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“Zarya,” hoping to reach Sannikofi Island, the most northern and still unvisited portion of the New Siberia group. In August 1902 he reached Bennet Island with the astronomer Seeberg and two men; he found the island to be a plateau about 1 500 ft. in elevation, and remained there until November studying the geological features. Nothing more was heard of the expedition, and a relief expedition in 1904, under Lieuts. Brusneff and Kolchak, failed to find any trace of the explorers beyond a record left on Bennet Island, which gave a summary of their movements up to the time of leaving the island.
In 1901 Captain Roald Amundsen, a Norwegian, who had been mate on the “ Belgica ” in her Antarctic voyage, planned an expedition to the area of the north magnetic pole visited by Sir James Ross in 1831, in order to re-locate it, and as a secondary object he had in view the accomplishment of the North-West Passage by water for the first time, M‘Clure not having carried his ship through from sea to sea. A small Norwegian sealing sloop, the “ Gjoa," the cabin of which measured only 9 ft. by 6, was fitted with a petroleum motor engine of 39 h.p. for use in calm weather and strengthened to withstand ice-pressure. She left Christiania on'the 17th of June 1903 with a total company of six men, second in command being Lieut. Godfred Hansen 0f the Danish navy. She passed through Lancaster Sound and worked her way down the west side of Boothia Felix in August,and took up winter quarters in Gjtia Harbour at the head of Petersen Bay in King William Land. Here the little vessel remained for two years while magnetic and meteorological observations were carried out, and sledging excursions were made to the magnetic pole and along the coasts of Victoria Land, which was charted up to 72° N. In August 1905 the “ Gjoa ” proceeded westward along the American coast but was frozen in off King Point for a third winter. On the 11th of July 1906 she got free, and after much difficulty with the ice reached Bering Strait on the 30th of August and entered the Pacific, the first ship to pass from ocean to ocean north of Patagonia. 1
Danish explorers have continued to concentrate their attention on the problems of Greenland, and especially the geography of the east coast. Lieut. G. D. Amdrup, in a series of expeditions between 1898 and 1900, charted the coast-line as far north as 70° 15' N ., and made important scientific observations and collections. From time to time whalers reached the east Greenland coast at points in high latitudes. The duke of Orleans in the “ Belgica," under the command of Captain Gerlache, made an important voyage in 1905, in the course of which he cruised along the coast of Germania Land between 76° and 78° N., and fixed the general outline of the land up to that latitude. This expedition did a large amount of scientific work, especially in oceanography. The stream of sea-ice which presses outwards from the polar basin every summer bears close against the east coast of Greenland, and exploration by sea has always proved exceedingly difficult and precarious, success depending very much on the occurrence of chance leads amongst the ice. Taking advantage of all previous experience, the mest important of the Danish expeditions was planned by L. Mylius-Erichsen in 1905, the expenses being partly raised by private subscriptions and partly provided by the Danish government. He sailed in the “ Danmark ” in June 1906 and found winter quarters in Danmarkhaven, 75° 43’ N., where the ship remained for two years, while systematic magnetic and meteorological observations were kept up at the base and the main work of exploring to the northward was carried on by sledge. From existing maps it was believed that about 620 m. of coast separated the winter quarters from the northern point of Greenland, but when the sledge expedition went out in 1907 the coast was found to curve much farther to the eastward than had been anticipated, and the outward journey extended to 800 m. Having left the winter quarters on the 28th of March 1907, Mylius-Erichsen, with Captain Koch, Hagen, an educated Eskimo, Bronlund and two others, reached North-East Foreland, the eastern extremity of Greenland (81° 20' N., 11° 15' W.). Here they. divided; Koch with Berthelsen and the Eskimo
