The South Pole, Volumes 1 and 2
by Roald Amundsen
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On the 19th we had a fresh south-westerly wind and a lot of ice went out. The Japanese were occupied most of the night in going round among the floes and picking up men, dogs, cases, and so on, as they had put a good deal on to the ice in the course of the day. As the ice came out, so the Fram went in, right up to fat. 78deg.35' S., while the Kainan Maru drifted farther and farther out, till at last she disappeared. Nor did we see the vessel again, but a couple of men with a tent stayed on the Barrier as long as we were in the bay.

On the night of the 24th there was a stiff breeze from the west, and we drifted so far out in the thick snow that it was only on the afternoon of the 27th that we could make our way in again through a mass of ice. In the course of these two days so much ice had broken up that we came right in to fat. 78deg.39' S., or almost to Framheim, and that was very lucky. As we stood in over the Bay of Whales, we caught sight of a big Norwegian naval ensign flying on the Barrier at Cape Man's Head, and I then knew that the southern party had arrived. We went therefore as far south as possible and blew our powerful siren; nor was it very long before eight men came tearing down. There was great enthusiasm. The first man on board was the Chief; I was so certain he had reached the goal that I never asked him. Not till an hour later, when we had discussed all kinds of other things, did I enquire "Well, of course you have been at the South Pole?"

We lay there for a couple of days; on account of the short distance from Framheim, provisions, outfit, etc., were brought on board. If such great masses of ice had not drifted out in the last few days, it would probably have taken us a week or two to get the same quantity on board.

At 9.30 p.m. on January 30, 1912, in a thick fog, we took our moorings on board and waved a last farewell to the mighty Barrier.

From the Barrier to Buenos Aires, Via Hobart.

The first day after our departure from the Barrier everything we had taken on board was stowed away, so that one would not have thought our numbers were doubled, or that we had taken several hundred cases and a lot of outfit on board. The change was only noticed on deck, where thirty-nine powerful dogs made an uproar all day long, and in the fore-saloon, which was entirely changed. This saloon, after being deserted for a year, was now full of men, and it was a pleasure to be there; especially as everyone had something to tell — the Chief of his trip, Prestrud of his, and Gjertsen and I of the Fram's.

However, there was not very much time for yarning. The Chief at once began writing cablegrams and lectures, which Prestrud and I translated into English, and the Chief then copied again on a typewriter. In addition to this I was occupied the whole time in drawing charts, so that on arrival at Hobart everything was ready; the time passed quickly, though the voyage was fearfully long.

As regards the pack-ice we were extremely lucky. It lay in exactly the same spot where we had met with it in 1911 — that is, in about lat. 75deg. S. We went along the edge of it for a very short time, and then it was done with. To the north of 75deg. we saw nothing but a few small icebergs.

We made terribly slow progress to the northward, how slow may perhaps be understood if I quote my diary for February 27:

"This trip is slower than anything we have had before; now and then we manage an average rate of two knots an hour in a day's run. In the last four days we have covered a distance that before would have been too little for a single day. We have been at it now for nearly a month, and are still only between lat. 52deg. and 53deg. S. Gales from the north are almost the order of the day," etc. However, it is an ill wind that blows nobody any good, and the time was well employed with all we had to do.

After a five weeks' struggle we at last reached Hobart and anchored in the splendid harbour on March 7.

Our fresh provisions from Buenos Aires just lasted out; the last of the fresh potatoes were finished a couple of days before our arrival, and the last pig was killed when we had been at Hobart two days.

The Fram remained here for thirteen days, which were chiefly spent in repairing the propeller and cleaning the engine; in addition to this the topsail-yard, which was nearly broken in the middle, was spliced, as we had no opportunity of getting a new one.

The first week was quiet on board, as, owing to the circumstances, there was no communication with the shore; but after that the ship was full of visitors, so that we were not very sorry to get away again.

Twenty-one of our dogs were presented to Dr. Mawson, the leader of the Australian expedition, and only those dogs that had been to the South Pole and a few puppies, eighteen in all, were left on board.

While we lay in Hobart, Dr. Mawson's ship, the Aurora, came in. I went aboard her one day, and have thus been on board the vessels of all the present Antarctic expeditions. On the Terra Nova, the British, on February 4, 1911, in the Bay of Whales; on the Deutschland, the German, in September and October, 1911, in Buenos Aires; on the Kainan Maru, the Japanese, on January 17, 1912, in the Bay of Whales; and finally on the Aurora in Hobart. Not forgetting the Fram, which, of course, I think best of all.

On March 20 the Fram weighed anchor and left Tasmania.

We made very poor progress to begin with, as we had calms for nearly three weeks, in spite of its being the month of March in the west wind belt of the South Pacific. On the morning of Easter Sunday, April 7, the wind first freshened from the north-west and blew day after day, a stiff breeze and a gale alternately, so that we went splendidly all the way to the Falkland Islands, in spite of the fact that the topsail was reefed for nearly five weeks on account of the fragile state of the yard. I believe most of us wanted to get on fast; the trip was now over for the present, and those who had families at home naturally wanted to be with them as soon as they could; perhaps that was why we went so well.

On April 1 Mrs. Snuppesen gave birth to eight pups; four of these were killed, while the rest, two of each sex, were allowed to live.

On Maundy Thursday, April 4, we were in long. 180deg. and changed the date, so that we had two Maundy Thursdays in one week; this gave us a good many holidays running, and I cannot say the effect is altogether cheerful; it was a good thing when Easter Tuesday came round as an ordinary week-day.

On May 6 we passed Cape Horn in very fair weather; it is true we, had a snow-squall of hurricane violence, but it did not last much more than half an hour. For a few days the temperature was a little below freezing-point, but it rose rapidly as soon as we were out in the Atlantic.

From Hobart to Cape Horn we saw no ice.

After passing the Falkland Islands we had a head wind, so that the last part of the trip was nothing to boast of.

On the night of May 21 we passed Montevideo, where the Chief had arrived a few hours before. From here up the River La Plata we went so slowly on account of head wind that we did not anchor in the roads of Buenos Aires till the afternoon of the 23rd, almost exactly at the same time as the Chief landed at Buenos Aires. When I went ashore next morning and met Mr. P. Christophersen, he was in great good-humour. "This is just like a fairy tale," he said; and it could not be denied that it was an amusing coincidence. The Chief, of course, was equally pleased.

On the 25th, the Argentine National Fete, the Fram was moored at the same quay that we had left on October 5, 1911. At our departure there were exactly seven people on board to say good-bye, but, as far as I could see, there were more than this when we arrived; and I was able to make out, from newspapers and other sources, that in the course of a couple of months the third Fram Expedition had grown considerably in popularity.

In conclusion I will give one or two data. Since the Fram left Christiania on June 7, 1910, we have been two and a half times round the globe; the distance covered is about 54,400 nautical miles; the lowest reading of the barometer during this time was 27.56 inches (700 millimetres) in March, 1911, in the South Pacific, and the highest 30.82 inches (783 millimetres) in October, 1911, in the South Atlantic.

On June 7, 1912, the second anniversary of our leaving Christiania, all the members of the Expedition, except the Chief and myself, left for Norway, and the first half of the Expedition was thus brought to a fortunate conclusion.


The "Fram"

By Commodore Christian Blom

Colin Archer says in his description of the Fram, in Fridtjof Nansen's account of the Norwegian Arctic Expedition, 1893 — 1896, that the successful result of an expedition such as that planned and carried out by Dr. Nansen in the years 1893 — 1896 must depend on the care with which all possible contingencies are foreseen, and precautions taken to meet them, and the choice of every detail of the equipment with special regard to the use to which it will be put. To no part of the equipment, he says, could this apply with greater force than to the ship which was to carry Dr. Nansen and his companions on their adventurous voyage.

Colin Archer then built the ship — Fram was her name — and she showed — first on Fridtjof Nansen's famous voyage, and afterwards on Sverdrup's long wintering expedition in Ellesmere Land, that she answered her purpose completely, nay, she greatly exceeded the boldest expectations.

Then Roald Amundsen decided to set out on a voyage not less adventurous than the two former, and he looked about for a suitable ship. It was natural that he should think of the Fram, but she was old — about sixteen years — and had been exposed to many a hard buffet; it was said that she was a good deal damaged by decay.

Roald Amundsen, however, did not allow himself to be discouraged by these misgivings, but wished to see for himself what kind of a craft the Fram was after her two commissions. He therefore came down to Horten with Colin Archer on June 1, 1908, and made a thorough examination of the vessel. He then, in the spring of 1909, requested the Naval Dockyard at Horten to repair the ship and carry out the alterations he considered necessary for his enterprise.

Before giving an account of the repairs and alterations to the vessel in 1909 — 1910, we shall briefly recapitulate, with the author's permission, a part of the description of the Fram in Fridtjof Nansen's work, especially as regards the constructive peculiarities of the vessel.

The problem which it was sought to solve in the construction of the Fram was that of providing a ship which could survive the crushing embrace of the Arctic drift-ice. To fit her for this was the object before which all other considerations had to give way.

