usually carried out on the sea or over the sea-ice even those expeditions in which experienced geologists took part furnished few opportunities for making investigations. The result is that the geology of the Arctic lands has to be inferred from observations made at isolated points where the fortune of the ice stopped the ship, or where on land journeys a favourable exposure was found. Almost every geological formation is known to be represented, from the Archaean to the Quaternary, and there is a general resemblance in the known geological features of most of the great Arctic islands. The fundamental rock in all appears to be Archaean gneiss. In the extreme north-east Carboniferous strata have recently been discovered similar to the Carboniferous rocks of Spitsbergen. The Jurassic rocks farther south are in places capped by Cretaceous beds, and closely resemble the Jurassic rocks of Spitsbergen, Franz Josef Land and the northern parts of Norway and Russia. Cretaceous and Tertiary rocks are found on the west coast of Greenland covered over by great flows of basalt, probably of Tertiary age, at Disco Island, Nugsuak Peninsula and various points farther north. The only mineral of economic value found in Greenland is cryolite, which is mined at Ivigtut in the south-west. Native iron occurs in considerable masses in several places, some of it undoubtedly of telluric origin, though some is probably meteoric.
The second " Fram " expedition confirmed and extended the geological observations of the Franklin search expeditions on the American Arctic archipelago, and showed the presence above the Archaean rocks of Cambrian, Silurian and Devonian strata, the Silurian being represented by a widespread brown limestone abounding in fossils. Carboniferous limestones also occur and less extensive beds of quartz sandstones, schists and limestones containing ammonites and other Mesozoic fossils. Tertiary i. Isotherms, January.
2. Isotherms, July.
Pressure in millimetres, the Figures indicating the addition to 700. Thus on the charts 55 = 755 mm. = 29^7 in. to the nearest tenth; 60 = 760 mm.= 29-9 in. ; 65 = 765 mm. ^-=30-1 in. ; 75 = 755 mm. = 30-5 in.
ISOTHERMAL CHARTS, Temperature in degrees Centigrade ; o=32F., -I7'8 = o Isobars, January.
5. Isobars, July.
3. Mean Annua.] Isotherms.
From the North Pole Expedition, 1893-1896, Scientific Results, edited by Fridtjof Nansen, by permission of the Fridtjof Nansen Fund for the Advancement of Science.
rocks including beds of lignite and plant fossils of Miocene age also occur, and they are interstratified and overspread with basalts and other eruptive rocks as in Greenland. In Grant Land Tertiary coal occurs in Lady Franklin Bay (81 45' N.), the most northerly deposit of fossil fuel known. Arctic Canada consists of Archaean and Palaeozoic rocks worn down into plateaux or plains and bearing marks of glacial action, the absence of which is the most remarkable feature of the tundra region of Siberia. The Siberian coast is superficially formed to a large extent of frozen soil and gravel sometimes interbedded with clear ice, and in this soil the frozen bodies of mammoths and other Quaternary animals have been found preserved in a fresh condition by the low temperature. The absence of a glacial period in northern Siberia is probably indirectly due to the very low temperature which prevailed there, preventing the access of water vapour from without and so stopping the supply required to produce sufficient precipitation to form glaciers or ice-caps. On the New Siberia Islands Silurian and Tertiary rocks have been recognized, the latter with abundant deposits of fossil wood.
The geological evidence is complete as to the existence of a genial climate in Tertiary times as far north as the present land extends, and of a climate less severe than that of to-day in the Quaternary period. The existence of raised sea margins in many Arctic lands and especially in the American Arctic archipelago bears evidence to a recent elevation of the land, or a withdrawal of the sea, which has been influential in forming some of the most prominent features of the present configuration.
It is noteworthy that no great mountain range runs into the Arctic region. The Rocky Mountains on the west and the Ural range on the east die down to insignificant elevations before reaching the Arctic Circle. The plateau of Greenland forms the loftiest mass of Arctic land, but the thickness of the ice cap is unknown. The one active volcano within the Arctic Circle is on the little island of Jan Mayen.
The Arctic Climate. As the water of the Arctic Sea is free from ice around the margin only for a few months in summer, and is covered at all times over its great expanse with thick ice in slow uneasy motion, there is less contrast in climate between land and sea, especially in winter, than in other parts of the world. The climate of the polar area may be described as the most characteristic of all the natural features, and observations of temperature and pressure are more numerous and systematic than any other scientific observations. The Russian meteorological system includes Siberia, and long series of observations exist from stations up to and within the Arctic Circle. The Canadian Meteorological Service has secured like observations for the extreme north of North America, though the records are more fragmentary and of shorter duration. Norway and Iceland also yield many records on the margin of the Arctic Circle. The international circum-polar stations maintained during 1882 connected the Siberian, Norwegian and Canadian land stations with the more fragmentary work of the various polar expeditions which have wintered from time to time in high latitudes. The most valuable records and practically the only data available for the climate north of 84 are those of the first expedition of the " Fram " in her three years' drift across the polar basin. Later expeditions beyond the 84th parallel were merely dashes of a few weeks' duration, the records from which, however accurate, are of an altogether different order of importance. The data collected by the " Fram " were discussed in great detail by Professor H. Mohn in 1904, and that eminent authority combined them with all that had been known previously, and all that was ascertained by later explorers up to the return of Captain Sverdrup from the second " Fram " expedition, so as to give the completest account ever attempted of the climate of the North Polar regions, and on this we rely mainly for the following summary.
Temperature. From Professor Mohn's maps of the isotherms north of 60 N. it is evident that the temperature reduced to sea-level is lowest in the winter months within an area stretching across the pole from the interior of Greenland to the middle of Siberia, the long axis of this very cold area being in the meridian of 40 W. and 140 E. For every month from October to April the mean temperature of this cold area is below o F., and in the two coldest months there are three very cold areas or poles of cold with temperatures below 40 arranged along the axis. These are the interior of Greenland, an area around the North Pole and the centre of Northern Siberia. Professor Mohn is satisfied that these three poles of cold are separated by somewhat warmer belts, as observations on the north coast of Greenland show a temperature higher both than the temperature of the interior reduced to sea-level and the temperature on the frozen sea farther north. As summer advances the temperature rises to the freezing point most rapidly in North America, the mean temperature for June, July and August for the American coast and the Arctic archipelago being above the freezing point. In July and August the Arctic shores in America, Asia and Europe have a mean air-temperature of about 40 F., but the interior of Greenland and the area round the North Pole remain below 32, those two poles of cold persisting throughout the year while the winter cold pole in Asia disappears in summer. 1 There is no reason to doubt that in winter the Asiatic area is the coldest part of the Arctic region, and as it is permanently inhabited it is plain that low temperature alone is no bar to the wintering of expeditions in any part of the North Polar region. The lowest temperature experienced during the drift of the " Fram " was 62 F.,on the 12th of March 1894 inlat. 79 41', long. 134 17' E. The minimum temperatures recorded on Sir George Nares's expedition were 73-8 F. on the " Alert " in 82 27' N. and- 70-8 on the " Discovery " in 81 44' N., both in March 1876, and the minimum on Sverdrup's expedition in Jones Sound in 76 50' N. was 60 F. in January 1901. In February 1882 Greely recorded 66-2 at Fort Conger, 81 44' N., and at Fort Constance in Canada (66 40' N. 119 W.) a temperature of 72 F. was noted in January 1851. The lowest temperature ever recorded on the earth's surface was probably that experienced at Verkhoyansk in Siberia (67 34' N.) where the absolute minimum in the month of February was 93-6, and minima of 70 or more have been recorded in every winter month from November to March inclusive, and as the absolute maximum in July was +92-7 F. the total range experienced is no less than 186-3, f ar exceeding that known in any other part of the world.
The normal monthly mean temperatures for various parallels of latitude are given as follows by Professor Mohn, the last column showing the calculated conditions at the North Pole itself expressed to the nearest degree.
Normal Air Temperature for Latitudes in F.
- 9-4 -iS-3 26-0 February .
- 6-7 -H-5 -26-5 March.
+ 3-0 - 8-3 -23-1 April .
19-0 + 6-8 - 8-9 May .
34-7 24-1 + 14-0 June .
48-6 37-9 30-0 July .
54-7 45-o 35-6 August 50-6 43-2 32-7 September 40-7 32-5 18-1 October .
24-6 15-3 - 2-4 November - 0-6 II-O December .
- 5-1 -10-5 -19-1 Year . . .
21-7 12-9 - 9 The interior of Greenland is believed to be below the normal temperature for the latitude in all months and so is the region between Bering Strait and the Pole; the Norwegian-Sea, and the region north of it as far as the Pole, has a temperature above the normal for the latitude in all months; while the temperature 1 It must be remembered that for cartographical purposes temperature is reduced to its value at sea-level, allowing for a change of 1 F. in about 300 ft. Thus the actual temperature on the snowcap of Greenland at the height of 9000 ft. is 30 F. lower at all seasons than is shown on an isothermal map, and that of Verkhoyansk (500 ft.) is only 1-5 F. lower than is charted.
in the northern continents is below the normal in winter and above the normal in summer.
The " Fram " observations showed that while the ordinary diurnal range of temperature prevailed for the months when the Sun was above the horizon during some part of the day, there was also a diurnal range in the winter months when the Sun did not appear, the minimum then occurring about 2 p.m. and the maximum about i a.m., the " day " being colder than the " night." Except in July and August the temperature was always found to be lower with the weaker winds and higher with the stronger winds irrespective of direction. Extraordinarily rapid variations of temperature have been observed in the winter months, on one occasion in February 1896 (north of 84 N.) the thermometer rising within 24 hours from 45-4 to +22-3 F., a rise of 67-7.
Cloud and Precipitation. The amount of cloud in the far north is greater in the daytime than at night, the summer months being cloudy, the winter very clear, and the amount is greater with the stronger winds and less with the weaker winds. Precipitation is most frequent in the summer months, the " Fram " results showing an average of 20 days per month from May to September; while from October to April the average was only iij days per month Rain was only observed in the months from May to September; but snow occurs in every month and is most frequent in May and June, least frequent in November and December, which are the months of minimum precipitation. It has never been possible to make satisfactory measurements of the amount of precipitation in the Arctic regions on account of the drifting of snow with high wind. Fogs occur most frequently in July and August (20 or 16 days per month); they are practically unknown between November and April.
Pressure. The " Fram " observations enabled Professor Mohn to revise and extend the isobaric maps of Dr Buchan, the correctness of which was strikingly confirmed. The Atlantic and Pacific low pressure areas are found at all seasons on the margin of the Arctic area, the position shifting a little hi longitude from month to month The two low pressures are separated in the winter months by a ridge of high pressure (exceeding 30-00 in.) stretching from the Canadian to the Siberian side between the North Pole and Bering Strait ; this ridge has been termed by Professor Supan " the Arctic wind divide." In April the high pressure over Asia gives way and an intense low pressure area takes its place during the summer, uniting in August with the less intense low-pressure area which develops later over Canada, and reducing the Arctic high pressure area to an irregular belt extending from North Greenland to Franz Josef Land on the Atlantic side of the Pole. The general pressure over the polar area is much higher in winter than in summer and the gradients are steeper also in the cold weather, giving rise to stronger winds. The isobaric conditions indicate light variable winds in summer along the route of the " Fram " from the New Siberia Islands to the north of Spitsbergen, and in winter south-easterly or easterly winds of greater force; this is in accord with the observations made during the drift. Professor Mohn believes that the maximum pressure at the North Pole takes place in April, when it is about 30-08 in.; and the minimum pressure from June to September, when it is about 29-88 in., the annual range of monthly mean pressure being thus only 0-20 in., so that the Pole may be said to be in a region of permanently high atmospheric pressure. Cyclonic depressions crossed the region of the " Fram's " track with considerable frequency, 73 being experienced in the three years, the frequency being greatest in winter but the wind velocity in cyclones greatest hi summer; the most common direction of movement was from west to east. The average velocity of the cyclonic winds encountered by the " Fram " was only about 29 m. per hour, the highest 40 m. per hour, the portion of the Arctic Sea she crossed being much less stormy than the coasts of the Arctic lands, where winds have been recorded of far greater severity, e.g. 45 m. per hour in Spitsbergen in 1882, 55 m. per hour in Teplitz Bay, Franz Josef Land, in 1900, 62 m. per hour on the Siberian coast in the " Vega " in 1879, an d as much as 90 m. per hour at Karmakul in Novaya Zemlya in 1883. There seems little doubt that the interior of the polar area is a fair weather zone as compared with its margins, where the contrast of the seasons is more marked.
Flora. The land flora of the Arctic regions, although necessarily confined to the lower levels which are free from snow for some time every year, and greatly reduced in luxuriance and number of species as compared with the flora of the temperate zone, is still in its own way both rich and varied, and it extends to the most northerly land known. In some of the fjords of western Greenland and also of Ellesmere Land almost on the 8oth parallel the prevailing colour of the landscape in summer is due to vegetation and not to rock. The plants which occur on the margin of the Arctic Sea and in the polar islands represent the hardier species of the North European, Asiatic and American flora, the total number of species amounting to probably about a thousand phanerogams and a still larger number of cryptogams. The habit of all is lowly, but some grasses grow to a height of i ft. 6 hi., and the mosses, of which the Eskimo make their lamp-wicks, frequently form cushions more than a foot in depth. Trees are absent north of 73 N., which is the extreme point reached in Siberia, or they are dwarfed to the height of shrubs as in southern Greenland, or farther north to that of the prevailing herbage. The flowers of many Arctic species of phanerogams have an intensely brilliant colour. The plains and lower slopes of the plateaux of Ellesmere Land and Heiberg Land and the plain of Peary Land north of Greenland are sufficiently clothed with vegetation to support large numbers of rodents and ruminants, the plants occurring not as occasional curiosities, but as the normal summer covering of the ground, playing their full part in the economy of nature. The cold of winter is not sufficient to put a stop to plant life even at the pole of cold in northern Siberia; and there is no reason to doubt that if there were islands close to the North Pole they would bear vegetation.
Fauna. Animal life is comparatively abundant hi the waters of the Arctic Sea, though the whalebone whale, Balaena mystecetis, has become almost extinct by reason of the energy with which its pursuit has been carried on. The white whale and narwhal still abound in the open waters as far north as ships can go. The walrus and several species of seal prey on the marine life, and the polar bear, the king of Arctic beasts, probably roams the whole surface of the frozen sea in pursuit of seals and the larger fish. The other Arctic carnivora include the Arctic fox and wolf, the latter attacking all the land mammalia except the polar bear and old musk-oxen. The wild reindeer is still found in all the circum-polar lands except Franz Josef Land; but its range does not extend so far to the north as that of the typical ruminant of the polar lands, the musk-ox (Ombos moschatus), which now abounds only in Peary Land, north Greenland and in the American Arctic Archipelago, though it was formerly circum-polar in its distribution. The Arctic hare is almost equally characteristic and more abundant, and the lemming probably more common still. The ermine and other valuable fur-bearing animals also occur. The animals are either permanently white like the polar bear, or change their coats with the season, being brown in summer and white in winter like the hares and lemmings. The birds of the Arctic regions are all migrants, retreating southward in winter but nesting in incredible numbers on the Arctic coast -lands, and in summer probably finding their way as individuals to every part. They are mainly sea-birds, though the snow bunting, the Arctic owl and other land birds are amongst the summer visitors. It must be remembered that the elevated plateaux of the interior of Greenland and of many of the large islands are totally devoid of life of every kind on account of their unchanging covering of snow and the intensely rigorous climate due to their great altitude.
