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Antarctic Exploration

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Antarctic Exploration

rades. A memorial service, attended by King George, was held in St. Paul's, London. Pensions were granted the families of the officers, and more than $1,000,000 was raised for a memorial. Upon Mrs. Scott—who received the news of her husband's death by wireless, in the Pacific, while on her way to join him—was conferred, in her own right, the order and cross of Grand Commander of the Bath, which would have been awarded to him had he lived.

In welcome contrast to the tragic fate of Captain Scott was the successful return to Hut Point of Lieut. V. L. A. Campbell's Northern party, which had been marooned a year before, but which had arrived in safety at Cape Evans on Nov. 7, 1912, after a winter of the severest hardship and 200 miles of the most difficult travelling. The party burrowed an igloo into a snowdrift, isolating it with sea weed, and subsisted for six and one-half months on seal meat and blubber, eked out with biscuit, cocoa, and sugar. Continuous gales and illness weakened them so that they were unable to leave their base until Sept. 30; but they carried on scientific work during the entire winter.

The scientific work of the three parties of the Scott expedition was extensive and satisfactory. It is thought that complete data may supply evidence bearing on the theory that the Antarctic continent in past ages formed the connecting link between Australasia and South America. Coal, marble, and semi-precious minerals (none in commercial quantities) were found by both auxiliary parties.

Dr. Wilson and Lieutenant Bowers, of the Southern party, collected specimens of plant fossils and coal from the Beardmore Glacier at an elevation of 8,000 feet. The former are attributed to the late Paleozoic or early Mesozoic period. Early Palaeozoic corals and igneous rocks were also discovered at lower altitudes. The complete memoranda are said to furnish proof of the former existence of two different periods of temperate climatic conditions in the South Polar regions.

Victoria Land was the region chosen for the work of the Western party, under Mr. Griffith Taylor, geologist. It surveyed the land between Mount Discovery and Granite Harbor, and collected other material for a detailed physiographical study. Coal was found at Granite Harbor; but its inaccessibility renders it unavailable for commercial Vol. I.—Mar. '13

purposes. The Western party also examined the land near the Ferrar and Koettlitz glaciers, and found a remarkable subterranean passage, 20 miles long, under the ice to the sea, traversed by seals; thousands of dead, wingless insects new to science, and many fossils.

The Northern party, under the scientific direction of Mr. Priestly, made collections of volcanic and glacial rocks from the neighborhood of Robertson Bay and the Bay of Whales; and igneous and sedimentary rocks and wood fossils between Mounts Nansen and Melbourne. Professor David's specimens, left on Depot Island in 1909, were found and brought back.

At Cape Evans constant scientific work was carried on during the winter of 1912. In December, 1912, under Mr. Priestley's direction, a detailed geological survey of Mount Erebus was accomplished. The ascent was made on sledges to a height of 9.5OO feet, by a different route from that followed by the mountain's previous explorer, Professor David. The summit was marked by a stone cairn; but the weather conditions prevented the use of the hypsometer to ascertain the elevation.

(3) Lieut. Wilhelm Filchner, of the Deutschland, explorer in Tibet and Persia, planned to lay down depots or stations from the head of Ross Sea, as far inland as practicable; then, proceeding by sea completely around the continent, to attack it from the opposite side, and to march directly across the Pole toward his ship, which would be sent to await his arrival. On its way from the Falkland Islands to Montevideo, the expedition made important discoveries in oceanography, and demonstrated steady and powerful currents constantly setting southward out of the Atlantic basin into the Antarctic. On Jan. 7, 1913, after more than two years spent in scientific investigations both on land and sea, the Filchner expedition reached Buenos Ayres. No attempt to gain a high latitude had been made; and while new land, to which the name of Kaiser Wilhelm was given, was located and mapped, the expedition has published no accounts of popular interest. Capt. R. Vahsel. navigator of the Deutschland, died on the way back. The Aurora had also located, by deepsea soundings, a rocky ridge on the bed of the ocean, 200 miles south of Hobart, Tasmania, from 543 to 918 fathoms deep.