But apart from the question of mere strength of construction, there were problems of design and model which, it was thought, would play an important part in the attainment of the chief object. It is sometimes prudent in an encounter to avoid the full force of a blow instead of resisting it, even if it could be met without damage; and there was reason to think that by a judicious choice of model something might be done to break the force of the ice-pressure, and thus lessen its danger. Examples of this had been seen in small Norwegian vessels that had been caught in the ice near Spitzbergen and Novaya Zemlya. It often happens that they are lifted right out of the water by the pressure of the ice without sustaining serious damage; and these vessels are not particularly strong, but have, like most small sailing-ships, a considerable dead rising and sloping sides. The ice encounters these sloping sides and presses in under the bilge on both sides, until the ice-edges meet under the keel, and the ship is raised up into the bed that is formed by the ice itself.

In order to turn this principle to account, it was decided to depart entirely from the usual flat-bottomed frame-section, and to adopt a form that would offer no vulnerable point on the ship's side, but would cause the increasing horizontal pressure of the ice to effect a raising of the ship, as described above. In the construction of the Fram it was sought to solve this problem by avoiding plane or concave surfaces, thus giving the vessel as far as possible round and full lines. Besides increasing the power of resistance to external pressure, this form has the advantage of making it easy for the ice to glide along the bottom in any direction.

The Fram was a three-masted fore-and-aft schooner with an auxiliary engine of 200 indicated horse-power, which was calculated to give her a speed of 6 knots, when moderately loaded, with a coal consumption of 2.8 tons a day.

The vessel was designed to be only large enough to carry the necessary coal-supply, provisions, and other equipment for a period of five years, and to give room for the crew.

Her principal dimensions are:

Length of keel 103.3 English feet Length of waterline 119' Length over all 128' Beam on waterline 34' Greatest beam 36' Depth 17.2'

Her displacement, with a draught of 15.6 feet, is 800 tons. The measurements are taken to the outside of the planks, but do not include the ice-skin. By Custom-house measurement she was found to be 402 gross tons register, and 807 tons net.

The ship, with engines and boilers, was calculated to weigh about 420 tons. With the draught above mentioned, which gives a freeboard of 3 feet, there would thus be 380 tons available for cargo. This weight was actually exceeded by 100 tons, which left a freeboard of only 20 inches when the ship sailed on her first voyage. This additional immersion could only have awkward effects when the ship came into the ice, as its effect would then be to retard the lifting by the ice, on which the safety of the ship was believed to depend in a great measure. Not only was there a greater weight to lift, but there was a considerably greater danger of the walls of ice, that would pile themselves against the ship's sides, falling over the bulwarks and covering the deck before the ice began to raise her. The load would, however, be lightened by the time the ship was frozen fast. Events showed that she was readily lifted when the ice-pressure set in, and that the danger of injury from falling blocks of ice was less than had been expected. The Fram's keel is of American elm in two lengths, 14 inches square; the room and space is 2 feet. The frame-timbers are almost all of oak obtained from the Naval Dockyard at Horten, where they had lain for many years, thus being perfectly seasoned. The timbers were all grown to shape. The frames consist of two tiers of timbers everywhere, each timber measuring 10 to 11 inches fore and aft; the two tiers of timbers are fitted together and bolted, so that they form a solid and compact whole. The joints of the frame-timbers are covered with iron plates. The lining consists of pitch-pine in good lengths and of varying thickness from 4 to 6 inches. The keelson is also of pitch-pine, in two layers, one above the other; each layer 15 inches square from the stem to the engine-room. Under the boiler and engine there was only room for one keelson. There are two decks. The beams of the main-deck are of American or German oak, those of the lower deck and half-deck of pitch-pine and Norwegian fir. All the deck planks are of Norwegian fir, 4 inches in the main-deck and 3 inches elsewhere. The beams are fastened to the ship's sides by knees of Norwegian spruce, of which about 450 were used. Wooden knees were, as a rule, preferred to iron ones, as they are more elastic. A good many iron knees were used, however, where wood was less suitable. In the boiler and engine room the beams of the lower deck had to be raised about 3 feet to give sufficient height for the engines. The upper deck was similarly raised from the stern-post to the mainmast, forming a half-deck, under which the cabins were placed. On this half-deck, immediately forward of the funnel, a deck-house was placed, arranged as a chart-house, from which two companions (one on each side) led down to the cabins. Besides the ice-skin, there is a double layer of outside planking of oak. The two first strakes (garboard strakes), however, are single, 7 inches thick, and are bolted both to the keel and to the frame-timbers. The first (inner) layer of planks is 8 inches thick, and is only fastened with nails; outside this comes a layer of 4-inch planks, fastened with oak trenails and through bolts, as usual. The two top strakes are single again, and 6 inches thick. The ice-skin is of greenheart, and covers the whole ship's side from the keel to 18 inches from the sheer strake. It is only fastened with nails and jagged bolts. Each layer of planks was caulked and pitched before the next one was laid. Thus only about 3 or 4 inches of the keel projects below the planking, and this part of the keel is rounded off so as not to hinder the ice from passing under the ship's bottom. The intervals between the timbers were filled with a mixture of coal-tar, pitch, and sawdust, heated together and put in warm. The ship's side thus forms a compact mass varying in thickness from 28 to 32 inches. As a consequence of all the intervals between the timbers being filled up, there is no room for bilge-water under the lining. A loose bottom was therefore laid a few inches above the lining on each side of the keelson. In order to strengthen the ship's sides still more, and especially to prevent stretching, iron braces were placed on the lining, running from the clamps of the top deck down to well past the floor-timbers.

The stem consists of three massive oak beams, one inside the other, forming together 4 feet of solid oak fore and aft, with a breadth of 15 inches. The three external plankings as well as the lining are all rabbeted into the stem. The propeller-post is in two thicknesses, placed side by side, and measures 26 inches athwart-ship and 14 inches fore and aft. It will be seen from the plan that the overhang aft runs out into a point, and that there is thus no transom. To each side of the stern-post is fitted a stout stern-timber parallel to the longitudinal midship section, forming, so to speak, a double stern-post, and the space between them forms a well, which goes right up through the top deck. The rudder-post is placed in the middle of this well, and divides it into two parts, one for the propeller and one for the rudder. In this way it is possible to lift both the rudder and the screw out of the water. The rudder is so hung that the rudder-stock, which is cylindrical, turns on its own axis, to prevent the rudder being jammed if the well should be filled with ice. Aft of the rudder-well the space between the stern-timbers is filled with solid wood, and the whole is securely bolted together with bolts running athwart-ship. The frame-timbers join the stern-timbers in this part, and are fastened to them by means of knees. The stem and stern-post are connected to the keelson and to the keel by stout knees of timber, and both the ship's sides are bound together with solid breasthooks and crutches of wood or iron.

Although the Fram was not specially built for ramming, it was probable that now and then she would be obliged to force her way through the ice. Her bow and stern were therefore shod in the usual way. On the forward side of the stem a segment-shaped iron was bolted from the bobstay-bolt to some way under the keel. Outside this iron plates (3 x 3/4 inches) were fastened over the stem, and for 6 feet on each side of it. These iron plates were placed close together, and thus formed a continuous armour-plating to a couple of feet from the keel. The sharp edge of the stern was protected in the same way, and the lower sides of the well were lined with thick iron plates. The rudder-post, which owing to its exposed position may be said to form the Achilles' heel of the ship, was strengthened with three heavy pieces of iron, one in the opening for the screw and one on each side of the two posts and the keel, and bolted together with bolts running athwart-ship.

Extraordinary precautions were taken for strengthening the ship's sides, which were particularly exposed to destruction by ice-pressure, and which, on account of their form, compose the weakest part of the hull. These precautions will best be seen in the sections (Figs. 3 and 4). Under each beam in both decks were placed diagonal stays of fir (6 x 10 inches), almost at right angles to the ship's sides, and securely fastened to the sides and to the beams by wooden knees. There are 68 of these stays distributed over the ship. In addition, there are under the beams three rows of vertical stanchions between decks, and one row in the lower hold from the keelson. These are connected to the keelson, to the beams, and to each other by iron bands. The whole of the ship's interior is thus filled with a network of braces and stays, arranged in such a way as to transfer and distribute the pressure from without, and give rigidity to the whole construction. In the engine and boiler room it was necessary to modify the arrangement of stays, so as to give room for the engines and boiler. All the iron, with the exception of the heaviest forgings, is galvanized.

When Otto Sverdrup was to use the Fram for his Polar expedition, he had a number of alterations carried out. The most important of these consisted in laying a new deck in the fore part of the ship, from the bulkhead forward of the engine-room to the stem, at a height of 7 feet 4 inches (to the upper side of the planks) above the old fore-deck. The space below the new deck was fitted as a fore-cabin, with a number of state-rooms leading out of it, a large workroom, etc. The old chart-house immediately forward of the funnel was removed, and in its place a large water-tank was fitted. The foremast was raised and stepped in the lower deck. A false keel, 10 inches deep and 12 inches broad, was placed below the keel. A number of minor alterations were also carried out.

After the Fram returned in 1902 from her second expedition under Captain Sverdrup, she was sent down to Horten to be laid up in the Naval Dockyard.

Not long after the vessel had arrived at the dockyard, Captain Sverdrup proposed various repairs and alterations. The repairs were carried out in part, but the alterations were postponed pending a decision as to the future employment of the vessel.

The Fram then lay idle in the naval harbour until 1905, when she was used by the marine artillery as a floating magazine. In the same year a good deal of the vessel's outfit (amongst other things all her sails and most of her rigging) was lost in a fire in one of the naval storehouses, where these things were stored.