Tobias went north-westward to explore the east coast of Peary Land, and succeeded in reaching the northernmost extremity of the land beyond Cape Bridgman in 83° 30’ N. From this great journey he returned in safety to winter quarters, arriving on the 24th of June. Meanwhile Mylius-Erichsen, with Hagen and the Eskimo Bronlund, followed the coast westward into what was believed to be the Independence Bay seen from a distance by Peary; this turned out to be a deep inlet now named Danmark Fjord. Keeping to the coast, they entered the great channel separating themainland of Greenland from Peary Land, and surveyed Hagen Fjord on the southern shore and Bronlund Fjord on the northern shore of the strait. They had pushed on to Cape Glacier in 82° N. and 35° W. by the 14th of June 1907, within sight of Navy Cliff, which had been Peary’s farthest coming from the west side, and here the softness of the snow kept them all summer. When they could travel, more than a fortnight was wasted‘adrift on a fioe in the effort to cross Danmark Fjord. Here the sun left them, while they were without food, almost worn out and more than 500 m. from the ship. It was impossible to attempt the long journey round the coast, and the only chance of safety, and that a very slender one, was to make away southward over the inland ice and so cut off the eastern horn of Greenland which the expedition had discovered. Under the most terrible difficulties, with only four starved dogs, and their equipment going to pieces, they accomplished the feat of marching 160 m. in 26 days, and reached the east coast again in 79° N. Hagen died on the way; Mylius-Erichsen himself struggled on until he nearly reached the provisions left on Lambert Island on the northern journey; but he too perished, and only Bronlund reached the supplies. He was frost-bitten and unable to proceed further, and after recording the tragedy of the return journey in his diary, he died also alone in the Arctic night. His body and the records of the great journey were discovered in the following year by Koch, who started on a relief expedition as soon as travelling became possible. The results 'of this expedition are a splendid monument to the courage and devotion of the leader and his followers. The channel between Spitsbergen and Greenland was shown by their efforts to be far narrower than had previously been supposed, and the outline of Greenland itself was fixed for the first time, and that by an extremely accurate survey.
There only remains one further episode to bring the history of polar exploration up to 1910, but that is the crowning event of four hundred years of unceasing effort, the attainment of the. Pole itself; and it was accomplished by the undaunted perseverance of one man who would never accept After'the return of the Jackson-Harmsworth expedition, Lord Northcliffe presented the “ Windward” to Lieut. Peary, who resumed in 1898 his systematic explorations of the Smith Sound region in the hope of finding a way to the Pole. He was not restrained by the precedents of earlier travellers and made some long sledge journeys in the winter of 1898—1899, having his feet badly frost-bitten and losing eight toes. Even this crippling did not stop his work. He wintered amongst the Etah Eskimo in 1899-1900 and next spring made a successful journey to the most northerly land north of Greenland in 83° 3 5' where the land had an abundant flora and fauna, and he pushed north over the sea-ice for twenty miles farther, reaching 83° 54' N. Peary wintered again at Fort Conger in 1900—1901, and for the fourth year in succession he went through the Arctic winter, 1901-1902, at Payer Harbour. In the spring of 1902 he made a great journey to Cape Hecla in the north of Grant Land and' thence northward over the frozen sea to 84° 17’ N. in 70° W. Frequent open leads of water and the moving of the ice-floes made further advance impossible, and after an unparalleled sojourn in the farthest north, Peary returned to the United States. The Peary Arctic Club of New York, formed to support this indomitable explorer, provided funds for a new expedition and a ship difl'ering in some respects from those hitherto employed and named the “ Roosevelt.” In her he proceeded in the summer of 1905 through Smith Sound and the northern channels to Cape Sheridan on the north coast of Grant Land.
Captain Robert Bartlett being in command of the ship. From this point he advanced by sledge to Cape Hecla, whence he made a most strenuous attempt to reach the North Pole. Organizing his large following of trained Eskimo, whose confidence in him had been won by many years of friendship, and his few white companions in separate parties, each complete in itself and well furnished with dogs and food, he set off at the end of February rooo. A very broad lead of open water was encountered in 84° 38’ N ., and as the party did not carry kayaks much time was lost in getting across. The fioes had a marked eastward drift and it was difficult to make progress northward; however, Peary struggled on by forced marches to 87° 6' N., which he reached on the zrst of April 1906, the most northerly point so far attained. His return journey was the most dangerous in his experience; many leads had to be crossed, sometimes on ice so thin that it bent beneath the weight of the explorers, provisions were exhausted and the men were reduced to eating their dogs before they made land at Cape Neumayer in the north of Greenland, where game was found, and whence the return to the ship was comparatively easy.