Arctic People. The conditions of life in the continental parts of the Arctic regions are extremely severe as regards temperature in the winter, but it has been found possible for civilized people to live permanently both in the extreme north of North America and in the north of Siberia. In the north of Norway where the winter is mild on account of the warm south-westerly winds from the open Atlantic, organized communities dwell within the Arctic Circle in free communication with the south by telegraph, telephone, steamer, and in some cases by rail also, all the year round. The climate on the coast of Norway is scarcely less favourable in the north than in the south except for the absence of light in winter when the Sun never rises, and the absence of darkness in summer when the Sun never sets. If there were natural products of sufficient value permanent settlements might arise in any part of the Arctic regions where there is land free from snow in summer; but as a rule Arctic land is poor in mineral wealth and the pursuit of whales and seals requires only a summer visit. The original people of the farthest north of Europe are now represented by the Lapps, who lead a migratory life, depending mainly on fishing and on their herds of reindeer. Farther east their place is taken by the Samoyedes who live along the coast of the Kara Sea and the Yalmal Peninsula; they have also a small settlement in Novaya Zemlya. The Samoyedes, like the Lapps, live on the produce of the sea in summer and on their herds of reindeer, moving rapidly ever the frozen country in winter by means of reindeer and dog sledges. Spitsbergen and Franz Josef Land appear never to have had native inhabitants. Along the coast of" Siberia there is no continuous population, except in the land of the Chukchis in the extreme east between the Kolyma river and Bering Strait; but small settlements of many tribes of pagan hyperboreans occur here and there. North American Indian tribes wander far to the north of the Arctic Circle in Canada and Alaska, keeping their hereditary enemies the Eskimo to the coast and islands. The Eskimo of the American coast are intermingling not only with the American whalers but also with the Polynesians who come north as part of the crew of the whalers, and the pure race is tending to disappear. The traces of Eskimo encampments in the Polar archipelago, where no Eskimo now live, may mark a former wider range of hunting grounds, or a greater extension of the population. The Greenland Eskimo are the most typical and the best known of their race. A few hundred live on the east coast, where they were formerly much more numerous. The greater part of the west coast Eskimo are now civilized members of the Danish colonies, and it is stated that whereas in 1855 only about 30% of the population were half-breeds, the blending of the Eskimo and Europeans is now so complete that no full-blooded Eskimo remain in Danish Greenland. The tribe of Eskimo living to the north of Melville Bay, the glaciers of which separate them from the people of Danish Greenland, was first described by Sir John Ross, who called them Arctic Highlanders. They have been fully studied by Commander Peary, who succeeded in utilizing them in his great series of journeys, and to their aid he attributes the success of his method of Arctic travelling.
The Arctic Sea.
According to its geographical position, the Arctic Sea might be described as the sea situated north of the Arctic Circle; but according to its natural configuration, it is better defined as the gulf-like northern termination of the long and relatively narrow Atlantic arm of the ocean which extends north between Europe on one side and America on the other. By this situation as the northern end of a long arm of the ocean its physical conditions are to a very great extent determined. This Arctic gulf is bounded by the northern coasts of Europe, Siberia, North America, the American Arctic archipelago, Greenland and Iceland. Its entrance is the opening between Europe and Labrador divided by Iceland, Greenland and the American Arctic islands; and its natural southern boundary would be the submarine ridge extending from Scotland and the Shetland Islands through the Faeroe Islands and Iceland to Greenland, and continuing on the other side of Greenland across Davis Strait to Baffin Land. This ridge separates the depression of the Arctic Sea, filled with cold water at the bottom, from the deep depression of the North Atlantic. The Arctic Sea communicates with the Pacific Ocean through Bering Strait, which is, however, only 49 m. broad and 27 fathoms deep. The area of the Arctic Sea may be estimated to be about 3,600,000 sq. m., of which nearly two-thirds (or 2,300,000 sq. m.) is continuously covered by floating ice.
The Arctic Sea may be divided into the following parts: (i) The North Polar Basin (including the Siberian Sea), bounded by the northern coasts of Siberia (from Bering Strait to the western Taimyr Peninsula), Franz Josef Land, Spitsbergen, Greenland, Grinnell Land, Axel Heiberg Land, Ringnes Land, the Parry Islands and Alaska; (2) the Kara Sea, between Novaya Zemlya and the Siberian coast, south ofja line from the north point of the former to Lonely Island (Ensomheden) and Nordenskiold Island; (3) the Barents and Murman Sea, bounded by Novaya Zemlya, Franz Josef Land, Spitsbergen, Bear Island and the northern coasts of Norway and Russia; (4) the Norwegian Sea, between Norway, Spitsbergen, Jan Mayen, Iceland and the Faeroes; (5) the Greenland Sea, between Spitsbergen, Jan Mayen, Iceland and Greenland; (6) Baffin Bay and Davis Strait, between Greenland, EUesmere Land, North Devon and Baffin Land.
Depths. The Arctic Sea forms an extended depression separating the two largest continental masses of the world the European-Asiatic (Eurasia) and America. Along its centre this depression is deep, but around its whole margin, on both sides, it is unusually shallow a shallow submarine plateau or drowned plain extending northward from both continents, forming the largest known continental shelf. North of Europe this shelf may be considered as reaching Spitsbergen and Franz Josef Land, extending over more than 10 degrees of latitude, although there is a somewhat deeper depression in between. North of Spitsbergen it reaches beyond 81 N., and north of Franz Josef Land probably somewhat north of 8a N. North of Siberia the shelf is 350 m. broad, or more, with depths of 50 to 80 fathoms, or less. In longitude 135 E. it reaches nearly 79 N., where the bottom suddenly sinks to form a deep sea with depths of 2000 fathoms or more. Farther east it probably has a similar northward extension. North of America and Greenland the shelf extends to about latitude 84 N. This shelf, or drowned plain, evidently marks an old extension of the continents, and its northern edge must be considered as the real margin of their masses, the coasts of which have probably been overflowed by the sea at some comparatively recent geological period. On this submarine plateau the Arctic lands are situated Spitsbergen (with Seven Islands to the north, Bear Island and Hope Island to the south), Franz Josef Land, Novaya Zemlya, Lonely Island, the New Siberia Islands, Wrangel Island, the American Arctic archipelago. The depth of the shelf is, especially north of Siberia, very uniform, and usually not more than 50 to 80 fathoms. North of Europe it is intersected by a submarine fjord-like depression, or broad channel, extending eastward from the Norwegian Sea. Between Norway and Bear Island this depression is about 240 fathoms deep, and between Novaya Zemlya and Franz Josef Land 100 to 150 fathoms deep. It gives off several submerged fjords or channels towards the south-east into the shallow Murman Sea, e.g. one channel, more than ico fathoms deep, along the Murman coast towards the entrance of the White Sea; another narrow channel, in parts 100 fathoms deep, along the south-west coast of Novaya Zemlya through Kara Strait. It also extends into the Kara Sea, rounding the north point of Novaya Zemlya and forming a narrow channel along its eastern coast. On the American side similar but much narrower submarine depressions, which may be called submarine fjords, extend from Baffin Bay into the continental shelf, northward through Smith Sound, Kane Basin and Kennedy Channel, and westward through Lancaster Sound.
The greatest depths in the Arctic Sea have been found in the North Polar Basin, where depths of 2100 fathoms, in about 81 N. and 130 E., have been measured with certainty. It is deeper than 1650 fathoms along the whole route of the " Fram," from about 79 N. and 138 E. to near Spitsbergen. In 84! N. and about 75 E. the depth is 2020 fathoms, and in 83 N. and 13 E. it is 1860 fathoms. The northern and eastern extension of this deep basin is not known. Commander Peary reports a depth of 1500 fathoms with no bottom at 5 sea miles from the Pole (about 89 55' N.) where he tried to obtain a sounding. It was formerly believed that still greater depths existed west of Spitsbergen, in the so-called Swedish deep, where 2600 fathoms had been sounded, but the Nathorst expedition in 1898 found no greater depths there than about 1700 fathoms. The Norwegian Sea, farther south, is 2000 fathoms deep midway between Iceland and Norway, in about 68 N. This so-called Norwegian deep is, as before stated, separated from the North Atlantic Basin by the Wyville Thomson ridge and the Faeroe-Iceland ridge. Farther north there is a low transverse ridge extending eastwards from Jan Mayen, in about 72 N., which is about 1300 fathoms deep. North of this the sea is again deeper 1985 fathoms in 75 N. From the north-west corner of Spitsbergen a submarine ridge extends in a north-westerly direction, with depths of about 430 fathoms in 81 N. and about 4 E. How far this rfdge extends is unknown, but there is a probability that it reaches Greenland, and thus separates the Swedish and the Norwegian deep from the deep depression of the North Polar Basin. Baffin Bay forms, probably, a relatively deep basin of about 1000 or 1200 fathoms, which is separated from the West Atlantic Basin by the shallow submarine ridge from Greenland to Baffin Land in about 65 or 66 N.
The deposit composing the bottom of the Arctic Sea contains in its northern part, in the North Polar Basin, extremely little matter of organic origin. It is formed mainly of mineral material, sandy clay of very fine grain, to an extent which is hardly found in any other part of the ocean with similar depths. It contains only from i to 4 % of carbonate of lime. Farther south, in the sea between Spitsbergen and Greenland, the amount of carbonate of lime gradually increases owing to the shells of foraminifera (especially biloculinae) ; west of Spitsbergen the proportion rises to above 20 or even 30%, while in the direction of Greenland it is considerably lower.
The circulation of the Arctic Sea may be explained firstly by the vertical and horizontal distribution of temperature and salinity (i.e. density); secondly, by the influence of the winds, especially on the ice-covered surface. The currents in this sea may to some extent be considered as convection currents, caused by the cooling of the water near the surface, which becomes heavier, sinks, and must be replaced on the surface by warmer water coming from the south, which is also influenced by the prevailing winds. On account of the rotation of the earth the northward-running water on the surface, as well as the sinking water, will be driven in a north-easterly or easterly direction, while the southward-flowing water along the bottom, as well as the rising water, is driven south-west or westward. This very simple circulation, however, is to a great extent complicated on the one hand by the irregular configuration of the sea-bottom, especially the transverse submarine ridges e.g. the Spitsbergen ridge, the Jan Mayen ridge, and the ScotlandFaeroe-Iceland ridge; and on the other hand by the circumstance that the upper water strata of the sea are comparatively light in spite of their low temperature. These strata, about 100 or 120 fathoms thick, are diluted by the addition of fresh water from the North European, Siberian, Canadian and Alaskan rivers, as well as by precipitation, while at the same time the evaporation from the surface of the mostly ice-covered sea is insignificant. The light surface strata will have a tendency to spread over the heavier water farther south, and thus the polar surface currents running southward along the east coasts of Greenland, Baffin Land and Labrador are formed, owing their westerly course to the rotation of the earth. These currents are certainly to a great extent helped and increased by the prevailing winds of the region. The winds get a firm hold on the rough surface of the floating ice, which, with its deep hummocks and ridges, gets a good grip of the water, transferring the movement of the surface immediately down to at least 5 or 10 fathoms.
The chief currents running into the Arctic Sea are the following:
1. The Gulf Stream, or Atlantic drift, passing north-eastward over the Scotland-Faeroe-Iceland ridge, along the west coast of Norway, with one arm branching off eastward round the North Cape into the Barents Sea, and another branch running northward along the margin of the shelf between Norway, Bear Island and Spitsbergen, passing as a very narrow current along the west coast of the latter, over the Spitsbergen ridge (at its north-west corner), and into the North Polar Basin, where it flows gradually northward and eastward (on account of the rotation of the earth) below the cold but lighter layer, 100 fathoms thick, of polar water, and fills the whole basin below 100 or 120 fathoms to the bottom with Atlantic water.
2. The Irminger Current, running north along the west coast of Iceland. One part branches off westward and southward again in Denmark Strait, following the Greenland Polar Current, whilst another smaller part runs northward, eastward and south-eastward to the north and east of Iceland.
3. An Atlantic current runs northward along the west coast of Greenland, passes the ridge across Davis Strait, and flows into Baffin Bay, forming its deeper strata below the polar water in a similar way to the Gulf Stream in the North Polar Basin. There is a possibility that some slight portion of this current even reaches the latter along the bottom of the deep channel through Smith Sound.
4. A small current running northward into the North Polar Basin through Bering Strait.
The Arctic Sea receives also a contribution of fresh water from the rivers of northern Europe, Siberia and America, as well as from the glaciers of Greenland and the precipitation over the whole area of the sea itself.
The chief currents running out of the Arctic Sea are: (i) The Greenland Polar Current, running southward along the east coast of Greenland, and dividing into two branches north of Iceland (a) the east Greenland branch, passing south through Denmark Strait and rounding Cape Farewell; (6) the east Iceland branch, running south-eastward between Iceland and Jan Mayen, towards the Faeroes. It seems as if only a small portion of this current actually passes the Faero- Iceland ridge and reaches the Atlantic Ocean. The greater part is partly mixed with the water of the Gulf Stream and is turned by the latter in a north-easterly direction, forming a kind of eddy or vortex movement in the southern Norwegian Sea. (2) The Labrador Polar Current, formed by the water running south through Smith Sound, Lancaster Sound and Jones Sound, as well as water from Baffin Bay, and also from the east Greenland current rounding Cape Farewell and crossing Davis Strait. (3) Along the south-east coast of Spitsbergen a polar current also passes jn a south-westerly or westerly direction past South Cape, where it meets the Gulf Stream. (4) A small current probably also runs out along the western side of Bering Strait.
Temperature and Salinity. While the temperature is comparatively uniform, with small variations, the difference in salinity between the upper and lower strata is greater than in most other parts of the ocean. In the North Polar Basin the vertical distribution of temperature as well as salinity is very much the same in all places examined. Near the surface, from o down to 100 fathoms, the water is below the freezing point of fresh water with a minimum of between 28-7 ( 1-8 C.) and 28-6 ( 1-9 C.) at a depth of about 30 fathoms and is much diluted with fresh water (see above), the salinity gradually increasing downward from about 29 or 30 per mille near the surface to nearly 35 per mille in 100 fathoms. Below 100 fathoms the temperature as well as the salinity gradually increases, until they approach their maximum in about 160 or 200 fathoms, where the temperature varies between 32-5 (0-3 C.), north of the New Siberia Islands, and about 33-8 (i C.) north of Franz Josef Land; and the salinity is about 35-1 per mille. From this depth the temperature gradually sinks downward; 32 (o C.) is found at about 490 fathoms in the western part of the basin e.g. between about 84 N. 15 E. and 85^ N. 58 E., while it is found in about 400 fathoms farther east e.g. in 815 N. and 1 23 E. In depths between 1400 and 1600 fathoms the temperature has a second minimum between 30-6 (0-8 C.) and 30-4 (0-9 C.), below which depth the temperature again rises slowly, a few tenths of a degree towards the bottom. In all depths below 200 fathoms the salinity of the water remains very much the same, about 35-1 per mille, with very slight variations. This comparatively warm and saline water evidently originates from the branch of the Gulf Stream passing north across the submarine ridge from north-west Spitsbergen. The vertical distribution of temperature and salinity is very much the same, summer and winter, throughout the North Polar Basin, except near the surface, which in summer is covered by a layer of fresh water arising from the melting of the snow-covered surface of the floe-ice. This fresh-water layer may attain a thickness of 5 or 6 ft. between the floes. North of the Siberian coast the sea is, during summer, covered with a layer of warm water from the Siberian rivers, and the temperature of the surface may rise to several degrees above freezing-point.