In 1903 the ship's keel and stem (which are of elm and oak) were sheathed with zinc, while the outer sheathing (ice-skin), which is of greenheart, was kept coated with coal-tar and copper composition. In 1907 the whole outer sheathing below the water-line was covered with zinc; this was removed in 1910 when the ship was prepared for her third commission under Roald Amundsen.

In 1907 a thorough examination of the vessel was made, as it was suspected that the timber inside the thick cork insulation that surrounded the cabins had begun to decay.

On previous expeditions the cabins, provision hold aft, and workrooms forward of the fore-cabin, had been insulated with several thicknesses of wooden panelling. The interstices were filled with finely-divided cork, alternately with reindeer hair and thick felt and linoleum. In the course of years damp had penetrated into the non-conducting material, with the result that fungus and decay had spread in the surrounding woodwork. Thus it was seen during the examination in 1907 that the panelling and ceiling of the cabins in question were to a great extent rotten or attacked by fungus. In the same way the under side of the upper deck over these cabins was partly attacked by fungus, as were its beams, knees, and carlings. The lower deck, on the other hand, was better preserved. The filling-in timbers of spruce or fir between the frame-timbers in the cabins were damaged by fungus, while the frame-timbers themselves, which were of oak, were good. The outer lining outside the insulated parts was also somewhat damaged by fungus.

In the coal-bunkers over the main-deck the spruce knees were partly rotten, as were some of the beams, while the lining was here fairly good.

The masts and main-topmast were somewhat attacked by decay, while the rest of the spars were good.

During and after the examination all the panelling and insulation was removed, the parts attacked by fungus or decay were also removed, and the woodwork coated with carbolineum or tar. The masts and various stores and fittings were taken ashore at the same time.

It was found that the rest of the vessel-that is, the whole of the lower part of the hull right up to the cabin deck-was perfectly sound, and as good as new. Nor was there any sign of strain anywhere. It is difficult to imagine any better proof of the excellence of the vessel's construction; after two protracted expeditions to the most northern regions to which any ship has ever penetrated, where the vessel was often exposed to the severest ice-pressure, and in spite of her being (in 1907) fifteen years old, the examination showed that her actual hull, the part of the ship that has to resist the heavy strain of water and ice, was in just as good condition as when she was new.

The vessel was then left in this state until, as already mentioned, Roald Amundsen and her builder, Colin Archer, came down to the dockyard on June 1, 1908, and with the necessary assistance made an examination of her.

After some correspondence and verbal conferences between Roald Amundsen and the dockyard, the latter, on March 9, 1909, made a tender for the repairs and alterations to the Fram. The repairs consisted of making good the damage to the topsides referred to above.

The alterations were due in the first instance to the circumstance that the steam-engine and boiler (the latter had had its flues burnt out on Sverdrup's expedition) were to be replaced by an oil-motor; as a consequence of this the coal-bunkers would disappear, while, on the other hand, a large number of oil-tanks, capable of containing about 90 tons of oil, were to be put in. It was also considered desirable to rig square-sails on the foremast in view of the great distances that were to be sailed on the proposed expedition.

The present arrangement of the vessel will best be followed by referring to the elevation and plan (Figs. 1 and 2).

In the extreme after-part of the lower hold is placed the 180 horse-power Diesel engine, surrounded by its auxiliary machinery and air-reservoirs.

In addition, some of the tanks containing the fuel itself are placed in the engine-room (marked O); the other tanks shown in the engine-room (marked 9) serve for storing lubricating oil. The existing engine-room was formerly the engine and boiler room, with coal-bunkers on both sides in the forward part. Forward of the watertight bulkhead of the engine-room we have, in the lower hold, the main store of oil-fuel, contained in tanks (marked O) of various sizes, on account of their having to be placed among the numerous diagonal stays. The tanks are filled and emptied by means of a pump and a petroleum hose through a manhole in the top, over which, again, are hatches in the deck above; no connecting pipes are fitted between the different tanks, for fear they might be damaged by frost or shock, thus involving a risk of losing oil. The main supply tank for fuel is placed over the forward side of the engine-room, where it is supported on strong steel girders; inside this tank, again, there are two smaller ones — settling tanks — from which the oil is conveyed in pipes to the engine-pumps. The main tank is of irregular shape — as will be seen from the drawing — since a square piece is taken out of its starboard after-corner for a way down into the engine-room. Besides this way down, an emergency way leads up from the engine-room, right aft, to one of the after-cabins. The oil hold is closed forward by a watertight bulkhead, which goes up to the main-deck. The hold forward of the oil-supply is unaltered, and serves for stowing cargo (mainly provisions), as does the hold above the oil-supply and below the main-deck.

On the main-deck right aft we now find a space arranged on each side of the well for the propeller and rudder; the lower part of this space is occupied by two tanks for lamp-oil, and above the tanks is a thin partition, which forms the floor of two small sail-rooms, with hatches to the deck above. Around the mizzenmast is the after-saloon, with eight cabins leading out of it. From the forward end of the after-saloon two passages lead to the large workroom amidships. These passages run past what were formerly coal-bunkers, but are now arranged as cabins, intended only to be used in milder climates, as they are not provided with any special insulation. From the port passage a door leads to the engine-room companion. In the after-part of the large workroom is the galley. This room is entirely lined with zinc, both on walls and ceiling (on account of the danger of fire), while the deck is covered with lead, on which tiles are laid in cement. Forward of the galley is the main hatch, and two large water-tanks are fitted here, one on each side. The remainder of the workroom affords space for carpenter's benches, turning-lathes, a forge, vices, etc. From the workroom two doors lead into the fore-saloon with its adjoining cabins. Amundsen's cabin is the farthest forward on the starboard side, and communicates with an instrument-room. From the fore-saloon a door leads out forward, past a sixth cabin.

In the space forward on the main-deck we have the fore-hatch, and by the side of this a room entirely lined with zinc plates, which serves for storing furs. Forward of the fur store is fitted a 15 horse-power one-cylinder Bolinder motor for working the capstan; the main features of its working will be seen in the drawing. There are two independent transmissions: by belt and by chain. The former is usually employed. The chain transmission was provided as a reserve, since it was feared that belt-driving might prove unserviceable in a cold climate. This fear, however, has hitherto been ungrounded.

Forward of the motor there is a large iron tank to supply water for cooling it. In the same space are chain-pipes to the locker below and the heel of the bowsprit. This space also serves as cable-tier.

On the upper deck we find aft, the opening of the rudder-well and that of the propeller-well, covered with gratings. A piece was added to the lower part of the rudder to give more rudder area.

Forward of the propeller-well comes the reserve steering-gear, almost in the same position formerly occupied by the only steering-gear; the ordinary steering-gear is now moved to the bridge. The old engine-room companion aft is now removed, and forward of the after-wheel is only the skylight of the after-saloon. Up through the latter comes the exhaust-pipe of the main engine. Forward of and round the mizzenmast is the bridge, which is partly formed by the roofs of the large chart-house and laboratory amidships and the two houses on each side. The chart-house occupies the place of the old boiler-room ventilator, and abuts on the fore-deck. (It is thus a little aft of the place occupied by the chart-house on Nansen's expedition.) It is strongly built of timbers standing upright, securely bolted to the deck. On both sides of this timber work there are panels, 2 inches thick on the outside and 1 inch on the inside, and the space between is filled with finely-divided cork. Floor and roof are insulated in a similar way, as is also the door; the windows are double, of thick plate-glass. Inside the chart-house, besides the usual fittings for its use as such, there is a companion-way to the engine-room, and a hatch over the manhole to the main supply tank for oil-fuel. The opening in the deck has a hatch, made like the rest of the deck (in two thicknesses, with cork insulation between); the intention is to cut off the engine-room altogether, and remove the entrance of this companion during the drift in the ice through the Polar sea. The side houses are constructed of iron, and are not panelled; they are intended for w.c. and lamp-room. On the roof of the chart-house are the main steering-gear and the engine-room telegraph. On the port side, on the forward part of the after-deck, a Downton pump is fitted, which can either be worked by hand or by a small motor, which also serves to drive the sounding-machine, and is set up on the after-deck. Forward of the starboard side house is the spare rudder, securely lashed to deck and bulwarks. On each side of the chart-house a bridge leads to the fore-deck, with ways down to the workroom and fore-saloon. On the fore-deck, a little forward of the mainmast, we find the two ship's pumps proper, constructed of wood. The suction-pipe is of wood, covered on the outside with lead, so as to ]prevent leakage through possible cracks in the wood; the valves are of leather, and the piston of wood, with a leather covering. The pump-action is the usual nickel action, that was formerly general on our ships, and is still widely used on smacks. These simple pumps have been shown by experience to work better than any others in severe cold. The fore-deck also has skylights over the fore-saloon, the main and fore hatches, and finally the capstan. This is of the ordinary horizontal type, from Pusnes Engineering Works; it is driven by the motor below, as already mentioned. The capstan can also be used as a winch, and it can be worked by hand-power.

The Fram carries six boats: one large decked boat (29 x 9 x 4 feet) — one of the two large boats carried on Nansen's expedition — placed between the mainmast and the foremast, over the skylight; three whale-boats (20 x 6 feet), and one large and one small pram; the two last are carried on davits as shown in the drawing. One of these whale-boats was left behind on the Ice Barrier, where it was buried in snow when the ship left. It was brought ashore that the wintering party might have a boat at their disposal after the Fram had sailed.

