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  • Did you know that radars are used to find hidden lakes and safe paths? | South Pole 1911-2011
    to ensure safe travel in Antarctica The radar that ensures safe passage over glacier ice in Antarctica is seen here mounted ahead of the tracked vehicle Photo Stein Tronstad Norwegian Polar Institute Within glaciological research radar data are incredibly important Using radars scientists can clearly see structures in the snow and ice even those a couple hundred metres deep in the ice Radars also provide information about the terrain and conditions under the ice There are many types of radars Some can be transported manually on sleds or towed behind snowmobiles or tracked vehicles Others can be mounted on planes or helicopters and even satellites can be fitted with radars From 2007 to 2009 scientists from the Norwegian research station Troll in Dronning Maud Land travelled to the South Pole and back in tracked vehicles and sleds Along the entire route radars that were towed behind the vehicles measured ice thickness layers within the ice and bedrock topography To ensure that the expedition followed a safe path over the glaciers avoiding all crevasses the vehicle at the head of the column was outfitted with a radar It was attached to the vehicle s front and was directed so that it

    Original URL path: http://sorpolen2011.npolar.no/en/did-you-know/2011-11-22-radars-are-used-to-find-hidden-lakes-and-safe-paths.html (2014-09-28)
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  • Did you know that some traces Roald Amundsen left in Antarctica can still be seen? | South Pole 1911-2011
    is a protected cultural heritage site but nobody now knows exactly where it is Photo Norwegian Polar Institute On 6 January 1912 the Norwegian polar explorer Roald Amundsen raised a cairn on Mount Betty Queen Maud Range in Antarctica He and the rest of his expedition team were on their way back to Framheim after having reached the South Pole Mount Betty or Betty s Peak was named after the nanny who cared for Roald Amundsen when he was a boy The cairn is associated with one of the major events in the exploration of the world s last uncharted regions Roald Amundsen left a letter and a tin of paraffin in the cairn The letter was later retrieved and in 1987 Monica Kristensen mounted a commemorative plaque on the cairn On 3 December 1911 the Norwegian Kristian Prestrud raised a cairn on Scott Nunatak Queen Alexandra Range Prestrud participated in Roald Amundsen s Antarctic expedition in 1911 but was not a member of the group that reached the Pole Rather he was leader of an expedition that explored large tracts of the continent north and east of Framheim in the as yet uncharted Edvard VII Land The tent Roald Amundsen s party pitched at the South Pole 14 December 1911 and which appears in the iconic photograph of Amundsen and his men at the Pole is a protected historic monument Today nobody knows exactly where the tent is but we are certain that it is far under the surface of the ice which is constantly moving The tent was left behind at the South Pole with a letter to Kong Haakon and a greeting to Amundsen s competitor Robert F Scott The Englishman Scott and his men found the tent when they arrived at the Pole over a month

    Original URL path: http://sorpolen2011.npolar.no/en/did-you-know/2011-11-21-traces-roald-amundsen-left-in-antarctica-can-still-be-seen.html (2014-09-28)
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  • Did you know that Oscar Wisting was the 'seamstress' of Amundsens's South Pole expedition? | South Pole 1911-2011
    kites were never used Wisting soon proved himself to be very good with his hands Without any previous experience he took on the task of sewing the expedition s clothing tents and other gear Each man was responsible for his own clothing but Wisting sewed undergarments socks windbreakers and the like for everyone on the team Amundsen later remarked that Wisting s specially made flannel underwear was the best he had ever used On board Fram after the triumph at the South Pole everyone was in a festive mood but Wisting sat in his cabin reading the mail from home Three of his seven children had succumbed to disease while he was away on the expedition his daughter and two twin sons he never met The sharp contrast between triumph and tragedy naturally took its toll on Wisting at the time He later served as first mate 1918 21 and first officer 1922 25 on Maud and participated in Amundsen s 1926 flight over the North Pole with the airship Norge On Maud extensive observations were made under oceanographer meteorologist H U Sverdrup who later became the first director of the Norwegian Polar Institute The scientific work done from Maud

    Original URL path: http://sorpolen2011.npolar.no/en/did-you-know/2011-11-19-oscar-wisting-was-the-seamstress-of-the-south-pole-expedition.html (2014-09-28)
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  • Did you know that Bouvetøya is the most isolated island in the world? | South Pole 1911-2011
    crater but the volcano has not erupted for ages The highest point on the island is the edge of the old crater Olavtoppen 780 metres above sea level It was the Frenchman Jean Baptiste Charles Bouvet de Lozier who first discovered Bouvetøya in 1739 when led two French ships exploring for a better route to the Far East There was thick fog so Bouvet never went ashore on the land he believed to be a peninsula extending from Terra Australis the unknown continent in the south He named the point he had sighted Cap de la Circoncision The geographical coordinates that were noted turned out to be incorrect and many years passed before the island was rediscovered It was not until 1808 that English whalers caught sight of the island again and the first landing was in 1822 That was when the island was named Bouvetøya in honour of its discoverer On 1 December 1927 members of the crew of the first Norvegia expedition went ashore on Bouvetøya and claimed the island for Norway Bouvetøya is still usually enshrouded in mist or fog just as it was in Bouvet s time Countless birds and animals live on Bouvetøya and both