In the Norwegian and Greenland Seas there are greater variations of temperature. Below a certain limit, which in the northern part (on the eastern side) is about 550 fathoms deep, and in the southern part between 300 and 400 fathoms deep, the whole basin of this sea is rilled with water which has an unusually uniform salinity of about 34-92 per mille, and the temperature of which is below zero centigrade, gradually sinking downward from the above-mentioned limit, where it is 32 (o C.) ; and down to 29-8 (1-2 C.) or 29-6 ( 1-3 C.) near the bottom in i4ooor 1600 fathoms. This cold underlying water of such a remarkably uniform and comparatively low salinity is formed chiefly in a small area between Jan Mayen and Spitsbergen, by the formation of ice and cooling down of the Atlantic surface water by radiation of heat during the winter. In this manner the surface water becomes heavier than the underlying water and gradually sinks to the bottom. This water seems to be distinctly different from the hitherto known water filling the deep of the North Polar Basin, as it has a lower salinity and lower temperature; the known bottom temperature of the North Polar Basin being between 30-7 (0-7 C.) and 30-4 (0-9 C.), and the salinity about 35-1 per mille. This fact seems to indicate that therfc can be no direct communication between the deep depression of the North Polar Basin and the Norwegian-Greenland Sea, which are probably separated by a submarine ridge running from the north-west corner of Spitsbergen to Greenland.
The above-mentioned layer of uniform cold water of the Norwegian-Greenland Sea is, along its eastern side, covered by the warm and saline water of the Gulf Stream flowing northward along the west coast of Norway, Bear Island and Spitsbergen, and forming the upper strata of the sea about 300 to 500 fathoms deep. The maximum temperature of this water is on the surface about 46 (8 C.) to 50 (10 C.) west of northern Norway, and about 37 (.3 C.) to 39 (4 C.) west of Spitsbergen. The salinity is generally between 35-0 and 35-3 per mille.
Along the western side of this sea, towards the east coast of Greenland, the underlying cold water is covered by the less saline water of the polar current, which in the upper strata of the sea, from the surface down to about 100 fathoms, has very much the same temperature and salinity as in the upper cold and less saline strata of the North Polar Basin. Near the east coast of Greenland, a layer of comparatively warm and saline water, with a temperature of 32-7 (0-4 C.) and a salinity of 35-2 per mille, has been found (by the Ryder expedition in 1891) below the cold and lighter polar water in a depth of 70 to 90 fathoms. This warmer undercurrent is a continuation of the warm Spitsbergen current sending off a branch westward from Spitsbergen, and thus forming a great vortex movement in the SpitsbergenGreenland Sea similar to the one mentioned farther south in the Norwegian Sea.
In Barents Sea the temperature and salinity are highest in the western part near Norway or between Norway and Bear Island, where the eastern branch of the Gulf Stream enters and where in summer the salinity generally is between 34-8 and 35 per mille from the surface down to the bottom, and the surface temperature generally is about 41 or 43 (5 C. or 6 C.), and the bottom temperature is above zero centigrade. The eastern part of Barents Sea is filled with water of a little lower salinity, the deeper strata of which are very cold, with temperature even as low as 28-9 ( 1-7 C.), but often with salinity above 35-0 per mille. This cold and saline water is formed during the formation of ice on the sea-surface. The bottom temperature is everywhere in the eastern part below zero centigrade and generally below -i C.
The Kara Sea is covered near the surface with a layer of cold water much diluted by the fresh water from the Siberian rivers, especially the Ob and the Yenisei. The salinity varies between 29 and 34 per mille; near the mouth of the rivers it is naturally much lower.
The vertical distribution of temperature and salinity in Baffin Bay seems to be very similar to that of the North Polar Basin, with a cold but less saline upper stratum of water with a minimum temperature of about 28-9 ( 1-7 C.) and a warmer and more saline deeper stratum from 100 to 200 fathoms downwards, with a maximum temperature of 33-6 (0-9 C.) in about 200 fathoms, and the temperature slowly decreasing towards the bottom.
Arctic Ice. As before mentioned, at least two-thirds of the Arctic Sea is constantly covered by drifting ice. This ice is mostly formed on the surface of the sea itself by freezing, the sa-called floe-ice or sea-ice. A small part is also river-ice, formed on the rivers, especially those of Siberia, and carried into the sea during the spring or summer. Another comparatively small part of the ice originates from the glaciers of the Arctic lands. These pieces of glacier-ice or icebergs are, as a rule, easily distinguished from the floe-ice by their size and structure. They occur almost exclusively in the seas round Greenland, where they originate from the glaciers descending into the sea from the inland ice of Greenland. Some small icebergs are also formed in Franz Josef Land, Spitsbergen, Novaya Zemlya, Grinnell Land, etc., but they are comparatively insignificant, and are not as a rule carried far from the coasts. Sea-ice or floe-ice is formed during the autumn, winter and spring, especially in the North Polar Basin, but also in the Kara Sea, the greater part of Barents Sea, the northernmost part of the Norwegian Sea (near Bear Island and towards Jan Mayen), Greenland Sea and Baffin Bay. The floe-ice does not, as a rule, grow thicker than 7 or 8 ft. in one year, but when it floats in the water for some years it may attain a thickness of 16 ft. or more directly by freezing. By the constant upheaval from pressure much greater thicknesses are attained in the piled-up hummocks and rubble which may be 20 to 30 ft. high above the water when floating. During the summer the floe-ice decreases again by melting partly on the surface owing to the direct radiation of heat from the Sun, partly on the under side owing to the higher temperature of the water in which it floats. The first kind of melting is that which prevails in the North Polar Basin, which the second occurs in more southern latitudes. The floe-ice is constantly more or less in movement, carried by winds and currents. The changing wind, and also to a great extent the changing tidal current, causes diverging movements in the ice by breaking it into larger or smaller floes. When the floes separate, lanes and channels are formed; when they meet, ice-pressures arise, and the floes are piled up to form hummocks or ridges, and thus the uneven polar ice arises. In the North Polar Basin the floe-ice is slowly carried by the prevailing winds and the currents in an average direction from Bering Strait and the New Siberia Islands, north of Franz Josef Land and Spitsbergen, near the North Pole, towards the Greenland Sea and southward along the east coast of Greenland. Such a drift of an ice-floe from the sea north of Bering Strait to the east coast of Greenland probably takes, as a rule, four or five years, and the floes found in this part of the sea are not, therefore, generally older. What the drift of the ice is on the American side of the North Polar Basin is still little known. But there it is probably more or less blocked up in its southward movement by the islands of the American Arctic archipelago, and the ice-floes may thus grow very old and thick. Commander Peary found a strong easterly movement of the floes in the region north of Grant Land in 1907. The southward distribution of the drifting floe-ice (the pack ice) in Barents Sea, Norwegian-Greenland Sea and Davis Strait may differ much from one year to another, and these variations are evidently due to more or less periodical variations in the currents and also in the directions of the prevailing winds. In most places the ice has its most southerly distribution during the late winter and spring, while the late summer and autumn (end of August and September) is the most open season.
Biological Conditions. The development of organic life is comparatively poor in those parts of the Arctic Sea which are continuously covered by ice. This is, amongst other things, proved by the bottom deposits, which contain exceptionally little carbonate of lime of organic origin. The reason is evidently that the thick ice prevents to a great extent the*development of plant life on the surface of the sea by absorbing the light; and as the plant life forms the base for the development of animal life, this has also very unfavourable conditions. The result is that e.g. in the interior of the North Polar Basin there is exceptionally little plant life in the sea under the ice-covering, and the animal life both near the surface and in deeper strata is very poor in individuals, whilst it is comparatively rich in species. Near the outskirts of the Arctic Sea, where the sea is more or less open during the greater part of the year, the pelagic plant life as well as animal life is unusually rich, and, especially during the early summer, there is often here such a development of plankton (i.e. pelagic life) on the sea-surface as is hardly found in any other part of the ocean. It seems as if the polar water is specially favourable for the development of pelagic plant life, which makes the flora, and consequently also the fauna, flourish as soon as the icecovering disappears and the water surface is exposed to the full sunlight of the long Arctic day. At the same time the temperature of the water rises, and thus the conditions for the chemical changes of matter and nutritive assimilation are much improved. The Arctic Sea, more especially the North Polar Basin, might thus be considered as a lung or reservoir in the circulation of the ocean where the water produces very little life, and thus, as it were, gets time to rest and accumulate those substances necessary for organic life, which are everywhere present only in quite minimal quantities. It is also a remarkable fact of interest in this connexion that the greatest fisheries of the world seem to be limited to places where waters from the Arctic Ocean and from more southern seas meet e.g. Newfoundland, Iceland, Lofoten and Finmarken in Norway.
The mammalian life is also exceptionally rich in individuals along the outskirts of the Arctic Sea. We meet in those waters, especially along the margin of the drifting ice, enormous quantities of seals of various kinds, as well as whales, which live on the plankton and the fishes in the water. A similar development of mammalian life is not met with anywhere else in the ocean, except perhaps in the Antarctic Ocean and Bering Sea, where, however, similar conditions are present. In the interior of the Arctic Sea or the North Polar Basin mammalian life is very poor, and consists mostly of some straggling polar bears which probably occasionally wander everywhere over the whole expanse of ice; some seals, especially Phoca foetida, which has been seen as far north as between 84 and 85 N.; and a few whales, especially the narwhal, which has been seen in about 85 N.' The bird life is also exceptionally rich on the outskirts of the Arctic Sea, and the coasts of most Arctic lands are every summer inhabited by millions of sea-birds, forming great colonies almost on every rock. These birds are also dependent for their living on the rich plankton of the surface of the sea. In the interior of the Arctic Sea the bird life is very poor, but straggling seabirds may probably be met with occasionally everywhere, during summer-time, over the whole North Polar Basin.
BIBLIOGRAPHY. For very full references to polar exploration see A. W. Greely, Handbook of Polar Discovery (4th ed., London and New York, 1910), and for a nearly complete bibliography of earlier polar literature see J. Chavanne and others, The Literature of the Polar Regions (Vienna, 1878). W. Scoresby, An Account of the Arctic Regions (2 vols., Edinburgh, 1820); W. E. Parry, Attempt to reach the North Pole (London, 1828) ; S. Osborn, The Discovery of the North-West Passage (London, 1857); M'Clintock, A Narrative of the Discovery of the Fate of Sir John Franklin, etc. (London, 1859); G. S. Nares, Voyage to the Polar Sea, 1875-1876 (2 vols., London, 1878); A. H. Markham, The Great Frozen Sea (London, 1878, etc.); J. Richardson, The Polar Regions (Edinburgh, 1861); A. v. Middendorff, " Der Golfstrom ostwarts vom Nordkap," Petermanns Mitteilungen (Gotha, 1871); A. Petermann, " Die Erschliessung eines Theiles des nordlichen Eismeeres . . . im Karischen Meere, 1870," Petermanns Mitteilungen (1871); and numerous other papers in the same periodical; C. R. Markham, The Threshold of the Unknown Region (London, 1873); Die zweite deulsche Nordpolfahrt unter Fiihrung des Capt. K. Koldewey (2 vols., Leipzig, 1873-1874); Manual of the Natural History, Geology, and Physics of Greenland and the neighbouring Regions, published by the Admiralty (London, 1875); Arctic Geology and Ethnology, published by the Royal Geographical Society (London, 1875); C. Weyprecht, Die Metamorphosen des Polareises (Vienna, 1879); papers on the results of the Austro-Hungarian Expedition, 1872-1874, in Petermanns Mitteilungen (1875, and especially 1878); J. Payer, New Lands within the Arctic Circle (2 vols., London, 1876) ; E. Bessels, Scientific Results of the U.S. Arctic Expedition, C. F. Hall commanding, vol. i. (Washington, 1874); Die amerikanische NordpolExpedition (Leipzig, 1879); The Norwegian North Atlantic Expedition, 1876-1878, especially: H. Mohn, "The North Ocean: its 1881); several reports on the six voyages of the " Willem Barents " in the summers of 1878 to 1883, published in Dutch (Amsterdam and Haarlem, 1879-1887); De Long, The Voyage of the " Jeannette"; the Ship and Ice Journals of George W. De Long (2 vols., London, 1883) ; Otto Pettersson, " Contributions to the Hydrography of the Siberian Sea," in Vega-Expedilionens vetenskapliga lakttagelser, vol. ii. (Stockholm, 1883); Axel Hamberg, " Hydrografisk Kemiska lakttagelser under den svenka Expeditionen till Gronland, 1883," Bihang till k. svenska vei.-akad. Handlingar, vol. ix. No. 16 and vol. x. No. 13 (Stockholm, 1884 and 1885); O. Kriimmel, Handbuch der Ozeanographie (2 vols., Stuttgart; 2nd ed., 1907, etc.); C. Ryder, " Den Ostgronlandske Expedition," Meddelelser om Gronland, pt. xvii. (Copenhagen, 1895); Isforholdene i Nordhavet 1877- 1892, with 10 charts (Copenhagen, 1896); O. Pettersson and G. Ekrnan, " Die hydrographischen Verhaltnisse der oberen Wasserschichten des nordlichen Nordmeeres zwischen Spitzbergen, Gronland und der norwegischen Kiiste in den Jahren 1896 und 1897," Bihang till der K. Svenska Vet.-Akad. handlingar, vol. xxiii. pt. ii. No. 4; The Danish Ingolf Expedition; see especially M. Knudsen, " Hydrography," in vol. i. (Copenhagen, 1899) ; F. Nansen, Farthest North (2 vols., London, 1897); The Norwegian North Polar Expedition, 1893-1896: Scientific Results; see especially F. Nansen, " The Oceanography of the North Polar Basin," in vol. ii. No. 9; " Some Results of the Norwegian Arctic Expedition, 1893-1896," Geographical Journal (London, May 1897). By V. Garde and others there are, since 1895, yearly reports with charts of the state of the ice of the Arctic seas, in the Nautical-Meteorological Annual of the Danish Meteorological Institute (Copenhagen). Several Russian papers in various Russian periodicals, e.g. N. Knipovitch, " Material concerning the Hydrology of the White Sea and the Murman Sea," Bulletin de I'academie imp. des sciences de St Petersbourg (October 1897); Prince B. Galitzin, " On the Extension of the Gulf Stream in the Arctic Ocean," ibid. (November 1898, both in Russian), etc. ; N. Knipovitch, " Hydrologische Untersuchungen im europaischen Eismeer," Ann. d. Hydr. u. marit. Meteorolog. (1905) ; Filip Akerblom, " Recherches oceanographiques. Expedition de M. A. G. Nathorst en 1899," Upsala Univesitets Arsskrift (1903). Math, och Naturvetenskap II. (Upsala, 1904) ; Axel Hamberg, " Hydrpgraphische Arbeiten der von A. G. Nathorst geleiteten schwedischen Polarexpedition 1898," Kongl. svenska vet.-akad. Handlingar, vol. xli. No. i (Stockholm, 1906) ; F. Nansen, " Northern Waters," Videnskabs Selskabets Skrifter, vol. i. No. 3 (Christiania, 1906) ; B. Helland-Hansen and F. Nansen, " The Norwegian Sea," Report on Norwegian Fishery and Marine Investigations, vol. ii. No. 2 (Bergen, 1909); Due d'Orleans, Croisiere oceanographique dans la Mer du Gronland en 190$ (Brussels, 1909), see especially B. Helland-Hansen and E. Koefoed, Hydrographie.