For warming the vessel it is intended to use only petroleum. For warming the laboratory (chart-house) there is an arrangement by which hot air from the galley is brought up through its forward wall.

The vessel was provided with iron chain plates bolted to the timbers above the ice-skin. The mizzenmast is new. There was a crack in the beam that forms the support for the mizzenmast; it was therefore strengthened with two heavy iron plates, secured by through-bolts. Two strong steel stanchions were also placed on each side of the engine, carried down to the frame-timbers. The old mizzenmast has been converted into a bowsprit and jib-boom in one piece. There are now standing gaffs on all three masts. The sail area is about 6,640 square feet.

All the cabins are insulated in the same way as before, though it has been found possible to simplify this somewhat. In general the insulation consists of:

1. In the cabins, against the ship's side and under the upper deck, there is first a layer of cork, and over that a double panelling of wood with tarred felt between.

2. Above the orlop deck aft there is a layer of cork, and above this a floor of boards covered with linoleum.

3. Under the orlop deck forward there is wooden panelling, with linoleum over the deck.

Bulkheads abutting on parts of the ship that are not warmed consist of three thicknesses of boards or planks with various non-conducting materials, such as cork or felt, between them.

When the vessel was docked before leaving Horten, the zinc sheathing was removed, as already stated, since fears were entertained that it would be torn by the ice, and would then prevent the ice from slipping readily under the bottom during pressure. The vessel has two anchors, but the former port anchor has been replaced by a considerably heavier one (1 ton 1 1/2 hundredweight), with a correspondingly heavier chain-cable. This was done with a special view to the voyage round Cape Horn.

In order to trim the ship as much as possible by the stern, which was desirable on account of her carrying a weather helm, a number of heavy spare stores, such as the old port anchor and its cable, were stowed aft, and the extreme after-peak was filled with cement containing round pieces of iron punched out of plates.

Along the railing round the fore-deck strong netting has been placed to prevent the dogs falling overboard. For the upper deck a loose wooden grating has been made, so that the dogs shall not lie on the wet deck. Awnings are provided over the whole deck, with only the necessary openings for working the ship. In this way the dogs have been given dry and, as far as possible, cool quarters for the voyage through the tropics. It is proposed to use the ship's spars as supports for a roof of boards, to be put up during the drift through the ice as a protection against falling masses of ice.

The Fram's new engine is a direct reversible Marine-Polar-Motor, built by the Diesel Motor Co., of Stockholm. It is a Diesel engine, with four working and two air-pump cylinders, and develops normally at 280 revolutions per minute 180 effective horse-power, with a consumption of oil of about 7 3/4 ounces per effective horse-power per hour. With this comparatively small consumption, the Fram's fuel capacity will carry her much farther than if she had a steam-engine, a consideration of great importance in her forthcoming long voyage in the Arctic Sea. With her oil capacity of about 90 tons, she will thus be able to go uninterruptedly for about 2,273 hours, or about 95 days. If we reckon her speed under engine power alone at 4 1/2 knots, she will be able to go about 10,000 nautical miles without replenishing her oil-supply. It is a fault in the new engine that its number of revolutions is very high, which necessitates the use of a propeller of small diameter (5 feet 9 inches), and thus of low efficiency in the existing conditions. This is the more marked on account of the unusual thickness of the Fram's propeller-post, which masks the propeller to a great extent. The position of the engine will be seen in Fig. 1. The exhaust gases from the engine are sent up by a pipe through the after-saloon, through its skylight, and up to a large valve on the bridge; from this valve two horizontal pipes run along the after side of the bridge, one to each side: By means of the valve the gases can be diverted to one side or the other, according to the direction of the wind, Besides the usual auxiliary engines, the main engine drives a large centrifugal bilge-pump, an ordinary machine bilge-pump, and a fan for use in the tropics.

When the Fram left Christiania in the spring of 1910, after taking her cargo on board, she drew 17 feet forward and 19 feet 5 inches aft. This corresponds to a displacement (measured outside the ice-skin) of about 1,100 tons. The ice-skin was then 12 1/2 inches above the waterline amidships.


Remarks on the Meteorological Observations at Framheim

By B. J. Birkeland

On account of the improvised character of the South Polar Expedition, the meteorological department on the Fram was not so complete as it ought to have been. It had not been possible to provide the aerological outfit at the time of sailing, and the meteorologist of the expedition was therefore left behind in Norway. But certain things were wanting even to complete the equipment of an ordinary meteorological station, such as minimum thermometers and the necessary instructions that should have accompanied one or two of the instruments. Fortunately, among the veterans of the expedition there were several practised observers, and, notwithstanding all drawbacks, a fine series of observations was obtained during ten months' stay in winter-quarters on the Antarctic continent. These observations will provide a valuable supplement to the simultaneous records of other expeditions, especially the British in McMurdo Sound and the German in Weddell Sea, above all as regards the hypsometer observations (for the determination of altitude) on sledge journeys. It may be hoped, in any case, that it will be possible to interpolate the atmospheric pressure at sea-level in all parts of the Antarctic continent that were traversed by the sledging expeditions. For this reason the publication of a provisional working out of the observations is of great importance at the present moment, although the general public will, perhaps, look upon the long rows of figures as tedious and superfluous. The complete working out of these observations can only be published after a lapse of some years.

As regards the accuracy of the figures here given, it must be noted that at present we know nothing about possible alterations in the errors of the different instruments, as it will not be possible to have the instruments examined and compared until we arrive at San Francisco next year. We have provisionally used the errors that were determined at the Norwegian Meteorological Institute before the expedition sailed; it does not appear, however, that they have altered to any great extent.

The meteorological outfit on the Fram consisted of the following instruments and apparatus:

Three mercury barometers, namely:

One normal barometer by Fuess, No. 361 . One Kew standard barometer by Adie, No. 889. One Kew marine barometer by Adie, No. 764.

Five aneroid barometers:

One large instrument with thermometer attached, without name or number. Two pocket aneroids by Knudsen, Copenhagen, one numbered 1,503. Two pocket aneroids by Cary, London, Nos. 1,367 and 1,368, for altitudes up to 5,000 metres (16,350 feet). Two hypsometers by Casella, with several thermometers.

Mercury thermometers:

Twelve ordinary standard (psychrometer-) thermometers, divided to fifths of a degree (Centigrade). Ten ordinary standard thermometers, divided to degrees. Four sling thermometers, divided to half degrees. Three maximum thermometers, divided to degrees. One normal thermometer by Mollenkopf, No. 25.

Toluene thermometers:

Eighteen sling thermometers, divided to degrees. Three normal thermometers-by Tounelot, No. 4,993, and Baudin, Nos. 14,803 and 14,804. Two torsion hair hygrometers of Russeltvedt's construction, Nos. 12 and 14. One cup and cross anemometer of Professor Mohn's construction, with spare cross. One complete set of precipitation gauges, with Nipher's shield, gauges for snow density, etc.

Registering instruments:

Two barographs. Two thermographs. One hair hygrograph. A number of spare parts, and a supply of paper and ink for seven years.

In addition, various books were taken, such as Mohn's "Meteorology," the Meteorological Institute's "Guide," psychrometric tables, Wiebe's steam-pressure tables for hypsometer observations, etc.

The marine barometer, the large aneroid, and one of the barographs, the four mercury sling thermometers, and two whole-degree standard thermometers, were kept on board the Fram, where they were used for the regular observations every four hours on the vessel's long voyages backwards and forwards.

As will be seen, the shore party was thus left without mercury sling thermometers, besides having no minimum thermometers; the three maximum thermometers proved to be of little use. There were also various defects in the clockwork of the registering instruments. The barographs and thermographs have been used on all the Norwegian Polar expeditions; the hygrograph is also an old instrument, which, in the course of its career, has worked for over ten years in Christiania, where the atmosphere is by no means merciful to delicate instruments. Its clockwork had not been cleaned before it was sent to the Fram, as was done in the case of the other four instruments. The barographs worked irreproachably the whole time, but one of the thermographs refused absolutely to work in the open air, and unfortunately the spindle pivot of the other broke as early as April 17. At first the clockwork of the hygrograph would not go at all, as the oil had become thick, and it was not until this had been removed by prolonged severe heating (baking in the oven for several days) that it could be set going; but then it had to be used for the thermograph, the mechanism of which was broken, so that no registration was obtained of the humidity of the air.

The resulting registrations are then as follows: from Framheim, one set of barograms and two sets of thermograms, of which one gives the temperature of the air and the other the temperature inside the house, where the barometers and barograph were placed; from the Fram we have barograms for the whole period from her leaving Christiania, in 1910, to her arrival at Buenos Aires for the third time, in 1912.

Of course, none of these registrations can be taken into account in the provisional working out, as they will require many months' work, which, moreover, cannot be carried out with advantage until we have ascertained about possible changes of error in the instruments. But occasional use has been made of them for purposes of checking, and for supplying the only observation missing in the ten months.

The meteorological station at Framheim was arranged in this way: the barometers, barograph, and one thermograph hung inside the house; they were placed in the kitchen, behind the door of the living-room, which usually stood open, and thus protected them from the radiant heat of the range. A thermometer, a hygrometer, and the other thermograph were placed in a screen on high posts, and with louvred sides, which stood at a distance of fifteen yards to the south-west of the house. A little way beyond the screen, again, stood the wind-vane and anemometer. At the end of September the screen had to be moved a few yards to the east; the snow had drifted about it until it was only 2 1/2 feet above the surface, whereas it ought to stand at the height of a man. At the same time the wind-vane was moved. The screen was constructed by Lindstrom from his recollection of the old Fram screen.

