Nordenskjöld's Greenland Expedition


    BARON NGRDENSKJÖLD telegraphed as follows to the Times from Thurso on Friday night:— “An inland ice party started on July 4 from Auleitswik Fjord. When they were 140 kilometres east of the glacier border and 5000 feet above the sea level they were prevented by soft snow from proceeding with sledges. They sent the Laplanders further on snowshoes. These advanced 230 kilometres eastwards over a continual snow desert to a height of 7000 feet. The conditions for a snow-free interior consequently did not exist here; but this expedition, during which men have reached for the first time the interior of Greenland, has given important results as to the nature of the interior of an ice-covered continent. Over the whole inland there is ice. There occur masses of fine dust, partly of cosmical origin, with the ice. The rest of the expedition, under the command of Dr. Nathorst, visited the north-western coast between Waigattel (?) and Cape York. The Esquimaux told our Esquimaux interpreter (Hans Christian, formerly of Capt. Hall's expedition) that two members of the American Polar Expedition had died, and the rest had returned to Littleton Island (Sofia). On August 16 the expedition sailed from Egedesmunde for the south, with rich collections, zoological, botanical, and geological. Short stays were made at Iviktit, Julianshaab, and Frederiksdal. We tried to proceed eastwards thrice through the sounds north of Cape Farewell and once along the coast, but were hindered by ice. We then went outside the ice field to 66° latitude, remaining constantly in sight of land, having twice in vain tried to find an ice-free shore more to the south. The band of drift ice was forced south of Cape Dan. On September 4 we anchored in a fjord which had been newly visited by Esquimaux, and where we found some remains from the Norse period. It was the first time since the fifteenth century that a vessel had succeeded in anchoring on the east coast of Greenland south of the Polar Circle. We tried in vain to anchor in another fjord more to the north, and returned. The expedition arrived at Reikiavik (Iceland) on September 9. Our observations on the temperature of the sea prove that the cold current which packs the ice along the east coast of Greenland is very insignificant; that the glaciers of the east coast are few and of no great size; and that the fjords are free from ice. Probably the coast may be reached by suitable steamers in the autumn of most years.”

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    Nordenskjöld's Greenland Expedition . Nature 28, 530–531 (1883).

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