(H. R. M.;F. N.)
History of Antarctic Exploration. Although the Antarctic region was not reached by the first explorer until the Arctic region had been for centuries a resort of adventurers in search of the route to the East, the discovery of L * na " the south polar region was really the more direct outcome of the main stream of geographical exploration. It was early understood by the Greek geographers that the known world covered only a small portion of the northern hemisphere and that the whole southern hemisphere awaited exploration, with its torrid, temperate and frigid zones repeating the climatic regions familiar in the northern hemisphere, the habitable land of the south temperate zone being separated from the known world by the practically impassable belt of the torrid zone. During the middle ages the sphericity of the earth came to be viewed as contrary to Scripture and was generally discredited, and it was not until Prince Henry the Navigator began in 1418 to encourage the penetration of the torrid zone in the effort to reach India by circumnavigating Africa that the exploration of the southern hemisphere began. The doubling of the Cape of Good Hope in 1487 by Bartholomew Diaz first brought explorers within touch of the Antarctic cold, and proved that the ocean separated Africa from any Antarctic land that might exist. The passage of Magellan's Strait in 1520 showed that America and Asia also were separated from the Antarctic continent, which was then believed to extend from Tierra del Fuego southward. .The doubling of Cape Horn by Drake in 1578 proved that the Tierra del Fuego archipelago was of small extent and that any continent ever died a harder death. It is not to the purpose here to describe in detail how Schouten and Le Maire rediscovered the southern extremity of Tierra del Fuego and named Cape Horn in 1615, how Quiros in 1606 took possession for the king of Spain of all the lands he had discovered in Australia del Espiritu Santo (the New Hebrides) and those he would discover " even to the Pole," or how Tasman in 1642 showed that New Holland (Australia) was separated by sea from any continuous southern continent.
30 West Longitude "Q Meridian ofoGreemvich 30* East Longitude iKTh* _ :j ^. "Jfr- .,A5*~ ' -g /I I. ">..
A'1 i / PMMflSn^fJMMMMf- ; -/ . ^jrttoatwjo.Lwid SOUTH POLAR REGIONS Scale, 1:48,000,000 English Miles o 200 400 600 800 1000 Limit of Pack /ML Ln ,, >%_-- West 1 50 Longitude East 1.50 Longitude which lay to the south must be within the region of perpetual winter. Before this, however, vague reports of land to the south of the Malay archipelago had led European geographers to connect on their globes the coast of Tierra del Fuego with the coast of New Guinea, and allowing their imaginations to run riot in the vast unknown spaces of the south Atlantic, south Indian and Pacific oceans, they sketched the outlines of a vast continent stretching in parts into the tropics. The search for this great south land or Third World was a leading motive of explorers in the 16th and the early part of the 17th centuries, and no illusion xxi. 31 Voyagers round the Horn frequently met with contrary winds and were driven southward into snowy skies and ice-encumbered seas; but so far as can be ascertained none of them before 1770 reached the Antarctic circle, or knew it, if they did. The story of the discovery of land in 64 S. by Dirk Gerritsz on board the " Blijde Boodschap " in 1599 has recently been shown to be the result of the mistake of a commentator, Kasper Barlaeus, in 1622. Much controversy has arisen as to whether South Georgia was sighted in 1675 by La Roche, but the point is of no importance in the development of the history of exploration. It may safely be said that all the navigators who fell in with the southern ice up to 1750 did so by being driven off their course and not of set purpose. An exception may perhaps be made in favour of Halley's voyage in H.M.S. " Paramour " for magnetic investigations in the South Atlantic when he met the ice in 52 S. in January 1700; but that latitude was his farthest south. A determined effort on the part of the French naval officer Pierre Bouvet to discover the South Land described by a half legendary sieur de Gonneville resulted only in the discovery of Bouvet Island in 54 10' S., and hi the navigation of 48 degrees of longitude of ice-cumbered sea nearly in 55 S. in 1739. In 1771 Yves Joseph Kerguelen sailed from France with instructions to proceed south from Mauritius in search of " a very large continent." He lighted upon a land in 50 S. which he called South France, and believed to be the central mass of the southern continent. He was sent out again to complete the exploration of the new land, and found it to be only an inhospitable island which he renamed in disgust the Isle of Desolation, but in which posterity has recognized his courageous efforts by naming it Kerguelen Land. The obsession of the undiscovered continent culminated in the brain of Alexander Dalrymple, the brilliant and erratic hydrographer who was nominated by the Royal Society to command the Transit of Venus expedition to Tahiti in 1769, a post he coveted less for its astronomical interest than for the opportunity it would afford him of confirming the truthfulness of his favourite explorer Quiros. The command of the expedition was given by the admiralty to Captain James Cook, whose geographical results were criticized by Dalrymple with a force and persistence which probably had some weight in deciding the admiralty to send Cook out again with explicit instructions to solve the problem of the southern continent.
Sailing in 1772 with the " Resolution," a vessel of 462 tons under his own command and the " Adventure " of 336 tons under Captain Tobias Furneaux, Cook first searched in vain ' for Bouvet Island, then sailed for 20 degrees of longitude to the westward in latitude 58 S., and then 30 eastward for the most part south of 60 S. a higher southern latitude than had ever been voluntarily entered before by any vessel. On the 17th of January 1773 the Antarctic Circle was crossed for the first time in history and the two ships reached 67 15' S. in 39 3 5' E . , where their course was stopped by ice. There Cook turned northward to look for South France, of the discovery of which he had received news at Cape Town, but from the rough determination of his longitude by Kerguelen, Cook reached the assigned latitude 10 too far east and did not see it. He turned south again and was stopped by ice in 61 52' S. and 95 E. and continued eastward nearly on the parallel of 60 S. to 147 E. where on March 16th the approaching winter drove him northward for rest to New Zealand and the tropical islands of the Pacific. In November 1773 Cook left New Zealand, having parted company with the "Adventure," and reached 60 S. in 177 W., whence he sailed eastward keeping as far south as the floating ice allowed. The Antarctic Circle was crossed on the 20th of December and Cook remained south of it for three days, being compelled after reaching 67 31' S. to stand north again in I 3S W. A long detour to 47 50' S. served to show that there was no land connexion between New Zealand and Tierra del Fuego, and turning south again Cook crossed the Antarctic circle for the third time in 109 30' W., and four days later his progress was blocked by ice in 71 10' S., 106 54' W. This point, reached on the 30th of January 1774, was the farthest south attained in the 18th century. With a great detour to the east, almost to the coast of South America, the expedition regained Tahiti for refreshment. In November 1774 Cook started from New Zealand and crossed the South Pacific without sighting land between 53 and 57 S. to Tierra del Fuego, then passing Cape Horn on the 29th of December he discovered the Isle of Georgia and Sandwich Land, the only ice-clad land he had seen, and crossed the South Atlantic to the Cape of Good Hope between 55 and 60 S., thereby wiping out Dalrymple's continent from all the oceans and laying open the way for future Antarctic exploration by exploding the myth of a habitable southern continent. Cook's most southerly discovery of land lay on the temperate side of the 60th parallel, and he convinced himself that if land lay farther south it was practically inaccessible and of no economic value.
Soon after Cook's return sealers set out on voyages to South Georgia both from England and America, but no clear accounts of the southern limits of their voyages before the Sealers' year 1819 can now be obtained. In February of that Voyages. year William Smith of the brig " Williams " trading between Monte Video and Valparaiso, rounding the Horn with a wide sweep to the south, saw land in 62 40' S. Repeating the voyage in October he saw the land distinctly, and named it New South Shetland. The " Williams " was chartered by the British naval commander on the Pacific station, and in 1820 Edward Bransfield, master R.N., surveyed the group and went as far as 64 30' among the islands. Meanwhile American sealers from Stonington, Connecticut, had begun operations on the newly discovered land, and one of these, Nathaniel B. Palmer, discovered the mountainous archipelago still farther south which now bears his name. In 1821-1822 George Powell, apparently a British sealer, discovered and surveyed the South Orkney Islands which, though typical Antarctic lands, lie outside the Antarctic region.
A voyage only second in importance to that of Cook was planned in Russia and sent out by the emperor Alexander I. under the command of Fabian von Bellingshausen in the Bd/ ings" Vostok," with Lieut. Lazareff in the " Mirni " bausea. in company , both vessels being about 500 tons. The object of the expedition was to supplement that of Cook by circumnavigating the Antarctic area, taking care to keep as far south as possible in those longitudes where Cook had made his northward detours. Bellingshausen entered on his exploring work by sighting South Georgia at the end of December 1819, discovered the Traverse Islands, sighted the Sandwich group and met a solid ice-pack in 60 S., to get round which he made a wide detour, sailing east to the south of Cook's track, and getting south of the 60th parallel in 8 W. On the 26th of January he crossed the Antarctic Circle in 3 W. and by February 1st had reached 69 25' in i n' W., a latitude which has never been surpassed on that meridian. Being stopped by ice, Bellingshausen turned northward and then continued to the east well to the south of Cook's track, getting south again as the ice permitted and reaching 69 6' S. in 18 E. On this occasion he was able to sail for three degrees of longtitude within the circle before being forced north of it by a succession of heavy gales. He still kept eastward south of 65 S. and crossed the circle once more in 41 E., where the number of birds seen suggested the proximity of land, and in fact Enderby Land was not very far off, though out of sight. A storm of unexampled violence drove the ships northward, but they still held to the east south of 60 S. as far as 87 E., having followed the edge of the ice through those meridians south of Kerguelen Land where Cook had made a great detour to the north. Bellingshausen now made for Sydney to rest and refit, arriving there on the 29th of March 1820, after 131 days under sail from his last port. At Sydney Bellingshausen heard of the discovery of the South Shetlands, and leaving early in November reached the sixtieth parallel a month later in longitude 143 W., and sailing eastward kept south of that parallel through 145 degrees of longitude during sixty-five days, never out of sight of the ice, keeping close along the pack edge through the great gap left by Cook south of New Zealand. He managed to cross the circle three times more, in 164 30' W., in 120 W. and in 92 10' W., where he reached 69 52' S., the culminating point of the voyage. As the cruise was supplementary to Cook's, no attempt was made to get south of the meridian where that great navigator made his highest latitude. On the 22nd of January 1821, the day after reaching his highest latitude, Bellingshausen sighted the first land ever seen within the Antarctic Circle, the little island named after Peter I. A week later another and larger land, named after Alexander I., was seen at a distance of 40 m. and sketches made of its bold outline in which the black rock stood out in contrast to the snow.
Bellingshausen then made for the South Shetlands, where he met the American sealers, and thence returned to Russia. The voyage was a worthy pendant to that of Cook; it was carried out with a faithful devotion to instructions and consummate seamanship, and as a result it left only half the periphery of the Antarctic Circle within which land could possibly project beyond the Frigid Zone.
The next episode in the history of Antarctic exploration was the voyage of James Weddell, a retired master R.N., in 1823. Weddell. Weddell was in command of the " Jane," a brig of 1 60 tons, with the cutter " Beaufoy " of 65 tons in company, and after cruising among the South Orkneys during January he started for the south oh exploration, and as he was well equipped with chronometers his positions may be taken as of a far higher degree of accuracy than those of ordinary sealers. On the 20th of February he reached the highest latitude yet attained, 74 15' S. in 34 17' W., having seen much ice but no impenetrable pack, and at the farthest point the sea was clear and open, but the lateness of the season and the length of the return voyage decided him to go no farther. Weddell made interesting collections of Antarctic animals, including the type specimen of the seal which bears his name, and the book in which he describes his voyage testifies to the keenness of his observations and the soundness of his reasoning. The sea which he penetrated so far to the south he named after the reigning king, George IV., but it is now known as Weddell Sea.
In 1829 Captajn Henry Foster, R.N., in H.M.S. " Chanticleer " spent some months in the South Shetlands carrying on pendulum and gravity observations at the most southerly harbour that could be found, and though he did not go south of 63 50' S. the careful observations which were made threw much light on the physical conditions of the Antarctic regions.
The firm of Enderby Brothers of London took a conspicuous part in the exploration of the Antarctic seas during the first Biscoe f ur decades of the ipth century. They encouraged the masters of the whaling and sealing craft which they sent to the southern seas to take every opportunity that offered for exploration and to fix the position of any land seen with the greatest possible accuracy. The voyage of the Enderbys' brig " Tula," under the command of John Biscoe, R.N., with the cutter " Lively " in company, is worthy to rank with Cook's and Bellingshausen's expeditions, for it repeated and advanced upon their achievements with a mere fraction of their resources. Biscoe, who apparently had never heard of Bellingshausen's discoveries, was a keen explorer and a man given to thinking over and reasoning upon all that he saw, and in many of his conclusions he was far in advance of his time. At the beginning of January 1831 Biscoe, who had been hunting vainly for seals on the Sandwich group, started on a voyage easterly to look for new islands, and in trying to get south of 60 S. he had to coast the impenetrable ice-pack as far as 10 W., and continuing he got within the Antarctic Circle in i E. on a track parallel to that of Bellingshausen but farther east. Contrary winds delayed the little vessels, no seal-bearing lands were to be found, but in spite of difficulties, constant danger from fogs and icebergs, and disappointed crews he held on eastward for five weeks far to the south of Cook's track, and, except at one or two points, to the south of Bellingshausen's also. Though his highest latitude was only 69 S. in 10 43' E. on the 28th of January, he remained south of the Antarctic Circle, or within a few miles of it, for another month when, in longitude 49 18' E., he was rewarded by the discovery of land. But just as he was entering on a clear lead of water running straight for a promontory which he named Cape Ann, a terrific storm descended on the vessels, damaged them seriously and drove them helpless before it with the driving ice. A fortnight's struggle with the wind and ice brought Cape Ann into sight again on the 16th of March, but the weather was not to be conquered, the sea was beginning to freeze and half the crew were helpless with the effects of exposure, so Biscoe was compelled to give up the fight and reluctantly let the land now known as Enderby Land drop out of sight astern. With only three men able to Balleay.
stand, Biscoe brought the " Tula " into Hobart Town, Tasmania, and the " Lively," with only the master, one man, and a wounded boy alive, just escaped shipwreck in Port Philip Bay. After recruiting their health and completing their crews the two captains put to sea again and spent some time in sealing on the shores of New Zealand and neighbouring islands. They started south once more, and crossed 60 S. in 131 W. on the 28th of January 1832. Biscoe kept between 60 and the Antarctic Circle, north of Bellingshausen's route, for he dared not risk the lives of his second crew, but he got south to 67 S. in 72 W., and here, on the 14th of February, he again sighted land, which, in ignorance of Bellingshausen's discoveries in the same region, he believed was the most southerly land yet known. He named it Adelaide Land after the queen. A few days later he passed a row of low ice-covered islands the Biscoe Islands running from W.S.W. to E.N.E. Beyond these islands lay the mountains of an extensive land of which Biscoe took possession in the name of King William IV., and to which the name of Graham Land was subsequently given. Biscoe returned home after an arduous two months' sealing in the South Shetlands, and the splendid results of his relentless determination as an explorer won for him the gold medals of the young Geographical Societies of London and Paris.