The two mercury barometers, the Fuess normal, and the Adie standard barometer, reached Framheim in good condition; as has been said, they were hung in the kitchen, and the four pocket aneroids were hung by the side of them. All six were read at the daily observations at 8 a.m., 2 p.m., and 8 p.m. The normal barometer, the instructions for which were missing, was used as a siphon barometer, both the mercury levels being read, and the bottom screw being locked fast; the usual mode of reading it, on the other hand, is to set the lower level at zero on the scale by turning the bottom screw at every observation, whereupon the upper level only is set and read. The Adie standard barometer is so arranged that it is only necessary to read the summit of the mercury. It appears that there is some difference between the atmospheric pressure values of the two instruments, but this is chiefly due to the difficult and extremely variable conditions of temperature. There may be a difference of as much as five degrees (Centigrade) between the thermometers of the two barometers, in spite of their hanging side by side at about the same height from the floor. On the other hand, the normal barometer is not suited to daily observations, especially in the Polar regions, and the double reading entails greater liability of error. That the Adie barometer is rather less sensitive than the other is of small importance, as the variations of atmospheric pressure at Framheim were not very great.

In the provisional working out, therefore, the readings of the Adie barometer alone have been used; those of the normal barometer, however, have been experimentally reduced for the first and last months, April and January. The readings have been corrected for the temperature of the mercury, the constant error of the instrument, and the variation of the force of gravity from the normal in latitude 45deg.. The reduction to sea-level, on the other hand, has not been made; it amounts to 1.1 millimetre at an air temperature of -10deg. Centigrade.

The observations show that the pressure of the atmosphere is throughout low, the mean for the ten months being 29.07 inches (738.6 millimetres). It is lower in winter than in summer, July having 28.86 inches (733.1 millimetres), and December 29.65 inches (753.3 millimetres), as the mean for the month, a difference of 20.2 millimetres. The highest observation was 30.14 inches (765.7 millimetres) on December 9, and the lowest 28.02 inches (711.7 millimetres) on May 24, 1911; difference, 54 millimetres.

Air Temperature and Thermometers.

As has already been stated, minimum thermometers and mercury sling thermometers were wanting. For the first six months only toluene sling thermometers were used. Sling thermometers are short, narrow glass thermometers, with a strong loop at the top; before being read they are briskly swung round at the end of a string about half a yard long, or in a special apparatus for the purpose. The swinging brings the thermometer in contact with a great volume of air, and it therefore gives the real temperature of the air more readily than if it were hanging quietly in the screen.

From October 1 a mercury thermometer was also placed in the screen, though only one divided to whole degrees; those divided to fifths of a degree would, of course, have given a surer reading. But it is evident, nevertheless, that the toluene thermometers used are correct to less than half a degree (Centigrade), and even this difference may no doubt be explained by one thermometer being slung while the other was fixed. The observations are, therefore, given without any corrections. Only at the end of December was exclusive use made of mercury thermometers. The maximum thermometers taken proved of so little use that they were soon discarded; the observations have not been included here.

It was due to a misunderstanding that mercury thermometers were not also used in the first half-year, during those periods when the temperature did not go below the freezing-point of mercury (-89deg. C.). But the toluene thermometers in use were old and good instruments, so that the observations for this period may also be regarded as perfectly reliable. Of course, all the thermometers had been carefully examined at the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, and at Framheim the freezing-point was regularly tested in melting snow.

The results show that the winter on the Barrier was about 19.deg. C. (21.6deg. F.) colder than it usually is in McMurdo Sound, where the British expeditions winter. The coldest month is August, with a mean temperature of -44.5deg. C. (-48.1deg. F.); on fourteen days during this month the temperature was below -50deg. C. (-58deg. F.). The lowest temperature occurred on August 13: -58.5deg. C. (-73.3deg. F.); the warmest day in that month had a temperature of -24deg. C. (-11.2deg. F.).

In October spring begins to approach, and in December the temperature culminates with a mean for the month of -6.6deg. C. (+2O.ldeg. F.), and a highest maximum temperature of -0.2deg. C. (+31.6deg. F.). The temperature was thus never above freezing-point, even in the warmest part of the summer.

The daily course of the temperature — warmest at noon and coldest towards morning — is, of course, not noticeable in winter, as the sun is always below the horizon. But in April there is a sign of it, and from September onward it is fairly marked, although the difference between 2 p.m. and the mean of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. only amounts to 2deg. C. in the monthly mean.

Humidity of the Air.

For determining the relative humidity of the air the expedition had two of Russeltvedt's torsion hygrometers. This instrument has been accurately described in the Meteorologische Zeitschrift, 1908, p. 396. It has the advantage that there are no axles or sockets to be rusted or soiled, or filled with rime or drift-snow.

Fig. 1.

Fig. 2.

Fig. 3.

The two horsehairs (h, h') that are used, are stretched tight by a torsion clamp (Z, Z', and L), which also carries the pointer; the position of the pointer varies with the length of the hairs, which, again, is dependent on the degree of humidity of the air. (See the diagrams.) These instruments have been in use in Norway for several years, especially at inland stations, where the winter is very cold, and they have shown themselves superior to all others in accuracy and durability; but there was no one on the Fram who knew anything about them, and there is therefore a possibility that they were not always in such good order as could be wished. On September 10, especially, the variations are very remarkable; but on October 13 the second instrument, No. 12, was hung out, and there can be no doubt of the correctness of the subsequent observations.

It is seen that the relative humidity attains its maximum in winter, in the months of July and August, with a mean of 90 per cent. The driest air occurs in the spring month of November, with a mean of 73 per cent. The remaining months vary between 79 and 86 per cent., and the mean of the whole ten months is 82 per cent. The variations quoted must be regarded as very small. On the other hand, the figures themselves are very high, when the low temperatures are considered, and this is doubtless the result of there being open water not very far away. The daily course of humidity is contrary to the course of the temperature, and does not show itself very markedly, except in January.

The absolute humidity, or partial pressure of aqueous vapour in the air, expressed in millimetres in the height of the mercury in the same way as the pressure of the atmosphere, follows in the main the temperature of the air. The mean value for the whole period is only 0.8 millimetre (0.031 inch); December has the highest monthly mean with 2.5 millimetres (0.097 inch), August the lowest with 0.1 millimetre (0.004 inch). The absolutely highest observation occurred on December 5 with 4.4 millimetres (0.173 inch), while the lowest of all is less than 0.05 millimetre, and can therefore only be expressed by 0.0; it occurred frequently in the course of the winter.


Any attempt to measure the quantity of precipitation — even approximately — had to be abandoned. Snowfall never occurred in still weather, and in a wind there was always a drift that entirely filled the gauge. On June 1 and 7 actual snowfall was observed, but it was so insignificant that it could not be measured; it was, however, composed of genuine flakes of snow. It sometimes happened that precipitation of very small particles of ice was noticed; these grains of ice can be seen against the observation lantern, and heard on the observer's headgear; but on returning to the house, nothing can be discovered on the clothing. Where the sign for snow occurs in the column for Remarks, it means drift; these days are included among days of precipitation. Sleet was observed only once, in December. Rain never.


The figures indicate how many tenths of the visible heavens are covered by clouds (or mist). No instrument is used in these observations; they depend on personal estimate. They had to be abandoned during the period of darkness, when it is difficult to see the sky.


For measuring the velocity of the wind the expedition had a cup and cross anemometer, which worked excellently the whole time. It consists of a horizontal cross with a hollow hemisphere on each of the four arms of the cross; the openings of the hemispheres are all turned towards the same side of the cross-arms, and the cross can revolve with a minimum of friction on a vertical axis at the point of junction. The axis is connected with a recording mechanism, which is set in motion at each observation and stopped after a lapse of half a minute, when the figure is read off. This figure denotes the velocity of the wind in metres per second, and is directly transferred to the tables (here converted into feet per second).

The monthly means vary between 1.9 metres (6.2 feet) in May, and 5.5 metres (18 feet) in October; the mean for the whole ten months is 3.4 metres (11.1 feet) per second. These velocities may be characterized as surprisingly small; and the number of stormy days agrees with this low velocity. Their number for the whole period is only 11, fairly evenly divided between the months; there are, however, five stormy days in succession in the spring months October and November.

The frequency of the various directions of the wind has been added up for each month, and gives the same characteristic distribution throughout the whole period. As a mean we have the following table, where the figures give the percentage of the total number of wind observations:

N. N.E. E. S.E. S. S.W. W. N.W. Calm.

1.9 7.8 31.9 6.9 12.3 14.3 2.6 1.1 21.3

Almost every third direction is E., next to which come S.W. and S. Real S.E., on the other hand, occurs comparatively rarely. Of N., N. W., and W. there is hardly anything. It may be interesting to see what the distribution is when only high winds are taken into account — that is, winds with a velocity of 10 metres (32.8 feet) per second or more. We then have the following table of percentages:

N. N.E. E. S.E. S. S.W. W. N.W.

7 12 51 10 4 10 2 4

Here again, E. is predominant, as half the high winds come from this quarter. W. and N.W. together have only 6 per cent.

The total number of high winds is 51, or 5.6 per cent. of the total of wind observations.

The most frequent directions of storms are also E. and N.E.

The Aurora Australis.