(4) Closely following Amund

sen, the Aurora, which had taken Dr. Douglas Mawson's Australian expedition to the Ross barrier, arrived at Hobart on March 12, 1912, and reported having landed the party in two detachments—on Adelie Land and SabrinaLand—for permanent work andstudy. Dr. Mawson's chosen field was about 2,000 miles of coast land, facing westerly between Cape Adare and the Gaussberg, located by the von Drygalski German expedition, upon which no human being, except a few Frenchmen in 1840, had ever set foot, and which had not even been sighted from a ship for more than half a century.

The Pole was not Dr. Mawson's goal, and no attempt was to be made to attain a high southing. The objects of his expedition, which has been generously supported from the public treasury as well as by private contributions, are commercial and scientific: to ascertain what may be the resources of the Antarctic in mines and fisheries, particularly in whaling and sealing^in short, what may be the encouragement for investing the capital of Australia in a field to which it is the nearest of any land. The Carnegie Institution of Washington equipped the Australian expedition with a complete outfit for magnetic observations and records.

Dr. Mawson has bestowed upon the land discovered by him the name of King George v.t having received official permission to do so. Difficult exploring conditions, which led to the loss of two members of the expedition, were reported in March, 1913.

On Feb. 25, 1913, Professor Mawson sent a wireless, fid Macquarie Island, that he had decided to remain and prosecute work another season. Except for the loss of Lieut. B. E. S. Ninnis, R.f., by an accidental fall in a crevasse, and of Dr. Xavier Mertz, the Swiss scientist, the results, thus far, had been satisfactory. Hundreds of miles of coast between Victoria Land and Adelie Land had been defined.

(5) The Japanese Hainan Maru, Captain Shirase, arrived at Hobart on March 16, 1912. Its tale was brief and comparatively unimportant. The first attempt from Sydney having failed, it had put to sea a second time (Nov. 19, 1911), and had arrived at the Bay of Whales four days before the victorious From left it on her homeward trip. The Japanese party cruised to the eastward, along the ice-bound shores of King Edward vn.

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Land, embarking a party, but made no discoveries of importance beyond more detailed studies of ice formation and shore lines. The equipment of the expedition was meagre, and its resources inadequate for work of the first importance.

The attainment of the South Pole by Amundsen and Scott within thirty days of each other, and within three years of the discover}' of the North Pole by Admiral Peary, marks the first q uarter of the twentieth century as the most memorable in Polar exploration. See Antarctic Ocean.

Consult Antarctic Manual, with Bibliography (ed. by Murray, 1901); Borchgrevink's First on the Antarctic Continent (1901); Bernacchi's To the South Polar Regions (1901); Lecointe's Au Pays des Afanchots (Belgica Expedition, 1904); Resullats duVoyage de la S. ¥. Belgica (30 vols., in course of publication); Die Deutsche SiidpolarExpedition (1903); Nordenskjold and Anderson's Antarctica (1905); Mill's Siege of the South Pole (1905); Armitage's Two Years in the Antarctic (19O5); Scott's Voyage of the Discovery (1906); Official Reports by the French Ministry of Public Instruction of Charcot's Francois (1904-5) and Pourquois Pas (1908-10) Expeditions; The Heart of the Antarctic, by Sir E. H. Shackleton and others (1909); 'Captain Scott's Story' (London Weekly Times. April 5 and 12, 1912).

Antarctic Ocean. This great water division of the globe is in many respects the antithesis of the Arctic Ocean. The Antarctic consists of a central mass of land, covered with a thick and presumably unbroken ice cap. To this vast accumulation of ice are due the huge table-topped icebergs projecting 150 to 200 feet above the surface of the sea, and descending 1,200 to 1,500 feet below it. As the edge of the great ice barrier is approached, the ocean in many parts very perceptibly decreases in depth. For instance, east of Victoria Land, and off the adjacent Adelie Land, the depth ranges from 100 to 80O fathoms; east of the South Shetland Island, it is 100 to 500 fathoms deep; and west of Graham Land there is a 'continental' shelf of 200 to 300 fathoms depth. But in the higher latitudes, or between 60° and 40° s. lat., the depth is greatly increased. From Patagonia east to Kerguelen Island the depth generally exceeds 2,000 fathoms —in some places even 3.00O fathoms. Indeed, the depth on the GOth parallel nearly all round the

Vol. I.—Mar. '12

Pole exceeds 2,000 fathoms. South America, or rather Tierra del Fuego, is apparently linked to the Antarctic lands at Graham Land by a curving submarine ridge, which separates the Southern Atlantic from the Southern Pacific, and is only about 110 fathoms below the surface.

