South Pole—Then and Now Part 6 Where’s the Tent????
But first…a redux on Monica Kristensen • Led 4-person round-trip failed expedition in 1986-87 over Amundsen’s route • Brought GPR to Pole (on official Norwegian science project) in 1991-92 and supposedly located tent • Came back a year later on NGA trip via PH to recover tent…aircraft crashed, one dead in 130’ crevasse, McM SAR team led by Steve Dunbar sent out via Pole to rescue survivors
Movement of the Ice First official determination—1961-62 USGS daylight celestial observations—ice is moving 20m/year… More recently… Sattrack/GPS results from 2 USGS/Larry Hothem papers: 1970 Navy survey for dome location, as well as current site plans, uses 36°48’ W for movement direction.
So what to use? (data from AMANDA)vs Jan 2007 survey data (average for 6 years): 39.2979° 33.070 ft/yr 10.079 m/yr (unconfirmed) vs 1991-99 GPS data: 40.7822° 32.743 ft/yr 9.98±0.01 m/yr Which will be used here for the historical calculation (is the ice movement speeding up???)
Huntford’s calculated location of the tent (after Arthur Hinks): 89° 58.75’ S 71.6° E or 1.0208 nm/ 6203 ft/ 1891 m from the 1912 Pole… ±200 yds
By comparison, Hinks’s map
2008 Pole: 50605.88 N 49659.16 E 2007 Pole: 50631.47 N 49638.21 E 2005 Pole: 50685.08 N 49597.22 E 2004 Pole: 50709.88 N 49575.83 E 1912 Pole: 52990.82 N 47608.17 E Tent: 54948.40 N 53493.93 E or 4343.40 feet north, 3834.77 feet east of the 2008 pole marker …or 5794 feet/1766 m from the 2008pole on bearing 41.44°…or…
…here. And based on annual snow accumulation of 9.1” or 23.1 cm that would put it rather deep: about 71 feet or 21m neglecting firn compaction…not too significant since density is .35 g/cc at the surface and .45 g/cc at 20m depth. Monica said 15 meters as of February 1992, so let’s say 61 feet/19 meters as of 2008.
Or in our terms… Lat 89.0464°S Lon 41.4412°Eas of 1 January 2008…
From Will (Jake) Jacobs (’59)…
U. S. to Set Up 3-lnch Marker Near South Pole WASHINGTON. Nov 6 (AP)—The United States will set up a permanent 3-inch bronze marker this winter at its station next door to the South Pole. The disc will show that the station is at latitude 89 degrees 59 minutes 43.6 seconds south, longitude 24 degrees 8 minutes west, or 1,650 feet north of the South Pole. The United States Coast and Geodetic Survey, which will erect the marker, announced the location today. It was determined from 52 sets of astronomical observations made during the Antarctic's long night by Maj. Palle Mogensen. He was the American scientific leader during the International Geophysical Year. Maj. Mogensen made his observations through a slot in the roof of the station hut. At times the temperature was 100 degrees below zero outside the hut and zero inside the hut. [from the December, 1959 Polar Times]
Now…about digging it up… 400 mhz GPR (used by the traverse to detect crevasses) (this is Lake Patterson, not the tent)
Now…about digging it up… 2005 Antarctic Treaty resolution says no…..even though its location is unknown. Right…