During the winter months auroral displays were frequently seen — altogether on sixty-five days in six months, or an average of every third day — but for want of apparatus no exhaustive observations could be attempted. The records are confined to brief notes of the position of the aurora at the times of the three daily observations.

The frequency of the different directions, reckoned in percentages of the total number of directions given, as for the wind, will be found in the following table:

N. N.E. E. S.E. S. S.W. W. N.W. Zenith.

18 17 16 9 8 3 8 13 8

N. and N.E. are the most frequent, and together make up one-third of all the directions recorded; but the nearest points on either side of this maximum — E. and N.W. — are also very frequent, so that these four points together — N.W., N., N.E., E. — have 64 per cent. of the whole. The rarest direction is S.W., with only 3 per cent. (From the position of the Magnetic Pole in relation to Framheim, one would rather have expected E. to be the most frequent, and W. the rarest, direction.) Probably the material before us is somewhat scanty for establishing these directions.

Meteorological Record from Framheim.

April, 1911 — January, 1912.

Height above sea-level, 36 feet. Gravity correction, .072 inch at 29.89 inches. Latitude, 78deg. 38' S. Longitude, 163deg. 37' W.

Explanation of Signs in the Tables.

SNOW signifies snow.

MIST ,, mist.

AURORA ,, aurora.

RINGSUN ,, large ring round the sun.

RINGMOON ,, ,, ,, moon.

STORM ,, storm

sq. ,, squalls

a. ,, a.m.

p. ,, p.m.

I., II, III., signify respectively 8 a.m., 2 p.m., and 8 p.m.

deg. (e.g., SNOWdeg.) signifies slight.

2 (e.g., SNOW2) ,, heavy.

Times of day are always in local time.

The date was not changed on crossing the 180th meridian



Provisional Remarks on the Examination of the Geological Specimens Brought by Roald Amundsen's South Polar Expedition from the Antarctic Continent (South Victoria Land and King Edward VII. Land). By J. Schetelig, Secretary of the Mineralogical Institute of Christiania University

The collection of specimens of rocks brought back by Mr. Roald Amundsen from his South Polar expedition has been sent by him to the Mineralogical Institute of the University, the Director of which, Professor W. C. Brogger, has been good enough to entrust to me the work of examining this rare and valuable material, which gives us information of the structure of hitherto untrodden regions.

Roald Amundsen himself brought back altogether about twenty specimens of various kinds of rock from Mount Betty, which lies in lat. 85deg. 8' S. Lieutenant Prestrud's expedition to King Edward VII. Land collected in all about thirty specimens from Scott's Nunatak, which was the only mountain bare of snow that this expedition met with on its route. A number of the stones from Scott's Nunatak were brought away because they were thickly overgrown with lichens. These specimens of lichens have been sent to the Botanical Museum of the University.

A first cursory examination of the material was enough to show that the specimens from Mount Betty and Scott's Nunatak consist exclusively of granitic rocks and crystalline schists. There were no specimens of sedimentary rocks which, by possibly containing fossils, might have contributed to the determination of the age of these mountains. Another thing that was immediately apparent was the striking agreement that exists between the rocks from these two places, lying so far apart. The distance from Mount Betty to Scott's Nunatak is between seven and eight degrees of latitude.

I have examined the specimens microscopically.

From Mount Betty there are several specimens of white granite, with dark and light mica; it has a great resemblance to the white granites from Sogn, the Dovre district, and Nordland, in Norway. There is one very beautiful specimen of shining white, fine-grained granite aplite, with small, pale red garnets. These granites show in their exterior no sign of pressure structure. The remaining rocks from Mount Betty are gneissic granite, partly very rich in dark mica, and gneiss (granitic schist); besides mica schist, with veins of quartz.

From Scott's Nunatak there are also several specimens of white granite, very like those from Mount Betty. The remaining rocks from here are richer in lime and iron, and show a series of gradual transitions from micacious granite, through grano-diorite to quartz diorite, with considerable quantities of dark mica, and green hornblende. In one of the specimens the quantity of free quartz is so small that the rock is almost a quartz-free diorite. The quartz diorites are: some medium-grained, some coarse-grained (quartz-diorite-pegmatite), with streaks of black mica. The schistose rocks from Scott's Nunatak are streaked, and, in part, very fine-grained quartz diorite schists. Mica schists do not occur among the specimens from this mountain.

Our knowledge of the geology of South Victoria Land is mainly due to Scott's expedition of 1901 — 1904, with H. T. Ferrar as geologist, and Shackleton's expedition of 1907 — 08, with Professor David and R. Priestley as geologists. According to the investigations of these expeditions, South Victoria Land consists of a vast, ancient complex of crystalline schists and granitic rocks, large extents of which are covered by a sandstone formation ("Beacon Sandstone," Ferrar), on the whole horizontally bedded, which is at least 1,500 feet thick, and in which Shackleton found seams of coal and fossil wood (a coniferous tree). This, as it belongs to the Upper Devonian or Lower Carboniferous, determines a lower limit for the age of the sandstone formation. Shackleton also found in lat. 85deg. 15' S. beds of limestone, which he regards as underlying and being older than the sandstone. In the limestone, which is also on the whole horizontally bedded, only radiolaria have been found. The limestone is probably of older Palaeozoic age (? Silurian). It is, therefore, tolerably certain that the underlying older formation of gneisses, crystalline schists and granites, etc., is of Archaean age, and belongs to the foundation rocks.

Volcanic rocks are only found along the coast of Ross Sea and on a range of islands parallel to the coast. Shackleton did not find volcanic rocks on his ascent from the Barrier on his route towards the South Pole.

G. T. Prior, who has described the rocks collected by Scott's expedition, gives the following as belonging to the complex of foundation rocks: gneisses, granites, diorites, banatites, and other eruptive rocks, as well as crystalline limestone, with chondrodite. Professor David and R. Priestley, the geologists of Shackleton's expedition, refer to Ferrar's and Prior's description of the foundation rocks, and state that according to their own investigations the foundation rocks consist of banded gneiss, gneissic granite, grano-diorite, and diorite rich in sphene, besides coarse crystalline limestone as enclosures in the gneiss.

This list of the most important rocks belonging to the foundation series of the parts of South Victoria Land already explored agrees so closely with the rocks from Mount Betty and Scott's Nunatak, that there can be no doubt that the latter also belong to the foundation rocks.

From the exhaustive investigations carried out by Scott's and Shackleton's expeditions it appears that South Victoria Land is a plateau land, consisting of a foundation platform, of great thickness and prominence, above which lie remains, of greater or less extent, of Palaeozoic formations, horizontally bedded. From the specimens of rock brought home by Roald Amundsen's expedition it is established that the plateau of foundation rocks is continued eastward to Amundsen's route to the South Pole, and that King Edward VII. Land is probably a northern continuation, on the eastern side of Ross Sea, of the foundation rock plateau of South Victoria Land.


September 26, 1912.


The Astronomical Observations at the Pole

Note by Professor H. Geelmuyden


September 16, 1912.

When requested this summer to receive the astronomical observations from Roald Amundsen's South Pole Expedition, for the purpose of working them out, I at once put myself in communication with Mr. A. Alexander (a mathematical master) to get him to undertake this work, while indicating the manner in which the materials could be best dealt with. As Mr. Alexander had in a very efficient manner participated in the working out of the observations from Nansen's Fram Expedition, and since then had calculated the astronomical observations from Amundsen's Gjoa Expedition, and from Captain Isachsen's expeditions to Spitzbergen, I knew by experience that he was not only a reliable and painstaking calculator, but that he also has so full an insight into the theoretical basis, that he is capable of working without being bound down by instructions.

(Signed) H. Geelmuyden,

Professor of Astronomy,

The Observatory of the University,


Mr. Alexander's Report.

Captain Roald Amundsen,

At your request I shall here give briefly the result of my examination of the observations from your South Pole Expedition. My calculations are based on the longitude for Framheim given to me by Lieutenant Prestrud, 163deg. 37' W. of Greenwich. He describes this longitude as provisional, but only to such an extent that the final result cannot differ appreciably from it. My own results may also be somewhat modified on a final treatment of the material. But these modifications, again, will only be immaterial, and, in any case, will not affect the result of the investigations given below as to the position of the two Polar stations.

At the first Polar station, on December 15, 1911, eighteen altitudes of the sun were taken in all with each of the expedition's sextants. The latitude calculated from these altitudes is, on an average of both sextants, very near 89deg. 54', with a mean error of +-2'. The longitude calculated from the altitudes is about 7t (105deg.) E.; but, as might be expected in this high latitude, the aberrations are very considerable. We may, however, assume with great certainty that this station lies between lat. 89deg. 52' and 89deg. 56' S., and between long. 90deg. and 120deg. E.

The variation of the compass at the first Polar station was determined by a series of bearings of the sun. This gives us the absolute direction of the last day's line of route. The length of this line was measured as five and a half geographical miles. With the help of this we are able to construct for Polheim a field of the same form and extent as that within which the first Polar station must lie.

