The Norwegian Atlantic Expedition 1


    IN continuation of my last notice, I may say that the Expedition stayed at Reikiavik from July 26 to Aug. 3. While Capt. Wille made magnetical observations on shore, the majority of the members of the expedition made a tour to Thingvalla, where they had the pleasure of falling in with an Englishman coming from the north and bound for the Geysers; we had a very happy evening together. The remarkable geological structure of the country attracted much interest. The excursion party returned July 30. Stormy weather prevailed during the whole stay at Reikiavik, so that the coaling was much delayed, and no magnetical observations could be made on shore. A small leak in the boiler took up most of the last day to set it right, and at last we got away on the evening of the 3rd. The season was now so far gone that we were obliged to give up the idea of exploring the sea between Iceland and Greenland, and we shaped our course south of Iceland again, and then towards N.E., running out a line of soundings which showed the transition from the warmer Atlantic water at the bottom, to the ice-cold Arctic water east of Iceland. During a dredging on the bank, between Iceland and Färöe, on a hard, probably volcanic, bottom, the line got fast on a rock, and it became necessary to break it; we thus lost a dredge and some hundred fathoms of dredging line. From a point east of Iceland, the course was laid for Namsos, and several deep sea stations were well explored on this line. The depth at first increased from 1,000 fathoms to 1,500, and at last to 1,800, the last being midway between Norway and Iceland in lat. 64° 65′. The more easterly soundings gave a less depth, the last of them being only 650 fathoms. The temperature at the bottom was always under 32°; at 1,800 fathoms it was 29°, corrected for the error of the thermometer, and for that caused by pressure. The layer with 32° was found in about 200 fathoms east of Iceland, and in 300 or 400 fathoms further east. It seems that the Färöe bank prevents the warm Atlantic water from filling up the upper layers of the northern seas to such a depth on the north-east side of these islands, as it does in the interval between this region and the cold sea east of Iceland. The nearer Norway the warmer is the upper layer of the sea, not only on the surface, but at the depths of 100 and 200 fathoms.

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    The Norwegian Atlantic Expedition 1 . Nature 14, 441–442 (1876).

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