On the whole, the water of the Antarctic Ocean would appear to be colder than the water of the Arctic. On the surface, and down to about 50 fathoms, it is comparatively warm, though absolutely cold (29° to 30° F.). Thence the temperature gradually increases down to about 165 fathoms, where it is 35°; and this temperature is maintained down to 800 or 825 fathoms. From this level to the bottom it again sinks to about 31°. These are the results of observations made by the German deep-sea expedition in the Valdivia in 1898-9. According to the observations of the Challenger, some twenty-five years earlier, the temperature of the surface water was between 29° and 38° (according to latitude), and of the bottom 32° to 35°; and wedged in between these two layers was a colder stratum of water, with a temperature of only 28° to 32.5°. Ross, again, in 1841-3, reported a surface temperature of 27.3° to 33.6°, with an average of 29.8°—• this being in the summer.

Meteorologically, the area about the South Pole is one of low pressure, having a mean of less than 29 inches; and this vast permanent anticyclone appears to have a much wider extension in winter than in summer. The climatic conditionsdepend largely upon the wind. When it blows from the south it is clear and cold; but winds from the opposite directions bring fogs and cloud and a rise of temperature. There is continuous daylight from November to January.

In regions higher than 40° s. lat., the Antarctic plankton, or organic life of the surface, is characterized by an abundance of diatoms. Pelagic animals, such as molluscs, amphipods, copeppds, and other marine organisms, are plentiful down to 1,000 fathoms, and are not at all scarce at 2,700 fathoms. Sir John Murray asserts there are species common to both North and South Polar regions which are absent in the depths of the intervening oceans.

The southern right whale (Balaina auslralis) extends at least as far south as 50° s. lat., but it is in no sense an ice whale. There are two whales peculiar .to southern seas—the pygmy

whale (Neobalana marginatn) and a bottlenose (Hyperoodon planifrons); but these hardly extend into the Antarctic. There are possibly several Antarctic rorquals. , Four true seals are peculiar to the Antarctic— Weddell's seal (Leptonychotes Wcddelli), the sea-leopard (Ogmorhinus leplonyx), Ross's seal (Ommatophoca Rossi'), and the crab-eating seal (Lobodon carcinophagus). All are widely distributed throughout the area. No fur-seal is truly Antarctic; but it is stated that the elephantseal occurs off the coast of Victoria Land.

The most characteristic birds are the penguins, especially the emperor and the Adelie; the petrels, especially the ice, giant, and Antarctic petrels; and the Antarctic skua, which Lieutenant Prestrud's party of Amundsen's Expedition (1910-1911) saw in King Edward vn. Land. Meantime, the invertebrates are little known; but recent expeditions have taken rich hauls. Land plants are naturally very few; a grass (Aira ccespitosa) and a few mosses and lichens have been thus far described.

Much information has been collected by recent expeditions regarding the geology of the Antarctic regions. In Victoria Land sandstone has been found containing fossil plants (dicotyledons), apparently of Miocene age. In the region of Louis Philippe Land, almost at the opposite side of the circle, a marine volcanic- tuff containing (drifted) land plants of Tertiary age occurs. In the same region there are deposits containing Jurassic land plants, and fossiliferous marine beds belonging to the Jurassic and Cretaceous systems. The South Orkneys consist of Primary sedimentary deposits, chieny greywackes and conglomerates, in which a fossil graptolite has been found. Kaiser Wilhelm n. Land is apparently composed of Archaean rocks, especially granite, gneiss, and quartzite. Here, as elsewhere within the area, there also occur volcanic lavas of recent date.

See also the article on AntarcTic Exploration, and Bibliography cited there.

Antares, a Scorpii, a red star of 1.5 magnitude. It gives a banded spectrum of Secchi's third type, and forms, with a seventh-magnitude green satellite, a beautiful chromatic combination. Admitting the reality of Finlay's parallax of 0.02". this star must possess about 54O times the sun's lightpower, and appears to us in

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