At Polheim, during a period of twenty-four hours (December 16 — 17), observations were taken every hour with one of the sextants. The observations show an upper culmination altitude of 28deg. 19.2', and a resulting lower culmination altitude of 23deg. 174'. These combining the above two altitudes, an equal error on the same side in each will have no influence on the result. The combination gives a latitude of 89deg. 58.6'. That this result must be nearly correct is confirmed by the considerable displacement of the periods of culmination which is indicated by the series of observations, and which in the immediate neighbourhood of the Pole is caused by the change in the sun's declination. On the day of the observations this displacement amounted to thirty minutes in 89deg. 57', forty-six minutes in 89deg. 58', and over an hour and a half in 89deg. 59'. The upper culmination occurred so much too late, and the lower culmination so much too early. The interval between these two periods was thus diminished by double the amount of the displacements given. Now the series of observations shows that the interval between the upper and the lower culmination amounted at the most to eleven hours; the displacement of the periods of culmination was thus at least half an hour. It results that Polheim must lie south of 89deg. 57', while at the same time we may assume that it cannot lie south of 89deg. 59'. The moments of culmination could, of course, only be determined very approximately, and in the same way the observations as a whole are unserviceable for the determination of longitude. It may, however, be stated with some certainty that the longitude must be between 30deg. and 75deg. E. The latitude, as already mentioned, is between 89deg. 57' and 89deg. 59', and the probable position of Polheim may be given roughly as lat. 89deg. 58.5' S., and long. 60deg. E.

On the accompanying sketch-chart the letters abcd indicate the field within which the first Polar station must lie; ABCD is the field which is thereby assigned to Polheim; EFGH the field within which Polheim must lie according to the observations taken on the spot itself; P the probable position of Polheim, and L the resulting position of the first Polar station. The position thus assigned to the latter agrees as well as could be expected with the average result of the observations of December 15. According to this, Polheim would be assumed to lie one and a half geographical miles, or barely three kilometres, from the South Pole, and certainly not so much as six kilometres from it.

From your verbal statement I learn that Helmer Hanssen and Bjaaland walked four geographical miles from Polheim in the direction taken to be south on the basis of the observations. On the chart the letters efgh give the field within which the termination of their line of route must lie. It will be seen from this that they passed the South Pole at a distance which, on the one hand, can hardly have been so great as two and a half kilometres, and on the other, hardly so great as two kilometres; that, if the assumed position of Polheim be correct, they passed the actual Pole at a distance of between 400 and 600 metres; and that it is very probable that they passed the actual Pole at a distance of a few hundred metres, perhaps even less.

I am, etc.,

(Signed) Anton Alexander.


September 22, 1912.



Remarks of the Oceanographical Investigation carried out by the "Fram" in the North Atlantic in 1910 and in the South Atlantic in 1911. By Professor Bjorn Helland-Hansen and Professor Fridtjof Nansen

In the earliest ages of the human race the sea formed an absolute barrier. Men looked out upon its immense surface, now calm and bright, now lashed by storms, and always mysteriously attractive; but they could not grapple with it. Then they learned to make boats; at first small, simple craft, which could only be used when the sea was calm. But by degrees the boats were made larger and more perfect, so that they could venture farther out and weather a storm if it came. In antiquity the peoples of Europe accomplished the navigation of the Mediterranean, and the boldest maritime nation was able to sail round Africa and find the way to India by sea. Then came voyages to the northern waters of Europe, and far back in the Middle Ages enterprising seamen crossed from Norway to Iceland and Greenland and the north-eastern part of North America. They sailed straight across the North Atlantic, and were thus the true discoverers of that ocean.

Even in antiquity the Greek geographers had assumed that the greater part of the globe was covered by sea, but it was not till the beginning of the modern age that any at all accurate idea arose of the extent of the earth's great masses of water. The knowledge of the ocean advanced with more rapid steps than ever before. At first this knowledge only extended to the surface, the comparative area of oceans, their principal currents, and the general distribution of temperature. In the middle of the last century Maury collected all that was known, and drew charts of the currents and winds for the assistance of navigation. This was the beginning of the scientific study of the oceanic waters; at that time the conditions below the surface were still little known. A few investigations, some of them valuable, had been made of the sea fauna, even at great depths, but very little had been done towards investigating the physical conditions. It was seen, however, that there was here a great field for research, and that there were great and important problems to be solved; and then, half a century ago, the great scientific expeditions began, which have brought an entire new world to our knowledge.

It is only forty years since the Challenger sailed on the first great exploration of the oceans. Although during these forty years a quantity of oceanographical observations has been collected with a constant improvement of methods, it is, nevertheless, clear that our knowledge of the ocean is still only in the preliminary stage. The ocean has an area twice as great as that of the dry land, and it occupies a space thirteen times as great as that occupied by the land above sea-level. Apart from the great number of soundings for depth alone, the number of oceanographical stations — with a series of physical and biological observations at various depths — is very small in proportion to the vast masses of water; and there are still extensive regions of the ocean of the conditions of which we have only a suspicion, but no certain knowledge. This applies also to the Atlantic Ocean, and especially to the South Atlantic.

Scientific exploration of the ocean has several objects. It seeks to explain the conditions governing a great and important part of our earth, and to discover the laws that control the immense masses of water in the ocean. It aims at acquiring a knowledge of its varied fauna and flora, and of the relations between this infinity of organisms and the medium in which they live. These were the principal problems for the solution of which the voyage of the Challenger and other scientific expeditions were undertaken. Maury's leading object was to explain the conditions that are of practical importance to navigation; his investigations were, in the first instance, applied to utilitarian needs.

But the physical investigation of the ocean has yet another very important bearing. The difference between a sea climate and a continental climate has long been understood; it has long been known that the sea has an equalizing effect on the temperature of the air, so that in countries lying near the sea there is not so great a difference between the heat of summer and the cold of winter as on continents far from the sea-coast. It has also long been understood that the warm currents produce a comparatively mild climate in high latitudes, and that the cold currents coming from the Polar regions produce a low temperature. It has been known for centuries that the northern arm of the Gulf Stream makes Northern Europe as habitable as it is, and that the Polar currents on the shores of Greenland and Labrador prevent any richer development of civilization in these regions. But it is only recently that modern investigation of the ocean has begun to show the intimate interaction between sea and air; an interaction which makes it probable that we shall be able to forecast the main variations in climate from year to year, as soon as we have a sufficiently large material in the shape of soundings.

In order to provide new oceanographical material by modern methods, the plan of the Fram expedition included the making of a number of investigations in the Atlantic Ocean. In June, 1910, the Fram went on a trial cruise in the North Atlantic to the west of the British Isles. Altogether twenty-five stations were taken in this region during June and July before the Fram's final departure from Norway.

The expedition then went direct to the Antarctic and landed the shore party on the Barrier. Neither on this trip nor on the Fram's subsequent voyage to Buenos Aires were any investigations worth mentioning made, as time was too short; but in June, 1911, Captain Nilsen took the Fram on a cruise in the South Atlantic and made in all sixty valuable stations along two lines between South America and Africa.

An exhaustive working out of the very considerable material collected on these voyages has not yet been possible. We shall here only attempt to set forth the most conspicuous results shown by a preliminary examination.

Besides the meteorological observations and the collection of plankton — in fine silk tow-nets — the investigations consisted of taking temperatures and samples of water at different depths The temperatures below the surface were ascertained by the best modern reversing thermometers (Richter's); these thermometers are capable of giving the temperature to within a few hundredths of a degree at any depth. Samples of water were taken for the most part with Ekman's reversing water-sampler; it consists of a brass tube, with a valve at each end. When it is lowered the valves are open, so that the water passes freely through the tube. When the apparatus has reached the depth from which a sample is to be taken, a small slipping sinker is sent down along the line. When the sinker strikes the sampler, it displaces a small pin, which holds the brass tube in the position in which the valves remain open. The tube then swings over, and this closes the valves, so that the tube is filled with a hermetically enclosed sample of water. These water samples were put into small bottles, which were afterwards sent to Bergen, where the salinity of each sample was determined. On the first cruise, in June and July, 1910, the observations on board were carried out by Mr. Adolf Schroer, besides the permanent members of the expedition. The observations in the South Atlantic in the following year were for the most part carried out by Lieutenant Gjertsen and Kutschin.

The Atlantic Ocean is traversed by a series of main currents, which are of great importance on account of their powerful influence on the physical conditions of the surrounding regions of sea and atmosphere. By its oceanographical investigations in 1910 and 1911 the Fram expedition has made important contributions to our knowledge of many of these currents. We shall first speak of the investigations in the North Atlantic in 1910, and afterwards of those in the South Atlantic in 1911.

Investigations in the North Atlantic in June and July, 1910.

The waters of the Northern Atlantic Ocean, to the north of lats. 80deg. and 40deg. N., are to a great extent in drifting motion north-eastward and eastward from the American to the European side. This drift is what is popularly called the Gulf Stream. To the west of the Bay of Biscay the eastward flow of water divides into two branches, one going south-eastward and southward, which is continued in the Canary Current, and the other going north-eastward and northward outside the British Isles, which sends comparatively warm streams of water both in the direction of Iceland and past the Shetlands and Faroes into the Norwegian Sea and north-eastward along the west coast of Norway. This last arm of the Gulf Stream in the Norwegian Sea has been well explored during the last ten or fifteen years; its course and extent have been charted, and it has been shown to be subject to great variations from year to year, which again appear to be closely connected with variations in the development and habitat of several important species of fish, such as cod, coal-fish, haddock, etc., as well as with variations in the winter climate of Norway, the crops, and other important conditions. By closely following the changes in the Gulf Stream from year to year, it looks as if we should be able to predict a long time in advance any great changes in the cod and haddock fisheries in the North Sea, as well as variations in the winter climate of North-Western Europe.