In 1833 another of Enderbys' captains named Kemp reported the discovery of land in 66 S. and 60 E. about 10 east of Enderby Land. The last of the great voyages of exploration due to Enderby Brothers was the cruise of the " Eliza Scott " under the command of John Balleny, with the cutter " Sabrina " in company. This voyage is interesting because it was the first attempted in high latitudes from east to west, and all those made in the opposite direction had suffered much from the buffetings of head winds. Balleny left Campbell Island south of New Zealand on the 17th of January 1839 and crossed the Antarctic Circle in 178 E. on the zgth. Heavy pack ice stopped him in 69 S., a higher latitude than had previously been reached in that region. On the gth of February, after the little vessels had been working north-westward along the edge of the pack ice for more than a week, land was seen and found to be a group of mountainous islands the Balleny Islands one of which rose to a height of 12,000 ft., and another was an active volcano. Captain Freeman of the " Sabrina " made a momentary landing on one of the islands and was nearly drowned in the attempt, but secured a few stones which showed the rocks to be volcanic. The vessels held on their way westward between latitudes 63 and 65 S., far south of any earlier voyager, and land, or an appearance of land, to which the name of the " Sabrina " was given, was reported in 121 E. In 103 40' E. an iceberg was passed with a rock embedded in the ice, clear proof of land existing to the southward. A few days later the " Sabrina " was lost in a gale, but Balleny returned in safety.
About 1835 the importance of obtaining magnetic observations in the far south, and the scientific interest of the study of the south polar regions led to plans being put forward for expeditions in the United States, France and Great lyui^iiie Britain. The French were first in the field; an expedition, equipped in the frigates " Astrolabe " and " Zelee " under Jules Dumont D'Urville for ethnographical research in the Pacific Islands, was instructed to make an attempt to surpass Weddell's latitude in the South Atlantic Ocean, and this D'Urville tried to do with conspicuous ill-success, for he never reached the Antarctic Circle though he spent the first two months of 1838 round the edge of the ice-pack south of the South Shetlands and the South Orkneys. Some portions of the land south of the South Shetlands were charted and named Joinville Island and Louis Philippe Land; but the addition to knowledge was not great. Two years later, after fulfilling the main purpose of his expedition in the Pacific, D'Urville resolved for the glory of France to attempt to reach the Magnetic Pole, towards which he was aware that a British and an American expedition were directing their course. He left Hobart Town on the 1st of January 1840, and on the 20th he crossed the 66th parallel in 140 E. and discovered land 3000 or 4000 ft. high, which he named Adelie Land and took possession of by landing on a rocky islet off the icebound coast. Ten days later in 64 30' S. D'Urville cruised westward along a high ice-barrier, which he believed to be connected with land, from longitude 131 E. and he named it the Clarie Coast. A few days later he left the Antarctic regions for the Pacific.
As early as 1836 the United States Congress had authorized an American Exploring Expedition in the programme of which Antarctic exploration had a leading place. Lieut.
Charles Wilkes was appointed to command the expedition of five vessels in August 1838, and his instructions, dated in that month required him amongst other things (i) to follow Weddell's route as far as possible, (2) to visit the most southerly point reached by Cook in the Antarctic, and (3) to make an " attempt to penetrate within the Antarctic region, south of Van Diemen's Land, and as far west as longitude 45 E., or to Enderby Land." The ships were in bad repair and illadapted for navigation in the ice, and many of the officers were not devoted to their chief; but in spite of great difficulties Wilkes fulfilled his programme. In following Weddell's route Wilkes in March 1839 fared no better than D'Urville in the previous year, but the " Flying Fish " of 96 tons under Lieutenant Walker reached 70 S. in 105 W., thus nearly reaching Cook's position of 1774. The third item of the Antarctic programme was made the subject of the most strenuous endeavour. Wilkes sailed from Sydney in the " Vincennes " on the 26th of December 1839, accompanied by the " Peacock " under Lieut. William L. Hudson, the " Porpoise " under Lieut. Cadwaladar Ringgold, and the " Flying Fish " under Lieut. Pinkney. They went south to the west of the Balleny Islands, which they did not see, and cruised westward along the ice-barrier or as near it as the ice-pack allowed towards Enderby Land nearly on the Antarctic Circle. The weather was bad with fogs, snowstorms and frequent gales, and although land was reported (by each of the vessels) at several points along the route, it was rarely seen distinctly and the officers were not agreed amongst themselves in some cases. Unfortunate controversies have arisen at intervals during sixty years as to the reality of Wilkes's discoveries of land, and as to the justice of the claim he made to the discovery of the Antarctic continent. Some of the land claimed at the eastern end of his route has been shown by later expeditions not to exist; but there can be no doubt that Wilkes saw land along the line where Adelie Land, Kemp Land and Enderby Land are known to exist, even if the positions he assigns are not quite accurate. No one, however, could establish a claim to the discovery of a continent from sighting a discontinuous chain of high land along its coast, without making a landing. It seems no more than due to a gallant and much-persecuted officer, who did his best in most difficult circumstances, to leave the name of Wilkes Land on the map of the region he explored.
Unlike the other two expeditions, that equipped by the British government in 1839 was intended solely for Antarctic exploration and primarily for magnetic surveys in the south polar seas. There were two ships, the " Erebus "of 370 tons, and the "Terror "of 340, stoutly built craft specially strengthened for navigation in the ice. Captain James Clark Ross, R.N., was in command of the " Erebus " and of the expedition; Commander Francis Rawdon Moira Crozier of the " Terror." A young surgeon, Joseph Dalton Hooker, joined the Royal Navy in order to go on the expedition, and he lived to take a keen interest in every subsequent Antarctic expedition down to that of Captain Scott in 1910. Ross had intended to make straight for the meridian of the Magnetic Pole, but, finding that D'Urville and Wilkes had already entered on those seas he determined to try to make a high latitude farther east, and leaving Hobart Town on the 12th of November 1840 he crossed the Antarctic Circle on the 1st of January 1841 and entered the pack ice on the sth in 174 E. Instead of proving an impenetrable obstacle, the pack let the two ships work through in five days, and they emerged into open sea. Sailing towards the Magnetic Pole they found a chain of great mountains rising from a coast which ran due south from a prominent cape (Cape Adare) in 71 S. The continent was taken formal possession of for Queen Victoria by landing on Possession Island, the mainland being inaccessible, and the ships continued southward in sight of the coast of Victoria Land, where the loftiest mountain was named Mt Melbourne after the Prime Minister, until the twin volcanoes named Erebus and Terror were sighted in 78 S. on the 28th of January. From Cape Crozier, at the base of the mountains, a line of lofty cliffs of ice ran eastwards, the great ice-barrier, unlike any object in nature ever seen before, rising perpendicularly from the water to the height of 200 or 300 ft. and continuing unbroken for 250 m. Along the barrier the highest latitude of 78 4' S. was attained, and the farthest point to the east was 167 W., whence Ross turned to look for a winter harbour in Victoria Land. Being desirous to winter near the South Magnetic Pole, Ross did not explore McMurdo Bay between Mt Erebus and the north-running coast, where, as we now know, a harbour could have been found, and as he could not reach the land elsewhere on account of ice extending out from it for 15 or 16 m., after sighting the Balleny Islands at a great distance, on the 2nd of March the ships returned to Hobart. This was the most remarkable Antarctic voyage for striking discoveries ever made.
In November 1841 the " Erebus " and " Terror " returned to Antarctic waters, steering south-east from 'New Zealand and entering the ice-pack in about 60 S. and 146 W., the idea being to approach the great barrier from the eastward, but by the end of the year they had just struggled as far as the. Antarctic Circle and they, together with the pack, were several times driven far to the northward by heavy gales in which the ships were at the mercy of the floating ice. During a storm of terrible severity on the 18th of January the rudders of both ships were smashed, and not until the 1st of February did they break out of the pack in 67 29' S., 159 W. The barrier was sighted on the 22nd and the ships reached 78 10' S. in 161 27' W., the highest latitude attained for 60 years. To the eastward the barrier surface rose to a mountainous height, but although Ross believed it to be land, he would only treat it officially as " an appearance of land," leaving the confirmation of its discovery as King Edward Land to the next . century. No more work was done in this quarter; the " Erebus " and " Terror " turned the edge of the pack to the northward and on getting into clear water sailed eastward to Cape Horn, meeting the greatest danger of the whole cruise on the way by colliding with each other at night while passing between two icebergs in a gale.
After wintering in the Falkland Islands and making good the damage received, Ross made his third and last attack on the southern ice, and for six weeks he cruised amongst the pack off Joinville Island and Louis Philippe Land trying in vain to reach the Antarctic Circle. Failing in this attempt he turned to follow Weddell's route and skirted the pack eastward in 65 S., crossing Weddell's track on the 14th of February 1843, more than a degree farther south than D'Urville in his attempt four years before, but on the edge of an equally impenetrable pack. Coasting it eastward to 12 W. the " Erebus " and " Terror " at last rounded the pack and found the way open to the south, crossing the circle on the 1st of March. Four days later the pack was met with again and the ships were forced into it for 27 miles to latitude 71 30' S. in 14 51' W., nineteen degrees east of Weddell's farthest south. No sign of land was seen, a deep-sea sounding showed 4000 fathoms with no bottom, and although this was a mistake, for the real depth was later proved by Dr Bruce to be only 2660 fathoms, it showed at least that there was no land in the immediate neighbourhood.
This was Ross's last piece of Antarctic work, but the magnetic observations of his expedition were continued by Lieut. T. E. L. Moore, R.N., in the hired barque " Pagoda," which left Simon's Bay in January 1845 and proceeded south-east, crossing the Antarctic Circle in 30 45' E. and reaching a farthest south of 67 50', nine degrees farther east. An attempt to reach Enderby Land was frustrated by the weather, and Moore continued his voyage to Australia in a high latitude beating against contrary gales, a condition to which all previous experience pointed as likely to occur.
No further attempt at South Polar exploration was made for nearly thirty years, except a short cruise by Mr Tapsell in the "Chailea " Brisk," one f Enderby's ships which in February gg^,. ' ' 1850, after passing the Balleny Islands, proceeded eastward to 143 E. at a higher latitude than Wilkes without sighting land. The first steamer to cross the Antarctic Circle was H.M.S. " Challenger," on the 16th of February 1874: she only penetrated to 66 40' S., in 78 30' E., south of Kerguelen Land; but she continued her course to Australia for some distance in a high latitude, passing within 15 m. of the position assigned to Wilkes's Termination Land without seeing any sign of land. Her dredgings and soundings yielded evidence as to the nature of the unknown region farther south. Sir John Murray believed that the soundings showed a general shoaling of the ocean towards the Antarctic ice, indicating the approach to a continent. By collecting and analysing all samples of deep-sea deposits which had been secured from the far south, he discovered a remarkable symmetry in the arrangement of the deposits. The globigerina ooze, or in deeper waters the red clay, carpeting the northern part of the Southern Oceans, merges on the southward into a great ring of diatom ooze, which gives place in turn, towards the ice, to a terrigenous blue mud. The fine rock particles of which the blue mud is composed are such as do not occur on oceanic islands, and the discovery of large blocks of sandstone dropped by icebergs proved the existence of sedimentary rocks within the Antarctic Circle.
During the southern summer in which the " Challenger " visited Antarctic waters, a German whale-ship, the " Gronland," Daiim an un< ^ er Captain Dallmann, visited the western coast of the Antarctic land south of Tierra del Fuego, and modified the chart in several particulars. The chief discovery was a channel, named Bismarck Strait, in 65 S., which seemed to run between Palmer Land and Graham Land.
When the International Circumpolar observations were set on foot in 1882, two scientific stations were maintained for a year in the southern hemisphere in order to obtain data for comparison with the observations at twelve stations round the North Pole. One of these was occupied by French observers in Tierra del Fuego in 55 S., the other by German observers at Royal Bay on South Georgia in 54 30' S. The magnetic and meteorological observations were of considerable importance.
In 1892 four steamers of the Dundee whaling fleet the " Balaena," " Active," " Diana " and " Polar Star "went out to test Ross's statement that the " right whale " inhabited Antarctic waters. The surgeons of two of the vessels on the " Balaena " Dr W. S. Bruce, on the "Active" Dr C. W. Donald were selected for their scientific tastes, and equipped with all requisite instruments for observations and collecting. The result of the experiment was disappointing. No whales were obtained, and the ships devoted their attention to sealing on the east of Joinville Island and Louis Philippe Land, not going farther south than 65 S, (Geographical Journal, 1896, vii. 502-521, 625-643).
A Norwegian sealer, the " Jason," Captain Larsen, also visited those seas in the same season, but the captain landed and collected fossils at several points north of 65 S. In 1893-1894 the " Jason," accompanied by two other Norwegian vessels,the " Hertha " and the " Castor," returned to the Antarctic and entered the ice-laden waters in November at the very beginningof summer. Captain Larsen in the " Jason " made his way as far south as 68 10' in 60 W. on the eastern side of Graham Land, but several miles from the coast, which was bordered by a high ice-barrier. The land beyond this barrier was named Foyn Land, after a famous Norwegian whaleship owner. Returning northwards, two small islands, Lindenberg and Christensen, were discovered and found to be active volcanoes. Meanwhile the " Hertha," Captain Evensen, had reached the South Shetlands on the 1st of November 1893, and worked her way southward along the west side of Palmer Land and past the Biscoe Islands, reaching the Antarctic Circle on the gth of November without meeting ice. This was the first time the Antarctic Circle had been crossed since the " Challenger " did so twenty years before. Captain Evensen sighted Alexander Land, and without experiencing any trouble from ice-floes he leached his farthest south, 69 10' S. in 76 12' W. (Mitleilungen der Geographischen Gesellschaft, Hamburg, 1895, pp. 245-304).
In 1894 the well-known Norwegian whaler, Svend Foyn, sent out one of his vessels, the " Antarctic, " Captain Christensen, to try his luck off the coast of Victoria Land. The " Antarctic " sailed from Melbourne in September, having on board Carstens Egeberg Borchgrevink, a young Norwegian resident in Australia, who, being determined to take part in a voyage he could join in no other way, shipped as an ordinary seaman. He made notes of the voyage, and published an account of it on his return to Europe (Report of Sixth International Geographical Congress, London, 1895, .pp. 169-175): The " Antarctic " entered the pack in 62 45' S., 171 30' E., on the 8th of December 1894. The Balleny Islands were sighted on the 14th of December, and Cape Adare on Victoria Land two days later. On the 22nd of January 1895 the farthest point was reached at Coulman Island in 74 S. ; the sea was then easily navigable to the south. On the 23rd of January a small party/ including the captain and Mr Borchgrevink, landed on the mainland near Cape Adare, the first people to set foot on the Antarctic continent.
