2023 Author: Bryan Walter | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 22:24
Stuck in the ice "Endurance"
The International Antarctic Expedition in January-February 2019 explores the Larsen C glacier, from which a huge iceberg broke in July last year. According to the BBC, along the way, researchers will try to find the wreckage of the expedition ship Endurance, which participated in the Imperial Transantarctic Expedition at the beginning of the 20th century, was crushed by ice and sank near the Larsen S. Glacier.
Anglo-Irish polar explorer Ernest Shackleton (1874-1922) participated in four Antarctic expeditions. Participants in two of them, 1901-1904 and 1907-1909, tried to reach the South Pole, but both times failed. After Amundsen discovered the South Pole in 1911, the main goal in Antarctica, according to Shackleton, was to cross the continent. In 1912, he began preparations for a transantarctic expedition, the participants of which were to cross the mainland at the narrowest point and overcome 2, 9 thousand kilometers. The expedition was attended by two teams on two ships - "Aurora" and "Endurance". Shackleton's original plan was as follows: a team on the Endurance, consisting of 14 people under his own leadership, landed on the coast of the Weddell Sea in the northwest of the mainland. Then six people from the Transantarctic party on motor sleds and dogs pass through the South Pole and go to the coast of the Ross Sea. They are met by another team, from the "Aurora", which will immediately land on the opposite coast and prepare the base and make provisions for about a third of the route.
Shackleton's expedition route. Red line - Endurance sailing; yellow - Endurance's drift in ice; green line - the team's drift in the ice camp after the sinking of the vessel and sailing to Elephant Island (Mordvinova); blue line - sailing in the boat "James Caird" to South Georgia; light blue line - supposed transantarctic crossing; the beige line is the sailing of the Aurora; crimson line - the drift and return of the Aurora; the brown line is the route of the auxiliary unit.
In reality, everything went differently. In December 1914, before reaching the coast of Antarctica, the Endurance collided with ice fields and drifted. The ship drifted for almost a year, but at the end of October 1915, it received a hole, but remained on the water for almost a month, so that the expedition members were able to evacuate most of the cargo. But on November 21, the wreckage of the Endurance sank. The team landed on the ice with supplies and three boats. After several unsuccessful attempts to get across the ice to the nearest whaling base, breaking the ice floe and drifting on boats in the ice, the researchers managed to get to Elephant Island. From there, Shackleton and five other members of the team sailed in a boat to South Georgia Island and in mid-May reached the whaling base located there on the ice. Shackleton then made it to Chile and organized the rescue of the rest of the team from Elephant Island. On October 3, 1916, the researchers arrived in Chile.
It was even harder for the Aurora crew: the ship was carried away from the coast and it was with great difficulty that it returned to New Zealand after almost a year's drift. The team that remained on the shore almost died during the laying of provisions, but most of the polar explorers managed to return to the base (three out of ten people died). In January 1917, they were evacuated.
The International Antarctic Expedition, organized by the Scott Polar Research Institute of the University of Cambridge, will take place in January-February 2019 and will last 45 days. Participants from the UK, New Zealand and South Africa on the S. A. Agulhas II will reach the Weddell Sea and explore the Larsen C Glacier, from which one of the largest recorded icebergs broke away in July 2017. Its area was about 5, 8 thousand square kilometers (almost four areas of St. Petersburg), thickness - 200 meters, and weight about one trillion tons. After that, glaciologists wondered if the entire glacier was falling apart. The mission of the expedition will be to investigate the fault site on the glacier and map the seabed. Also, with the help of autonomous underwater vehicles, researchers will collect ice samples in order to conduct geophysical measurements and trace the history of the advance and retreat of the glacier. “We only have satellite data from the last few decades. We want to see how they fit into the big picture over a longer period of hundreds and thousands of years,”explains one of the expedition members, Dr. Christine Batchelor of the Polar Research Institute.
Also, scientists are going to investigate the alleged crash site "Endurance". According to ship documents, it sank at 68 degrees 39 minutes 30 seconds south and 52 degrees 26 minutes 30 seconds west, about 100-150 nautical miles east of the Larsen C Glacier. echo sounders and look for reliefs that look like shipwrecks.
A year and a half ago, researchers similarly found the sunken ship "Terror" of John Franklin's polar expedition, which was trying to find the Northwest Passage, a sea route across the Arctic Ocean. The researchers took underwater photographs of the ship and compared them with the surviving plan of the 19th century.