But the cause or causes of these variations in the Gulf Stream are at present unknown. In order to solve this difficult question we must be acquainted with the conditions in those regions of the Atlantic itself through which this mighty ocean current flows, before it sends its waters into the Norwegian Sea. But here we are met by the difficulty that the investigations that have been made hitherto are extremely inadequate and deficient; indeed, we have no accurate

(Fig. 1. — Hypothetical Representation of the Surface Currents in the Northern Atlantic in April.

After Nansen, in the Internationale Revue der gesamten Hydrobiologie and Hydrographie, 1912.)

knowledge even of the course and extent of the current in this ocean. A thorough investigation of it with the improved methods of our time is therefore an inevitable necessity.

As the Gulf Stream is of so great importance to Northern Europe in general, but especially to us Norwegians, it was not a mere accident that three separate expeditions left Norway in the same year, 1910 — Murray and Hjort's expedition in the Michael Sars, Amundsen's trial trip in the Fram, and Nansen's voyage in the gunboat Frithjof — all with the object of investigating the conditions in the North Atlantic. The fact that on these three voyages observations were made approximately at the same time in different parts of the ocean increases their value in a great degree, since they can thus be directly compared; we are thus able to obtain, for instance, a reliable survey of the distribution of temperature and salinity, and to draw important conclusions as to the extent of the currents and the motion of the masses of water.

Amundsen's trial trip in the Fram and Nansen's voyage in the Frithjof were made with the special object of studying the Gulf Stream in the ocean to the west of the British Isles, and by the help of these investigations it is now possible to chart the current and the extent of the various volumes of water at different depths in this region at that time.

A series of stations taken within the same region during Murray and Hjort's expedition completes the survey, and provides valuable material for comparison.

After sailing from Norway over the North Sea, the Fram passed through the English Channel in June, 1910, and the first station was taken on June 20, to the south of Ireland, in lat. 50deg. 50' N. and long. 10deg. 15' W., after which thirteen stations were taken to the westward, to lat. 58deg. 16' N. and long. 17deg. 50' W., where the ship was on June 27. Her course then went in a northerly direction to lat. 57deg. 59' N. and long. 15deg. 8' W., from which point a section of eleven stations (Nos. 15 — 25) was made straight across the Gulf Stream to the bank on the north of Scotland, in lat. 59deg. 88' N. and long. 4deg. 44' W. The voyage and the stations are represented in Fig. 2. Temperatures and samples of water were taken at all the twenty-four stations at the following depths: surface, 5, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 75, 100, 150, 200, 300, 400, and 500 metres (2.7, 5.4, 10.9, 16.3, 21.8, 27.2, 40.8, 54.5, 81.7, 109, 163.5, 218, and 272.5 fathoms) — or less, where the depth was not so great.

The Fram's southerly section, from Station 1 to 13 (see Fig. 3) is divided into two parts at Station 10, on the Porcupine Bank, south-west of Ireland. The eastern part, between Stations 1 and 10, extends over to the bank south of Ireland, while the three stations of the western part lie in the deep sea west of the Porcupine Bank.

[Fig. 2 and caption: Fig. 2. — The "Fram's" Route from June 20 to July 7, 1910 (given in an unbroken line — the figures denote the stations).

The dotted line gives the Frithjof's route, and the squares give five of the Michael Sars's stations.]

In both parts of this section there are, as shown in Fig. 3, two great volumes of water, from the surface down to depths greater than 500 metres, which have salinities between 35.4 and 35.5 per mille. They have also comparatively high temperatures; the isotherm for 10deg. C. goes down to a depth of about 500 metres in both these parts.

It is obvious that both these comparatively salt and warm volumes of water belong to the Gulf Stream. The more westerly of them, at Stations 11 and 12, and in part 13, in the deep sea to the west of the Porcupine Bank, is probably in motion towards the north-east along the outside of this bank and then into Rockall Channel — between Rockall Bank and the bank to the west of the

[Fig. 3 and caption: Fig. 3. — Temperature and Salinity in the "Fram's" Southern Section, June, 1910.]

British Isles — where a corresponding volume of water, with a somewhat lower salinity, is found again in the section which was taken a few weeks later by the Frithjof from Ireland to the west-north-west across the Rockall Bank. This volume of water has a special interest for us, since, as will be mentioned later, it forms the main part of that arm of the Gulf Stream which enters the Norwegian Sea, but which is gradually cooled on its way and mixed with fresher water, so that its salinity is constantly decreasing. This fresher water is evidently derived in great measure directly from precipitation, which is here in excess of the evaporation from the surface of the sea.

The volume of Gulf Stream water that is seen in the eastern part (east of Station 10) of the southern Fram section, can only flow north-eastward to a much less extent, as the Porcupine Bank is connected with the bank to the west of Ireland by a submarine ridge (with depths up to about 300 metres), which forms a great obstacle to such a movement.

The two volumes of Gulf Stream water in the Fram's southern section of 1910 are divided by a volume of water, which lies over the Porcupine Bank, and has a lower salinity and also a somewhat lower average temperature. On the bank to the south of Ireland (Stations 1 and 2) the salinity and average temperature are also comparatively low. The fact that the water on the banks off the coast has lower salinities, and in part lower temperatures, than the water outside in the deep sea, has usually been explained by its being mixed with the coast water, which is diluted with river water from the land. This explanation may be correct in a great measure; but, of course, it will not apply to the water over banks that lie out in the sea, far from any land. It appears, nevertheless, on the Porcupine Bank, for instance, and, as we shall see later, on the Rockall Bank, that the water on these ocean banks is — in any case in early summer — colder and less salt than the surrounding water of the sea. It appears from the Frithjof section across the Rockall Bank, as well as from the two Fram sections, that this must be due to precipitation combined with the vertical currents near the surface, which are produced by the cooling of the surface of the sea in the course of the winter. For, as the surface water cools, it becomes heavier than the water immediately below, and must then sink, while it is replaced by water from below. These vertical currents extend deeper and deeper as the cooling proceeds in the course of the winter, and bring about an almost equal temperature and salinity in the upper waters of the sea during the winter, as far down as this vertical circulation reaches. But as the precipitation in these regions is constantly decreasing the salinity of the surface water, this vertical circulation must bring about a diminution of salinity in the underlying waters, with which the sinking surface water is mixed into a homogeneous volume of water. The Frithjof section in particular seems to show that the vertical circulation in these regions reaches to a depth of 500 or 600 metres at the close of the winter. If we consider, then, what must happen over a bank in the ocean, where the depth is less than this, it is obvious that the vertical circulation will here be prevented by the bottom from reaching the depth it otherwise would, and there will be a smaller volume of water to take part in this circulation and to be mixed with the cooled and diluted surface water. But as the cooling of the surface and the precipitation are the same there as in the surrounding regions, the consequence must be that the whole of this volume of water over the bank will be colder and less salt than the surrounding waters. And as this bank water, on account of its lower temperature, is heavier than the water of the surrounding sea, it will have a tendency to spread itself outwards along the bottom, and to sink down along the slopes from the sides of the bank. This obviously contributes to increase the opposition that such banks offer to the advance of ocean currents, even when they lie fairly deep.

These conditions, which in many respects are of great importance, are clearly shown in the two Fram sections and the Frithjof section.

The Northern Fram section went from a point to the north-west of the Rockall Bank (Station 15), across the northern end of this bank (Station 16), and across the northern part of the wide channel (Rockall Channel) between it and Scotland. As might be expected, both temperature and salinity are lower in this section than in the southern one, since in the course of their slow northward movement the waters are cooled, especially by the vertical circulation in winter already mentioned, and are mixed with water containing less salt, especially precipitated water. While in the southern section the isotherm for 10deg. C. went down to 500 metres, it here lies at a depth of between 50 and 25 metres. In the comparatively short distance between the two sections, the whole volume of water has been cooled between 1deg. and 2deg. C. This represents a great quantity of warmth, and it is chiefly given off to the air, which is thus warmed over a great area. Water contains more than 3,000 times as much warmth as the same volume of air at the same temperature. For example, if 1 cubic metre of water is cooled 1deg., and the whole quantity of warmth thus taken from the water is given

[Fig. 4. — Temperature and Salinity in the "Fram's" Northern Section, July 1910]

to the air, it is sufficient to warm more than 3,000 cubic metres of air 1deg., when subjected to the pressure of one atmosphere. In other words, if the surface water of a region of the sea is cooled 1deg. to a depth of 1 metre, the quantity of warmth thus taken from the sea is sufficient to warm the air of the same region 1deg. up to a height of much more than 3,000 metres, since at high altitudes the air is subjected to less pressure, and consequently a cubic metre there contains less air than at the sea-level. But it is not a depth of 1 metre of the Gulf Stream that has been cooled 1deg. between these two sections; it is a depth of about 500 metres or more, and it has been cooled between 1deg. and 2deg. C. It will thus be easily understood that this loss of warmth from the Gulf Stream must have a profound influence on the temperature of the air over a wide area; we see how it comes about that warm currents like this are capable of rendering the climate of countries so much milder, as is the case in Europe; and we see further how comparatively slight variations in the temperature of the current from year to year must bring about considerable variations in the climate; and how we must be in a position to predict these latter changes when the temperature of the currents becomes the object of extensive and continuous investigation. It may be hoped that this is enough to show that far-reaching problems are here in question.

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