Efforts had been made from time to time, by Professor Georg von Neumayer in Germany and by Sir John Murray and others in Great Britain, to induce learned societies to in-i augurate a new era of scientific Antarctic research under Government or at least under national auspices. In 1895 Sir Clements Markham, as president of the Royal Geographical Society and of the International Geographical Congress; also took the matter up, and interest in the Antarctic regions began to be aroused in every civilized country. Captain Adrien de Gerlache organized and led a Belgian expedition,' for which he raised the funds with difficulty. M. Georges Lecointe, captain of the " Belgica," and Lieut. Danco, magnetic observer, were Belgians; Mr Roald Amundsen, the mate, a Norwegian; M. Arctowski, the geologist and physicist, a Pole; M. Racovitza, the biologist, a Rumanian; and Dr F. A. Cook, the surgeon, an American. On the 14th of January 1898, already long past midsummer, the " Belgica," left Staten Island for Antarctic waters. She sighted the South Shetlands on the 21st and proceeded to Hughes Gulf, from which a. channel, Gerlache Strait, was explored leading south-westward between continuous land, named Danco Land, on the east (the northern extension of Graham Land), and Palmer Land on the west. Palmer Land was found to be a group of large islands. On the 12th of February the " Belgica " reentered the open sea to the west at Cape Tuxen in 65 15' S. Much fog was experienced, but on the 16th Alexander Land was sighted in the distance. Continuing on a westerly course, the " Belgica " made every effort to enter the pack, which was successfully accomplished after a heavy storrn on the' 28th. By taking advantage of the leads, the expedition advanced to 71 30' S. in 85 15' W. by the 2nd of March, but the ship was blocked next day by the growth of young ice soldering the pack into one continuous mass. For more than a year further independent movement was impossible; but the ship drifted with the ice between the limits of 80 30' W. and 102 10' W., and of 69 40' and 71 35' S., which was the highest latitude attained (May 31, 1898). The Sun did not rise for seventy days, and all on board suffered severely from depression of spirits and disorders of the circulation, which Dr Cook attributed to the darkness and to improper food. Lieut. Danco died during the period of darkness. On the 13th of March 1899, when a second winter in the ice began to seem probable, the " Belgica " was released in 69 50' S. and 102 10' W. The geographical results of this expedition were insignificant so far as the dis* covery of land or penetration to a high latitude is concerned. The ship passed several times to the south and west of Peter I. Island, proving that the land seen by Bellingshausen at that point is of very limited extent. During the drift in the ice the soundings were usually between 200 and 300 fathoms, which, compared with the great depths to the north, clearly indicated a continental shelf of considerable breadth, probably connected with land in the south. The scientific collections were of unique value and have been worked up and the results published at the expense of the Belgian government.
The Hamburg 'America Company's steamer " Valdivia," chartered by the German Government for a scientific voyage "Vaiaivia " un( ^ er t* 16 leadership of Professor Carl Chun of Leipzig, with Dr Gerhard Schott as oceanographer,.left Cape Town on the 13th of November 1898, and on the 2Sth was fortunate in rediscovering Bouvet Island (54 26' S., 3 24' E.), which had been searched for in vain by Cook, Ross, Moore and many other sailors. Steering south, the " Valdivia," although an unprotected steel vessel, followed the edge of the pack from 8 E. to 58 E., reaching 64 15' S. in 54 20' E. on the 16th of December. At this point a depth of 2541 fathoms was found, so that if Enderby Land occupies its assigned position, 102 nautical miles farther south, the sub-oceanic slope must be of quite unusual steepness. The rocks dredged up contained specimens of gneiss, granite and schist, and one great block of red sandstone weighing 5 cwt. was secured, confirming the theory of the continental nature of the land to the south.
On his return to England in 1895 Mr Borchgrevink made strenuous efforts to organize an Antarctic expedition under his own leadership, and in August 1898 he left the Thames on the " Southern Cross," in charge of a private expedition equipped by Sir George Newnes. His scientific staff included Lieut. Colbeck, R.N.R.; Mr Louis Bernacchi, a trained magnetic observer, and Mr N. Hanson, biologist. About fifty dogs were taken out, the intention being to land at Cape Adare and advance towards the magnetic, and perhaps also towards the geographical pole by sledge. The " Southern Cross " sighted one of the Balleny Islands on the 14th of January 1899, and after in vain attempting to get south about the meridian of 164 E., the ship forced her way eastward and emerged from the pack (after having been beset for forty-eight days) in 70 S., 174 E. She reached Cape Adare, and anchored in Robertson Bay on the 17th of February. The land party, consisting of ten men, was established in a house built on the strip of beach at the base of the steep ascent to the mountains, and the ship left on the 2nd of March. Mr Borchgrevink found it impossible to make any land journey of importance and the party spent the first year ever passed by man on Antarctic land in making natural history collections and keeping up meteorological and magnetic observations. The " Southern Cross " returned to Cape Adare on the 28th of January 1900, and after taking the winter party on board diminished by the death of Mr Hanson set out for the south on the 2nd of February. Landings were made on several islands, on the mainland at the base of Mt Melbourne, and on the loth of February at the base of Mt Terror, near Cape Crozier. From this point the ship steamed eastward along the great ice-barrier to a point in 164 10' W., where an inlet in the ice was found and the ship reached her highest latitude, 78 34' S., on the 17th of February. The edge of the ice was found to be about 30 m, farther south than it had been when Ross visited it in 1842. Mr Borchgrevink was able to land on the ice with sledges and dogs, and advanced southward about 16 m., reaching 78 50' S. He discovered that plant life existed in the shape of mosses and lichens in some of the rocky islands, a fact not previously known.
In the autumn of 1901 three well-equipped expeditions left Europe for Antarctic exploration. The British National Antarctic expedition was organized by a joint committee of the Royal Society and the Royal Geographical Society, and equipped under the superintendence of Sir Clements Markham. Most of the cost was borne by the government, the rest mainly by Mr L. W. Longstaff, who provided 30,000, the Royal Geographical Society, and Mr A. C. Harmsworth (afterwards Lord Northcliffe). A strong wooden ship of about 700 tons register (1700 tons displacement) was built at Dundee, and named the " Discovery."
She was made entirely non-magnetic amidships, so that magnetic observations might be carried on without interference from local attraction. The expedition sailed und the command of Commander R. F. Scott, R.N., with Lieut. Albert Armitage, R.N.R., as second in command, Lieuts. Royds and Barne, R.N., Lieut. Shackleton, R.N.R., and Engineer-Lieut. Skelton, R.N. The crew of forty men were almost entirely sailors of the Royal Navy. The scientific staff included Dr Koettlitz, who had shared with Mr Armitage in the Jackson-Harmsworth arctic expedition; Mr Louis Bernacchi, who had wintered with Mr Borchgrevink at Cape Adare; Dr E. A. Wilson, Mr Hodgson, biologist, and Mr Ferrar, geologist. The " Discovery " sailed from New Zealand on the 24th of December 1901, met the pack ice on the Antarctic circle and was through into the open sea in 175 E. on the 8th of January 1902. She made a quick run to Cape Crozier and cruised along the great ice barrier, confirming Borchgrevink's discovery that it lay 30 m. farther south than in 1842, and at the eastern end of the barrier Scott discovered and named King Edward Land where Ross had recorded an " appearance " only. The sea in the neighbourhood had shoaled to less than too fathoms and the ice-barrier in places was so low that the " Discovery " was able to lie alongside as at a quay. A captive balloon ascent was made from the barrier but nothing was seen to the south. Returning to McMurdo Bay the "Discovery" found that Mts Erebus and Terror were on an island, the " bay " being really a sound. The ship was secured in winter quarters in 77 49' S. 166 E., and a hut erected on shore. From this base land-exploration in the Antarctic was initiated, and the history of exploration entered on a new phase. Although some symptoms of scurvy appeared during the winter they were checked by change of diet, and with the beginning of spring sledge journeys with dogs were commenced and a quantity of provisions was laid down in depots to assist the great journey which Scott had planned to the south. On the 2nd of November 1902 Captain Scott, with Lieut. E. H. Shackleton and Dr E. A. Wilson, set out with dog-sledges travelling south over the surface of the barrier in sight of a range of new mountains running parallel to their track on the west. The conditions of travelling were unlike those in the Arctic region, the weather being more inclement and the summer temperature much lower than in similar latitudes in the north. There were no bears to menace the safety of the travellers, and no wolves or foxes to plunder the depots; but on the other hand there was no game of any sort to be met with, and all food for men and dogs had to be carried on the sledges. The surface of the ice was often rough and much crevassed, especially near the western land, snow blizzards frequently occurred making travelling impossible and the heavy sledges had at first to be brought forward by relays, making it necessary to march three miles for every mile of southing made. The dogs also weakened and had to be killed one by one to feed the rest. On the 30th of December they were in 82 1 7' S. and Scott determined to try to reach the mountains to the west; but on approaching the land he found the ice so much crevassed and disturbed that the attempt had to be given up. Great peaks in 83 S. were named Mt Markham (15,100 ft.) and Mt Longstaff (9700 ft.) after the chief promoters of the expedition. The outward journey of 380 m. had taken 59 days, and was a splendid achievement, for the conditions to be encountered were totally unknown, and new methods had to be devised as the necessity arose, yet no previous polar explorer had ever advanced so far beyond his predecessor as Scott did. The return journey occupied 34 days and the ship was reached on the 3rd of February 1903, but Shackleton had broken down on the. way and he had to return by the relief ship " Morning " on the 3rd of March, Lieut. Mulock, R.N., taking his place on the " Discovery." During the absence of the commander in the great southern journey Armitage and Skelton had found a way to ascend by a glacier in 78 S. to the summit of the vast snow-covered plateau beyond the granite summits of the western mountains. They reached a distance of 130 m. from the ship and an elevation of 9000 ft. Many shorter journeys were made; Ferrar studied the geology of the mountains and Hodgson was indefatigable in collecting marine fauna, while Bernacchi kept up the physical and meteorological observations. The second winter was lightened by the use of acetylene gas for the first time, and the dark months were passed in better spirits and better health than in the case of any previous polar wintering. In the spring of 1903-1904 Scott undertook a great journey on the western plateau, starting on the 26th of October without dogs. By the 30th of November he had reached a point on the featureless plateau of dead-level snow, 300 m. due west from the ship, the position being 77 59' S., 146 33' E. and 9000 ft. above sea-level. The ship was reached again on the 25th of December, and on the sth of January the " Morning " arrived accompanied by a larger vessel, the " Terra Nova," sent out by the Admiralty with orders to Captain Scott to abandon the " Discovery " and return at once. Fortunately, although all the stores and collections had been transferred to the relief ships, the " Discovery " broke out of the ice on the 16th of February 1904 and Captain Scott had the satisfaction of bringing her home in perfect order. The relief ships had provided so little coal that a most promising voyage to the westward of the Balleny Islands had to be abandoned in 155 E.;but it showed that the land charted by Wilkes east of that meridian did not exist in the latitude assigned.
Simultaneously with the " Discovery " expedition and in full co-operation with it as regards simultaneous meteorological and DiygaisUt magnetic observations, the German government "Gauss." equipped an expedition in the " Gauss " which was specially built for the occasion. The expedition was under the charge of Professor Erich von Drygalski and the scientific staff included Professor Vanhoffen as naturalist, Dr Emil Philippi as geologist and Dr Friedrich Bidlingmaier as meteorologist and magnetician. The ship was under the command of Captain Hans Ruser cf the Hamburg-American line. A supplementary expedition set up a station for simultaneous observations on Kerguelen Land. The " Gauss " crossed the parallel of 60 S. in 92 E. early in February 1902 and got within 60 m. of the charted position of Wilkes's Termination Land, where a depth of 1730 fathoms was found with no sign of land. The pack made it necessary to turn south-westward and land was seen to the eastward on February 1902 on the Antarctic Circle in the direction of Termination Land. Soon afterwards the " Gauss " was beset and spent the winter in the ice. Land of considerable extent was seen to the south and was named Kaiser Wilhelm II. Land; the most conspicuous feature on it was a hill of bare black rock with an elevation of about 1000 ft., which was called the Gaussberg, and was situated in 67 S., 90 E. This was the only bare land seen, and its neighbourhood was thoroughly investigated by sledge parties, but no distant journey was undertaken. In February 1903 the " Gauss " was freed from the ice; but although Drygalski struggled for two months to thread the maze of floes to the eastward and south he could gain no higher latitude and was able to force his way only to 80 E. before seeking the open sea. The scientific observations and collections were most extensive and of great value.
Two private expeditions organized by men of science were in the Antarctic region simultaneously with the British and Nordeosk- German national expeditions, and the synchronous /6/rf. meteorological and magnetic observations added to the value of the scientific results of all the parties. Dr. Otto Nordenskjold, nephew of the discoverer of the North-East Passage, led a Swedish party in the " Antarctic," with Captain C. A. Larsen in command of the ship, and reached the South Shetlands in January 1902, afterwards exploring on the east side of Joinville Island and Louis Philippe Land, and wintering on shore on Snow Hill Island in 64 25' S. From this point a long journey on ski over the flat sea ice bordering King Oscar Land was made to the south, but the Antarctic Circle was not reached. Meanwhile the " Antarctic " had succeeded in penetrating the pack in the Weddell Sea almost to the circle in 5 W., where D'Urville and Ross had failed to get so far south. A second winter "was spent at the base on Snow Hill Island, and, the ship having been lost in the ice on her way to t|ke them off, the party was rescued by a brilliant dash of the Argentine gunboat " Uruguay," under Captain Irizar, before the relief ship sent from Sweden arrived.
Meanwhile Dr W. S. Bruce, largely aided financially by Mr James Coats and Captain Andrew Coats, equipped a Scottish expedition in the " Scotia," with Captain Bnjce Thomas Robertson in command of the ship, and a scientific staff including Mr R. C. Mossman as meteorologist, Mr R. N. Rudmose Brown as naturalist, and Dr J. H. H. Pirie as geologist. The principal object of the expedition was the exploration of the Weddell Sea. The " Scotia " sighted the South Orkneys on the 3rd of February 1903, and after a short struggle with the pack she found an open sea to 70 25' S., where she was beset on the 22nd in 18 W., and whence she returned by a more westerly course, recrossing the Antarctic Circle in 40 W. This important voyage midway between the tracks of Weddell and Ross, who alone of all who tried had reached 70 S. in this region, praccally demonstrated the navigability of Weddell Sea in favourable conditions, and the oceanographical observaticns made were the most valuable yet carried out in the Antarctic region. The following year, starting from the Sandwich group, Bruce crossed the Antarctic Circle about 22 W., and was able to make a straight run south to 74 i' S., where the " Scotia " was stopped by the ice in 159 fathoms of water, the sea having shoaled rapidly from a great depth. From the 3rd of March to the 13th the " Scotia " remained in shallow water, catching occasional glimpses of a great ice wall with snowcovered heights beyond it, along a line of 150 m., and dredging quantities of continental rocks. On this evidence the name Coats Land was given to the land within the barrier. The " Scotia " crossed the Antarctic Circle northward in 11 W., having in the two years explored a totally unknown sea for a distance of thirty degrees of longitude. A meteorological station was established by Mr Mossman on Laurie Island, in the South Orkneys (61 S.) in March 1903, and kept up by him for two years, when it was taken over by the Argentine government, and it now has the distinction of being the most southerly station at which continuous observations have ever been taken for over five years.