Returning to America, Peary prepared for a last attempt. The “ Roosevelt ” was overhauled and various defects made M1 good, but not in time for the summer of 1907. Journeyto Leaving New York in July 1908 the “ Roosevelt,” gelahlonb again under the command of R. Bartlett, brought
' the party, with the Eskimo who were picked up on the way, to Cape Sheridan by the 5th of September. During the winter all supplies were transported to Cape Columbia, farther west on the coast of Grant Land. Here there were ready to start in the first light of the Arctic day seven explorers, 17 picked Eskimo and 133 of the best dogs in Greenland with 19 sledges. As the outcome of all Peary’s experience the expedition was arranged to consist of a lightly equipped advance party to select the route and make the trail by clearing a way through rough ice, and a main party composed of units of four men each with sledges containing all their requirements marching one day behind the pioneer party. From this unit parties were to return southward at intervals with the empty sledges, leaving the diminished main party to push on fully provisioned. The “big lead” which marks the edge of the continental shelf in 84° N. was crossed after some delay and here the sun appeared for the first time on the 5th of March 1909. Dr MacMillan with three Eskimo and three sledgs returned along the outward trail after the 7th of March from 84° 29' N. A sounding at this point showed the depth of the sea to be 825 fathoms. After five more marches G. Borup turned back in 85° 23" with three
Eskimo and three sledges, the best Eskimo and dogs remaining
with the main party. From this point the advance was regular; the pioneer party started from the snow-houses they had built and slept in when the main party arrived, and while the latter slept the pioneers marched, selected a camp, built new snowhouses, and slept till the main party came up. At 86° 38’ N. Prof. R. G. Marvin turned back, as usual with the three worst Eskimo and the worst dogs. His party reached the ship, but he himself was drowned in recrossing the “ big lead,” the only casualty of the expedition. At 88° N. Bartlett turned back on the rst of April in accordance with the system with two Eskimo, one sledge and 18 dogs. Up to this point Peary had saved himself as much as possible, leaving the path-finding and the observations to his very competent colleagues; but now he put forth all his strength for the arduous 140 m. which separated him from 'the Pole. He was accompanied by Henson and four Eskimo. The ice improved as he went on and it was possible to do 25 m. in a daily march of 10 hours, and on one occasion 30 m. in 12 hours. On the 6th of April an observation gave 89° 57' N ., and here a camp was made and observations taken throughout 24 hours to fix the position, as well as excursions a few miles farther on and a few miles to right and left so asto be sure of actually reaching the Pole. No land was to be seen, and a sounding through the ice gave a depth of 1500 fathoms with no bottom. The American flag was hoisted; the goal of all the ages of exploration had been reached.
The return journey was quick and easy. The tracks kept open by the passage of the various return parties were distinct enough to follow, the snow-houses stood ready for sheltering at the end of each march, and a northerly gale kept the ice pressed well together and the leads closed. On the 23rd of April Cape Columbia was reached and soon after the party was safe on board the “ Roosevelt.” Success was due to the accumulated experience of twenty-three years’ constant Arctic work, and to the thorough acquaintance with the Eskimo and their dogs, which enabled the best work to be got out of them.
Dr F. A. Cook spent two years in the Arctic regions. 1907—1909, and claimed to have reached the Pole by sledging alone with two Eskimo a year before Peary. He submitted the evi- RA 0 I dence for t l5 achievement to the university of Copen
hagen, which failed to find it satisfactory. and Dr Cook did not appear to challenge this decision.
PHYSIOGRAPHY or run Aacrrc 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 thereis 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 7’ expedition confirmed and extended the geological observations of vthe 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
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° 4 5' 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 today 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 pracrically the only data available for the climate north of 84° are those of the first expedition of the “ F ram ” 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.
T emperalure.—F rom 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 0° 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.l 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—708° 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 190i. In February 1882 Greely recorded—662° 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 18 51. 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°, far exceeding that known in any other part of the world. 4
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.
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
‘ 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 15 charted.