Rus Articles Journal

Three years in polar ices. How Nansen tried to reach the North Pole?

Recently interest in the Arctic under which bottom enormous deposits of minerals are based sharply increased. The subarctic states intensified scientific researches, trying to prove claims for the Arctic shelf which prospects of economic development become more obvious. It is more interesting to that to look how the person began to lay a way in country of ice silence .

In the eighties the XIX century the young Norwegian scientist Fridtjof Nansen had an idea to use for penetration to the North Pole drift of ices for what the forwarding vessel had to freeze in ices near New Siberian Archipelago and provide itself to a polar current.

Nansen was not the room scientist - preparing for conquest of the North Pole, he trained much and even crossed Greenland on skis. He stated the project of expedition to the Norwegian geographical society which apprehended it with a great interest. But abroad the project of the Norwegian caused brisk disputes. Almost all polar authorities were negative to expedition on the drifting vessel, having characterized it as sheer madness .

On means, the part released by the Norwegian government, part collected on a subscription, built the vessel adapted for long stay in ices. Nansen called it Fram that means Forward . Nansen did not know how many expedition therefore stocks of the food and equipment onboard " will last; Frama were calculated on five years. Except Nansen 12 Norwegians took part in expedition, among them were the captain Frama Otto Sverdrup with whom Nansen made transition through Greenland, the lieutenant Scott - Gansen to whom the management of scientific observations, and the lieutenant Iogansen was entrusted.

On June 24, 1893 Fram put out to sea. Soon the vessel entered into the low-studied part of the Ledovity ocean, began to meet alone and groups of the island, not plotted. All of them were named. The way was very difficult as Nansen tried as it is possible to promote further on the North. On September 22 under 78 50` a northern latitude and 133 30` east longitude Fram rested against continuous ices. From here also its well-known drift began.

Incurred ice together with the vessel which was densely sitting in it, as well as Nansen, on North - the West with some evasion to the North assumed. Unfortunately the researcher, the speed of drift was insignificant. There passed long polar night. Per day scientific researches did not stop. August 7, 1894. it was marked by a big event - lot showed depth of 3850 meters. It disproved the existing opinion as if the central part of the Arctic Ocean of a melkovodn.

The second polar night approached. Drift continued to remain very slow. Hopes that the vessel will pass close from a pole became less. On November 20 Nansen reported to companions about the decision to walk to the North Pole. Iogansen volunteered to accompany it. On March 14, 1895 two travelers left Fram which at that time was under 84 05` a northern latitude and 101 35` east longitude, and went to the North. 28 dogs pulled along three sledge on which about 800 kilograms of freight, including two kayaks lay. The movement on hummocky ices was extremely difficult. By April 7 Nansen reached 86 14` a northern latitude and 95 east longitude, having passed deep into the Ledovity ocean is much farther, than his predecessors managed it. He did not risk to continue a way and turned on the South, heading to Franz`s Earth - Iosif.

The return transition was not easier. Dogs had to be killed to give food surviving. Only on July 24 travelers saw in the distance the earth - it were only islands, to the continent was still far. On August 7 travelers reached clear water and were let by swimming on kayaks, on the way plotting new islands. The short northern summer came to an end, polar night came. At the end of August travelers were put ashore and began to prepare for wintering. Constructed a hut of stones, the earth, a moss and a skin of a walrus. Prepared stocks of meat and fat. Despite difficult living conditions, long wintering took place successfully. On May 19, 1896 travelers left the temporary housing and went to the South. In a month they left to a small colony of winterers which lived the second year on the cape Flora. Travelers were lucky, the ship soon had to come here. The long epic in polar ices for them terminated. In a month to the cape Flora there arrived the English steamship Vindvord on which Nansen and Iogansen went to Norway.

The only thing that disturbed Nansen and his satellite, is destiny Frama . But the alarm quickly vanished, the telegram unexpectedly came: To Sherva, on August 20, 1896, 9 o`clock in the morning. To doctor Nansen. Fram arrived this number in a good shape. Everything is safe. Now we depart in Tromsa. We congratulate on arrival. Otto Sverdrup . Already next day Nansen with the satellite arrived to the town of Tromsa, and before them appeared Fram which practically did not suffer in ice to captivity.

The captain Sverdrup told that from the middle of June Fram began to get out of ice and to move ahead gradually. From time to time to lay a way to the vessel, it was necessary to apply explosive. But Fram continued to make the way persistently to the South and in the middle of August came to open water.

Nansen`s expedition gave for studying of natural processes in the central part of the Arctic much. It was established that around drift Frama depths exceed 3000 meters. Regularities in ice drift are studied, climatic conditions of the central part of the Arctic Ocean are investigated. Nansen established that in water thickness of the ocean at a depth of 200 - 800 meters there passes the constant warm current. Over this layer colder waters which are taken out by the current directed from the East to the West to the Greenland Sea settle down. The data on the live organisms inhabiting thickness of the ocean and on the ices covering it collected by Nansen were of great importance for studying of the Arctic. He established that ices in the central part of the Arctic Ocean do not represent the continuous massif, they are crossed by big channels, razvodyam and ice-holes, and under the influence of wind and currents among them there are zones of compression and depression.

Nansen`s expedition became the largest event in the history of polar travel, incentive for the organization of new polar expeditions, different ways directed on the North. Materials of its expedition were attentively studied by the admiral Semyon Makarov when he was going to storm the North Pole on the " ice breaker; Yermak . Despite last years, researches of Nansen and his companions did not lose the value.