In January 1904 Dr Jean B. Charcot, a man of science and an accomplished yachtsman, left the Fuegian archipelago for the Antarctic in the " Francais," in command of a cbarcot French exploring expedition equipped at his own instance. He cruised through the islands of the Palmer Archipelago, and wintered in a cove of Wandel Island 65 5' S. near the southern entrance of Gerlache Strait. On the 25th of December 1904 the " Francais " was free, and continued to cruise southward along the coast of Graham Land, to the south of which, on the 15th of January, when nearly in latitude 67, a new coast appeared, mountainous and stretching to the south-west, but Charcot could not determine whether it was joined to Graham Land or to Alexander Land. While approaching the land the " Francais " struck a rock, and was so much damaged that further exploration was impossible, and after naming the new discovery Loubet Land, the expedition returned. Charcot organized a second expedition in 1908 on board the " Pourquoi Pas?" and, leaving Punta Arenas in December, returned to the Palmer Archipelago, and during January 1909 made a detailed examination of the coast to the southward, finding that Loubet Land was practically continuous on. the north with Graham Land and on the south with Alexander Land, which was approached within a mile at one point. Adelaide Island, reported by Biscoe as 8 m. long, was found to be a large island 70 m. in length, consisting of a series of summits rising out of an icefield. The Biscoe Islands were found to be much more numerous than was formerly supposed. The expedition wintered at Petermann Island in 65 10' S., and attempts were made to reach the interior of Graham Land, though with little success. After coaling from the whalers' dep&t at Deception Island, the " Pourquoi Pas ? sailed on the 6th of January 1910 to the south-west, and reached 70 S. on the nth, whence views of Alexander Land were obtained from a new position, and a new land discovered farther to the south-west. The highest latitude reached was about 70 30' S., and Charcot was able to steam westward nearly along this parallel crossing the region of the " Belgica's " drift, passing close to Peter I. Island across the meridian of Cook's highest latitude, where the ice seemed to promise an easy way south if coal had permitted, and on to 128 \V. through an absolutely unknown sea, from which point a direct course was made for Punta Arenas. Frequent soundings and dredgings were made, and Dr Charcot satisfied himself from all the appearances that along the 20 degrees of longitude west of Gerlache's farthest, and more than half-way from Graham Land to King Edward Land, land was probably not far distant to the south.
After his return invalided from the " Discovery," Lieut. Shackleton planned a fresh expedition, which he equipped at Shackleton n ^ s own ex P ense i aided by his personal friends, and he started in the small whaler " Nimrod " from Lyttelton, New Zealand, on the 1st of January 1908, being towed by a steamer to the Antarctic Circle, in order to save coal. The plan was to land a shore party on King Edward Land and return to take them off. in the following year, but although a strenuous effort was made to reach the land the floe ice was too heavy, and it would have been madness to establish winter-quarters on the barrier, the coast-line of which had altered greatly since 1902, and was obviously liable to break off in great ice-islands. On the 26th of January the " Nimrod " began to return from the extreme east of the barrier, and the landing of stores commenced on the 3rd of February at Cape Royds, at the base of Mt Erebus, 20 m. north of the " Discovery's " winter-quarters. The shore party induded the leader and fifteen companions, amongst them Professor T. W. Edgeworth David, of Sydney University; Lieut. Jameson Boyd Adams, R.N.R.; Sir Philip Brocklehurst, Bart.; Mr James Murray, biologist; Mr Raymond E. Priestley, geologist; Dr Alistair Forbes Mackay; Dr Eric Marshall; Mr Douglas Mawson, geologist; and Ernest Joyce and Frank Wild of the Royal Navy, who had taken part in the " Discovery " expedition. No casualty occurred during the whole duration of the expedition, special care having been taken to supply the best provisions, including fresh bread baked daily and dried milk in unlimited quantity, while abundant artificial light was secured by the use of acetylene gas. A motor-car was taken in the hope that it might be used on the barrier surface, but this was found impracticable, although it did good work in laying depots on the sea-ice. Another and more successful experiment in traction was the use cf Manchurian ponies. Eight of these extraordinarily hardy creatures were taken south in the " Nimrod," but four died in the first month after landing. The others did good service. Nine dogs were also taken, but the experience on the " Discovery " expedition did not lead to much dependence being placed on them. The " Nimrod " left for the north on the 22nd of February- and the scientific staff at once began the observations and collections which were kept up to the end. The discovery of a considerable fresh-water fauna and of a poor but characteristic flora was one of the most unexpected results. Apart from* many minor excuisions and surveys, the expedition performed three journeys of the first importance, each of them surpassing any previous land work in the Antarctic regions. Before winter set in, Professor David, with five companions, made the ascent of Mt Erebus, starting from the winter quarters on the 5th of March, and gaining the summit at an altitude of 13,300 ft. on the loth; this was found to be the edge of an active crater, the abyss within being 900 ft. deep, though rarely visible on account of the steam and vapours which rose in a huge cloud 1000 ft. above the summit.
The second achievement was the attainment of the South Magnetic Pole by Professor David, with Mr Douglas Mawson and Dr Mackay. They left winter-quarters on the 6th of October 1908, dragging two sledges over the sea-ice. Proceeding along the coast they were able to supplement their provisions and fuel by seal-meat and blubber, and on the 1st of December they reached the Drygalski ice barrier in 75 S., which proved very difficult to cross. Leaving this ice-tongue on the igth, they proceeded to ascend the plateau with one sledge, and ran great risks from the crevasses into which they were constantly falling. On reaching the summit of the plateau travelling became easier, and on the 16th of January 1909 the magnetic dip was 90, and the position of the magnetic pole was determined as 72 25' S., 155 16' E., at an altitude of 7260 ft. and 260 m. from the depot of provisions left at the Drygalski glacier. The return journey to this point was accomplished by forced marches on the 3rd of February, and next day the party was picked up by the " Nimrod," which was scouting for them along the coast.
The third and greatest achievement of this remarkable expedition was Shackleton's great southern journey. Dep6ts had been laid out in advance on the barrier ice, and the main southern party, consisting of Messrs Shackleton, Adams, Marshall and Wild, started from winter-quarters on the 29th of October 1908, with the four ponies and four n-ft. sledges; a supporting party of five men accompanied the main division for ten days. In order to avoid the disturbed and crevassed ice near the great south-running mountain range, Shackleton kept about 40 m. farther to the east than Scott had done. The ponies enabled rapid progress to be made, but after passing the 8 1st parallel on the 2 1st of November, one pony broke down and had to be shot, the meat being left in a depot for the return journey. In spite of cold weather and frequent high winds, progress was made at the rate of 15 m. per day, and on the 26th of November the farthest south of the " Discovery " expedition was passed, and Mts Markham and Longstaff were full in view. New mountains continued to appear beyond these, and the range changed its southerly to a southeasterly trend, so that the path to the Pole led through the mountains. On the 28th a second pony became used up and was shot, and a depdt was formed with provisions and stores for the return in 82 38' S., and progress was resumed with two sledges. The surface of the barrier ice formed great undulations of gentle slope. On the 1st of December a third pony had to be shot, in 83 16' S., and horseflesh became the principal article of diet; the remaining pony hauled one sledge, the four men took the other. On the 4th of December the party left the barrier, passing over a zone of much disturbed ice, and commenced the ascent of a great glacier (the Beardmore glacier) which descended from the mountains between magnificent granite cliffs 2000 ft. high. On the 7th, when toiling amongst a maze of crevasses on the glacier, 2000 ft. above sea-level, the last pony fell into a crevasse and was lost, though the loaded sledge was saved; the pony was to have been shot that night as it could not work on the disturbed ice; but its loss meant so much less food, and as far as can be judged this alone made it impossible for the party to reach the Pole. For the next few days of laborious advance one or other of the party was continually falling into a crevasse, but the sledge harness saved them, and no serious harm resulted. After climbing upwards for 100 m. on the glacier, a dep6t was made at a height of 6100 ft. of everything that could possibly be left behind, including all the warm clothing, for it was found possible with Jaegers and wind-proof Burberrys to meet any weather in which exertion was possible. By Christmas Day the plateau surface was fairly reached at a level of 9500 ft., in latitude 85 55' S., and there was no more difficulty to overcome as regarded the ground, but merely the effort of going on over a nearly level surface with insufficient food in a very low temperature, intensified by frequent blizzards. Rations were reduced in the hope of being able to push on to the Pole. Three days later the last crevasse was passed and the surface, now 12,200 ft. above sea-level, grew smoother, allowing 15 m. a day to be done with fair weather. At 4 a.m. on the 9th of January 1909 the four explorers left their sledge and racing, half walking, half running, they reached 88 23' S. in 162 E. at 9 a.m., the height above sea being 11,600 ft. The utmost had been done, though more food would have enabled the remaining' 97 geographical miles to the South Pole to be accomplished. The camp was reached again at 3 p.m. The return journey of over 70x5 m. to the ship was one long nightmare of toil and suffering, but the length of the marches was unsurpassed in polar travel. Once and again all food was exhausted the day before the dep6t, on which the only hope of life depended, was picked up in the waste of snow. Snow-blindness and dysentery made life almost unendurable, but, despite it all, the ship was reached on the 1st of March, and the geological specimens from the southernmost mountains, which prevented the sledges of the exhausted men being lightened as they went on, were safely secured. Never in the history of polar exploration had any traveller outdistanced his predecessor by so vast a step towards either Pole.
During the return journey of the " Nimrod " Shackleton was able to do a little piece of exploration to the south of the Balleny Islands, tracing the coast of the mainland for 50 m. to the south-west beyond Cape North, thus indicating that the Antarctic continent has not a straight coast-line running from Cape Adare to Wilkes Land. The British government contributed 20,0500 to the expenses of the expedition in recognition of the great results obtained, and the king conferred a knighthood on the explorer, the first given for Antarctic exploration since the time of Sir James Clark Ross.
Captain R. F. Scott left England in the summer of 1910 with a new expedition in the " Terra Nova," promoted by his expeditions own exertions, aided by a government grant, and of 1910- with a carefully selected crew and a highly comI9lt - petent scientific staff. He intended to arrange for two parties, one leaving King Edward Land, the other McMurdo Sound, to converge on the South Pole. A German expedition under Lieut. Wilhelm Filchner was announced to leave early in 1911 with the hope of exploring inland from a base in the western part of Weddell Sea, and Dr W. S. Bruce has announced for the same year an expedition to the eastern part of Weddell Sea mainly for oceanographical exploration. It appears that the greatest extension of knowledge would now be obtained by a resolute attempt to cruise round the south polar area from east to west in the highest latitude which can be reached. This has never been attempted, and a modern Biscoe with steam power could not fail to make important discoveries on a westward circumnavigation.
Physiography of Antarctic Region. In contrast to the Arctic region, the Antarctic is essentially a land area. It is almost certain that the South Pole lies on a great plateau, part of a land that must be larger and loftier than Greenland, and may probably be as large as Australia. This land area may be composed of two main masses, or of one continent and a great archipelago, but it can no longer be doubted that the whole is of continental character as regards its rocks, and that it is permanently massed into one surface with ice and snow, which in some parts at least unites lands separated by hundreds of miles of sea. But all round the land-mass there is a ring of deep ocean cutting off the Antarctic region from all other land of the earth and setting it apart as a region by itself, more unlike the rest of the world than any continent or island. The expedition of the " Scotia " showed the great depth of the Weddell Sea area, and the attention paid to soundings on other expeditions notably that of the " Belgica " has defined the beginning of a continental shelf which it cannot be doubted slopes up to land not yet sighted. In the Arctic region large areas within the Polar Circle belong to climatically temperate Europe, and to habitable lands of Asia and America; but in the Antarctic region extensive lands Graham Land, Louis Philippe Land, Joinville Island and the Palmer archipelago outside the Polar Circle partake of the typically polar character of the higher latitudes, and even the islands on the warmer side of the sixtieth parallel are of a sub-Antarctic nature, akin rather to lands of the frigid than to those of the temperate zone.
Geology. Definite information as to the geology of Antarctic land is available from three areas Graham Land and the archipelago to the north of it, Kaiser Wilhelm Land and Victoria Land. In the Graham Land region there seems to be a fundamental rock closely resembling the Archaean. Palaeozoic rocks have not been discovered so far in this region, although a graptolite fossil, probably of Ordovician age, shows that they occur in the South Orkneys. Mesozoic rocks have been found in various parts of the archipelago, a very rich Jurassic fossil flora of ferns, conifers and cycads having been studied by Nordenskjold, some of the genera found being represented also in the rocks of South America, South Africa, India and Australia. Cretaceous ammonites have also been found, and Tertiary fossils, both of land and of marine forms, bring the geological record down probably to Miocene times, the fauna including five genera of extinct penguins. Raised beaches show an emergence of the land in Quaternary times, and there is evidence of a recent glacial period when the inland ice on Graham Land was a thousand feet higher than it is now. The most prominent features of the scenery are due to eruptive rocks, which have been identified as belonging to the eruptive system of the Andes, suggesting a geologically recent connection between South America and the Antarctic lands. Volcanic activity is not yet extinct in the region.
As regards Kaiser Wilhelm Land, the Gaussberg is a volcanic cone mainly composed of leucite-basalt, but its slopes are strewn with erratics presumably transported from the south and these include gneiss, mica-schist and quartzite, apparently Archaean.
Much more is known as to the geology of Victoria Land, and the results are well summarized by Professor David and Mr Priestley of Sir Ernest Shackleton's expedition, whom we follow. From Cape North (71 S.) to 86 S. a grand mountain range runs south curving to south-eastward, where it vanishes into the unknown; it is built up of gneiss and granite, and of horizontal beds of sandstone and limestone capped with eruptive rock, the peaks rising to heights of 8000, 10,000 and even 15,000 feet, the total length of the range so far as known being at least noo miles. This range rises abruptly from the sea, or from the ice of the Great Barrier, and forms a slightly higher edge to a vast snow plateau which has been traversed for several hundred miles in various directions, and may for aught we know extend farther for a thousand miles or more. The accumulated snows of this plateau discharge by the hugest glaciers in the world down the valleys between the mountains. About 78 S. a group of volcanic islands, of which Ross Island, with the active Mt Erebus is the largest, rise from the sea in front of the range, and at the northern extremity the volcanic peaks of the Balleny Islands match them in height. The composition of the volcanic rocks is similar to that of the volcanic rocks of the southern part of New Zealand. The oldest rocks of Victoria Land are apparently banded gneiss and gneissic granite, which may be taken as Archaean. Older Palaeozoic rocks are represented by greenish grey slates from the sides of the Beardmore glacier and by radiolarian cherts; but the most widespread of the sedimentary rocks occurring in vast beds in the mountain faces is that named by Ferrar the Beacon sandstones, which in the far south Shackleton found to be banded with seams of shale and coal amongst which a fossil occurred which has been identified as coniferous wood and suggests that the place of the formation is Lower Carboniferous or perhaps Upper Devonian. No Mesozoic strata have been discovered, but deposits of peat derived from fungi and moss are now being accumulated in the fresh-water lakes of Ross Island, and raised beaches show a recent change of level. The coast-line appears to be of the Atlantic, not the Pacific type, and may owe its position and trend to a great fault, or series of faults, in the line of which the range of volcanoes, Mt Melbourne, Mt Erebus, and Mt Discovery, stand. Boulders of gneiss, quartzite and sandstone have been dredged at so many points between the Balleny Islands and the Weddell Sea that there can be no doubt of the existence of similar continental land along the whole of that side, at least within the Antarctic Circle.