    Original URL path: http://sorpolen2011.npolar.no/en/did-you-know/2011-11-18-bouvetoya-is-the-most-isolated-island-in-the-world.html (2014-09-28)
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  • Did you know that littering is illegal in Antarctica? | South Pole 1911-2011
    is transported out of Antarctica for deposition in approved waste dumps Photo Bertran Kiil Norwegian Polar Institute Antarctica is now a protected area dedicated to peace and research Antarctic Treaty 1959 To maintain this nature preserve and maximise its value both as a pristine environment and a research laboratory it is crucial that human activities have no impact on the environment All planned activities in Antarctica must undergo an environmental impact assessment before they are allowed to begin This means that anyone planning activities in Antarctica must submit a written evaluation where they describe all the possible consequences the activity might have for the environment and what countermeasures will be taken to limit those consequences This must be done before the people involved in the project are allowed even to set off for Antarctica Protocol on environmental protection to the Antarctic Treaty 1991 For this reason it is now prohibited to leave any waste whatsoever in Antarctica This means that everything you take to Antarctica you must also take away with you Including sewage At the Norwegian research station Troll waste is sorted into the following categories so it can be delivered for recycling re use or proper treatment in

    Original URL path: http://sorpolen2011.npolar.no/en/did-you-know/2011-11-17-littering-is-illegal-in-antarctica.html (2014-09-28)
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  • Did you know that Helmer Hanssen accompanied Roald Amundsen on three expeditions? | South Pole 1911-2011
    seas for bottlenose white whale and seal Hanssen earned his first mate s certificate in 1897 and served as first mate aboard the SS Laura the ship that bore the Englishman Pearson to Novaya Zemlya the same year At the recommendation of the legendary Tromsø apothecary Fritz Zappfe Hanssen was taken on as second mate and jack of all trades for Amundsen s expedition through the Northwest Passage with Gjøa in 1903 06 Hanssen s son had just been born but now he set forth on a journey that was expected to last two or three years and ended up lasting four During the expedition s winters among the Inuit Hanssen became an accomplished dogsledder After returning home he worked as a customs official in Tromsø Hanssen was hand picked to serve as ice pilot on Roald Amundsen s South Pole expedition in 1910 11 He laboured manfully in laying out depots and drove the lead dogsled on the entire journey to the South Pole all except the last leg when he let Amundsen lead the way so that it was Roald Amundsen himself who reached the Pole first on 14 December 1911 Hanssen was Amundsen s companion through 18

    Original URL path: http://sorpolen2011.npolar.no/en/did-you-know/2011-11-16-helmer-hanssen-accompanied-amundsen-on-three-expeditions.html (2014-09-28)
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  • Did you know that Norwegian researchers lived in Antarctica from 1956 to 1960 – and that it had major political consequences? | South Pole 1911-2011
    Dronning Maud Land Photo John Snuggerud Norwegian Polar Institute The Norwegian Antarctic expedition 1956 1960 was organised by Harald Ulrik Sverdrup Director of the Norwegian Polar Institute Over the three year duration of the expedition masses of new research data were gathered The expedition also had major political implications helping to ensure that Norway could play a leading role in the negotiations that resulted in the Antarctic Treaty which was signed in December 1959 The expedition base was placed on Märtha Kyst Märtha Coast in Dronning Maud Land 35 km inland from the ice edge and was named Norway Station It was home to many as 14 team members and 42 Greenland huskies over the next few years The expedition leader was Sigurd Helle The participants worked in shifts to collect research data and did not allow themselves many days off during their three year sojourn In November 1957 a field party of four men nine dogs and two tracked vehicles set off towards the mountains in the southeast The vehicles were heavily loaded pulling two or three sleds each and the route they were taking led them through some dangerous stretches Jutulstraumen an ice stream full of crevasses Their destination was solid ground the mountains Fimbulheimen where they intended to study ice and ice movements and do triangulation work in order to secure the data needed to make maps of the area Two hundred kilometres into the journey disaster struck One of their vehicles disappeared down a crevasse and the driver only barely managed to save himself The rest of the journey had to be accomplished with only one vehicle This was a major setback and it meant that the rest of the equipment had to be transported in several trips but they reached the mountains eventually Here they

    Original URL path: http://sorpolen2011.npolar.no/en/did-you-know/2011-11-14-norwegian-researchers-in-antarctica-had-major-political-consequences.html (2014-09-28)
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  • Did you know that when you run out of things to talk about, you talk about the weather? | South Pole 1911-2011
    The temperature in Antarctica is generally exceedingly low Several factors contribute to this including the low solar radiation in the winter the ability of ice to reflect sunlight the cooling effect of long wave radiation from the continent and the high elevation The average temperature ranges from about 60 C at high elevations 70 C in the winter and 40 C in the summer to around 10 C near the coast 25 C in the winter and 2 C in the summer In 1983 a temperature of 89 6 C was registered at the Soviet station Vostok in West Antarctica That is the lowest temperature ever measured anyplace on Earth The low temperatures in combination with dry air mean that people who work outdoors struggle with dry skin and cracks in their skin and lips if they are not careful Most of the precipitation in Antarctica falls during the storm cycles that are characteristic of the coastal areas in the winter These areas often receive 150 to over 600 mm of precipitation in the form of snow during a year whereas precipitation in excess of 50 mm per year is rare in the inland For comparison it snows approximately 500

    Original URL path: http://sorpolen2011.npolar.no/en/did-you-know/2011-11-13-talk-about-the-weather.html (2014-09-28)
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