Antarctic Ice-Conditions. It is difficult to decide whether the ice of the polar regions should be dealt with as a geological formation or a meteorological phenomenon; but in the Antarctic the ice is so characteristic a feature that it may well be considered by itself. So far as can be judged, the total annual precipitation in the Antarctic region is very slight, probably not more than the equivalent of 10 in. of rain, and perhaps less. It was formerly supposed that the immense accumulation of snow near the South Pole produced an ice-cap several miles in thickness which, creeping outward all round, terminated in the sea in vast ice-cliffs, such as those of Ross's Great Barrier, whence the huge flat-topped ice-islands broke off and floated away. Evidence, both in the Graham Land and in the Victoria Land areas, points to a former much greater extent of the ice-cap. Thus Shackleton found that the summit of Mt Hope, in 83 30' S., which stands 2000 feet above the ice of the surrounding glaciers, was strewn with erratics which must have been transported by ice ' from the higher mountains to the south and west. In McMurdo Sound, as in Graham Land, evidence was found that the surface of the ice-sheet was once at least a thousand feet above its present level. These facts appear to indicate a period of greater snowfall in the geologically recent past i.e. a period of more genial climate allowing the air to carry more water vapour to the southern mountains. Whatever may have been the case in tne past the Antarctic glaciers are now greatly shrunken and many of them no longer reach the sea. Others project into the sea a tongue of hard ice, which in the case of the Drygalski glacier tongue is 30 m. long, and afloat probably for a considerable distance. Some of these glacier tongues of smaller size appear now to be cut off at their shoreward end from the parent glacier. At one time the Victoria Land glacier tongues may have been confluent, forming a great ice barrier along the coast similar to the small ice-barriers which clothe the lower slopes of some of the islands in Gerlache Strait. The Great Ice Barrier is in many ways different from these. Captain Scott showed that it was afloat for at least 400 m. of its extent from west to east. Sir Ernest Shackleton followed it for 400 m. from north to south, finding its surface in part thrown into long gentle undulations, but with no evidence of the surface being otherwise than level on the average. The all- butforgotten experiments and cogitations of Biscoe convinced that shrewd observer that all Antarctic icebergs were sea-ice thickened with snow " accumulated with time." The recent expeditions seem to confirm this view to a great extent in the case of the Barrier, which, so far as the scientific men on the " Nimrod " could see, was formed everywhere of compressed nev6, not of true glacier ice. Instances have been seen of tabular bergs floating with half their bulk above water, showing that they are of very much less density than solid ice. The thrust of the glaciers which descend from the western mountains upon the Barrier throws it into shaxp crevassed folds near the point of contact, the disturbance extending 20 m. from the tip of the Beardmore glacier, and the seaward creep of the whole surface of the Barrier is possibly due to this impulse; the rate of movement at the eastern side of the Barrier was found to be at the rate of 500 yds. per annum for the seven years between Scott's and Shackleton's expeditions.
Pack ice composed of broken-up sea-ice and fragments of icebergs appears to form a floating breakwater round the Antarctic area. It is penetrated by powerful steamers with ease or with difficulty according to the action of the wind which loosens the pack when it drives it towards the open sea, and closes it up when it drives it against a coast or a barrier of fast ice. At every point but one around the circumpolar area the pack, be it light or dense, appears to extend up to the southern permanent ice or land, though, as in the Weddell Sea, the pack seems at times to be driven bodily away. The exceptional region is the opening of the Ross Sea east of Cape Adare, where a comparatively narrow band of pack ice has always been penetrated by the resolute advance even of sailing ships and led to an extensive open sea to the south. No doubt the set of the ocean currents accounts for this, but how they act is still obscure. The great flat-topped ice-islands which in some years drift out from the Antarctic area in great numbers are usually met with in all parts of the Southern Ocean south of 50 S., and worndown icebergs have been sighted in the Atlantic even as far north as 26 30' S. The greater frequency of icebergs in the Southern Ocean in some years is attributed to earthquakes in the Antarctic breaking off masses of the floating edge of the Barrier.
Antarctic Climate. Although a vast mass of observations has recently been accumulated, it is not yet possible to treat of the climate of the South Polar region in the same broad way as in the case of the North Polar region. The following table shows the mean temperatures of each month and of the year at all the stations at which the Antarctic winter has been passed. The result is to show that while the winter is on the whole less severe at high latitudes than at equal latitudes in the north, the summer is very much colder, and has little relation to latitude. Even in the South Orkneys, in latitude 60, in the three warmest months the air scarcely rises above the freezing point as an average, while in Shetland (60 N.) the temperature of the three summer months averages 54 F. But on the other hand, the warmest month of the year even in 77 S. has had a mean temperature as high as 30. A study of the figures quoted in the accompanying table shows that until longer records become available it is impossible to speak definitely as to the normal distribution of monthly temperature throughout the year, for even at the same station in consecutive years the months vary greatly. Thus at Snow Hill (65 S.) the mean temperature of August 1903 was 13-5 higher than that of August 1902, though June had been 7 colder; and at the "Discovery's" winter quarters July 1903 was 13 colder than July 1902 though June was 2 warmer, August having exactly the same mean temperature in each year. The mean temperature of the year is evidently higher in the position of the " Belgica's" drift than in Victoria Land at the same latitude; but it is noticeable that on the west side of Graham Land, where Charcot wintered, the average mean temperature was (taking the average of his two winterings) 15 higher than on the east side, where Nordenskjfild wintered in nearly the same latitude. The observations, however, were not synchronous; and it may not be right to compare them. We may perhaps say that along the whole of the known Antarctic coasts the temperature in the two midsummer months is within a degree or two of 32 F., and varies little from place to place or from year to year; but in the winter months the temperature is lower as the latitude increases and is subject to great variations from place to place and from year to year. It seems quite possible that at no place in the Antarctic region do the mean monthly sea-level winter temperatures fall so low as in the Arctic poles of cold, but data regarding winter temperatures in the interior are lacking. All the complete yearly series of temperature show that the winter six months from April to September have a low and nearly equal temperature, there being a very abrupt fall in February and March, and an equally abrupt rise in October and November. The warmest day experienced at the " Discovery's " winterquarters had a mean temperature of 34-7, and the coldest -45-7, the extreme range of daily temperature being thus 80-4.
The absolutely lowest temperature recorded in the Antarctic region was -66-8 on a journey southward from the " Discovery's " winter-quarters by Lieut. Barne on the 15th of September 1903; the lowest temperature at the winter-quarters was -58-5 on the 28th of September 1903. On Sir Ernest Shackleton's expedition the lowest temperature was -57; but no other expedition met temperatures lower than -45-6 on the " Belgica," -43-1 at Cape Adare, and -41-4 on the " Gauss." Sudden rises of temperature during storms are common in the Antarctic region, from whichever quarter the wind blows.
During the ascent of Mt Erebus the temperature was found to fall as the height increased .rom o F. at sea-level to -24 at 5000 ft.; it remained stationary to 8600 ft., fell to -28 at 10,650 ft., and then rose to -22 at 11,500 ft., and fell a few degrees at the summit. It might appear as if the " isothermal layer " of the upper atmosphere had been reached at a remarkably low elevation; but the temperature variations may also be explained by differences in the temperature of the strong air currents which were passed through.
Pressure and Winds. The normal fall of pressure southward, which gives rise to the strong westerly winds of the roaring forties, appears to be arrested about 65 S., and to be succeeded by a rise of pressure farther south. This view is supported by the frequency of south-easterly winds in the neighbourhood of the Antarctic Circle reported by all explorers, and the hypothesis of a south pokr anticyclone or area of high pressure over the Antarctic continent has gained currency in advance of any observations to establish it. The complete data of Sir Ernest Shackleton's expedition are not available at the time of writing, but the yearly mean pressure as recorded at the " Discovery's " winter-quarters was 29-35 in. for 1902, and 29-23 in. for 1903. At Cape Adare it was 29-13 in. for 1899, in the " Belgica " 29-31 in. for 1898, and in the " Gauss " 29-13 in. for 1902. These figures, so far as they are comparable, show distinctly higher pressures in the higher latitudes, and the wind observations bear out the inference of a scuth-polaT high pressure area, as at the " Discovery's " winter-quarters 80 % of the winds had an easterly component, and only 3 % a westerly component. It is bewildering, however, to find that on the sledge journeys there was an equally marked preponderance of wind with a westerly component, and in discussing the result in the published records of the expedition Mr R. H. Curtis, of the Meteorological Office, felt compelled to ask whether the correction for variation of the compass (in that region about 145) was possibly omitted in the case of the sledge journeys. The " Gauss " observations and those at Cape Adare bore out the frequency of easterly winds, and on the " Scotia " it was observed that practically all of the easterly winds met with were to the south of the Antarctic Circle. The " Belgica " found rather more westerly than easterly winds in her drift; easterly winds predominating in summer, westerly winds in winter. At Cape Royds Shackleton found easterly winds to predominate, the most frequent direction being south-east; but on the great southern journey, south-south-east winds prevailed, occasionally swinging round to south-south-west, and even at the farthest south (88 S.) the ridges into which the snow was blown, 10,000 ft. above the sea, showed that south- southeasterly winds predominated. On the journey to the Magnetic Pole Professor David found that along the coast the prevailing winds were south-westerly, with occasional blizzards from the south-east, but he noticed that the westerly winds were of the nature of a land breeze, springing up soon after midnight and continuing to blow fresh until about 10 a.m. Thus the balance of probability inclines towards the hypothesis of a south-polar high-pressure area. An upper current of air blowing from a north-westerly direction was usually indicated by the clouds and smoke on Mt Erebus, and on the occasion of a great eruption, when the steam column reached more than 20,000 ft. above the sea it entered a still higher stratum of wind blowing from the south-east.
The intensity of the blizzards is worthy of remark, for the velocity of the wind often reached 40 or even 60 m. an hour, and they were usually accompanied by a rapid rise of temperature.
Observations of sunshine made at the " Discovery's " winterquarters yielded many records of continuous sunshine extending throughout 24 consecutive hours, and in the summer months about 50 % of the possible sunshine was often recorded, the maximum being 490 hours, or 66% of the total possible for December 1903. Thus, although the Sun was above the horizon only for 246 days, it shone sufficiently to yield more than 1725 hours of bright sunshine for the year, an amount exceeded in few parts of England, where the Sun may shine on 365 days. The intensity of solar radiation in the clear weather of the Antarctic makes it feel exceedingly hot even when the air temperature is far below the freezing point. There is a great difference between the clear skies of 78 S. and the extremely frequent fogs which shroud the coast near the Antarctic Circle and render navigation and surveying exceedingly difficult. Heavy snowstorms are frequent on the coast, but inland during the snow blizzards it is impossible to say whether the whirling snow-dust is falling from the air or beirfg swept from the ground. Professor David is inclined to believe that the surface of the snow-plains is being lowered more by the action of the wind sweeping the snow out to sea than it is raised by precipitation, the total amount of which appears to be very small.
Flora and Fauna. Recent expeditions have discovered that, despite the low temperature of the summer, in which no month has a mean temperature appreciably above the freezing point, there are on the exposed Antarctic land patches of ground with a sparse growth of cryptogamic vegetation consisting of mosses, lichens, fungi and fresh-water algae. The richest vegetation discovered on the " Nimrod " expedition consisted of sheets of a lichen or fungoid growth, covering the bottom of the freshwater lakes near Cape Royds, and visible through the clear ice throughout the many months when the water is frozen. No flowering plants occur within the Antarctic Circle or in the immediately adjacent lands.
The marine fauna is very rich and abundant. All the expeditions obtained many new species, and the resemblance which occurs between many of the forms and those which inhabit the Arctic seas has given rise to the hypothesis that certain species have been able to pass from one frigid zone to the other. It is argued on the other hand that all the forms which resemble each other in the two polar areas are cosmopolitan, and occur also in the intermediate seas; but the so-called " problem of bipolarity " is still unsettled. Bird life on sea and land is fairly abundant, the most common forms being the skua gull, snow petrels, and the various species of penguins. The penguins are specially adapted for an aquatic life, and depend for their food entirely on marine animals. The largest species, the emperor penguin, inhabits the most southerly coast known on the edge of the Great Barrier, and there it breeds at mid-winter, very interesting specializations of structure and habit making this apparently impossible feat practicable. The social organization and habits of the various species of penguins have been carefully studied, and show that these birds have arrived at a stage of what might almost be called civilization worthy of the most intelligent beings native to their continent. The only mammalian life in the Antarctic is marine, in the form of various species of whales, but not the " right whale," and a few species of seals which live through the winter by keeping open blow-holes in the sea-ice. There is no trace of any land animal except a few species of minute wingless insects of a degenerate type. The fresh-water ponds teem with microscopic life, the tardigrada, or " water bears " and rotifers showing a remarkable power of resistance to low temperature, being thawed out alive after being frozen solid for months and perhaps for years.
AUTHORITIES. H. R. Mill, The Siege of the South Pole, a history of Antarctic exploration with complete bibliography (London, 1905); K. Fricker, Antarktis (Berlin, 1898; trans, as The Antarctic Regions (London, 1900) ; A. Rainaud, Le Continent austral. (Paris, 1893, historical) ; E. S. Batch, Antarctica (New York, 1902, historical); James Cook, A Voyage Towards the South Pole and Round the World (3 vols., London, 1777); H. Gravelius, F. von BellingsJtausens Forschungsfahrten im sudlichen Eismeer 1810-1821 (Leipzig, 1902); James Weddell, A Voyage Towards the South Pole (London, 1825); J. S. C. Dumont D'Urville, Voyage au Pole Sud et dans VOceanie (29 vols., Paris, 1841-1845); Charles Wilkes, Narrative of the Exploring Expedition during 1838-1842 (6 vols., Philadelphia, 1845) ; J- C. Ross, A Voyage of Discovery and Research in the Southern and Antarctic Regions (2 vols., London, 1847) ; W. G. Burn-Murdoch, From Edinburgh to the Antarctic (London, 1894; an account of the voyage of the " Balaena," 1892-1893); H. J. Bull, The Cruise of the "Antarctic" to the South Polar Regions (London, 1896); the voyage to Victoria Land in 1894-1895); F. A. Cook, Through the First Antarctic Night, 1898-1890 (New York and London, 1900) ; the voyage of the " Belgica " ; A. de Gerlache, Quinze mois dans I Antarctique (Paris, 1902); Georges Lecointe, Au pays des Manchots (" Belgica," Brussels, 1904); Resultats du voyage du S.Y. " Belgica," Rapports scientifiques (many vols., Brussels, v.d.) ; C. E. Borchgrevink, First on the Antarctic Continent (London, 1901); L. Bernacchi, To the South Polar Regions (London, 1901 ; the expedition of the " Southern Cross ") ; Report on the Collections of the " Southern Cross" (British Museum, London, 1902); G. Murray (editor), The Antarctic Manual (London, 1901); R. F. Scott, The Voyage of the " Discovery " (2 vols., London, 1905) ; A. B. Armitage, Two Years in the Antarctic (London, 1905) ; National Antarctic Expedition 1001-1904 (scientific results published by the Royal Society, London, several vols., v.d.); G. von Neumayer, Auf zum Sudpol (Berlin, 1901) ; E. von, Drygalski, Zum Kontinent des eisigen Siidens (Berlin, 1904); Scientific Results of "Gauss" expedition; Otto Nordenskjold and J. G. Andersson, Antarctica (London, 1905); R. N. R. Brown, R. C. Mossman and J. H. H. Pirie, The Voyage of the "Scotia" (London, 1906); Report on the Scientific Results of the Voyage of the "Scotia" (several vols., Edinburgh, v.d.); J. B. Charcot, Le Francois au Pole Sud (Paris, 1906) ; E. H. Shackjeton, The Heart of the Antarctic (2 vols., London, 1909) ; British Antarctic Ext edition 1907-1909. Reports on the Scientific Investigations (several vols., London, v.d.). (H. R. M.)
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)