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Geophysical Monograph Series




Glaciological phenomenon in the Bellingshausen Sea during the 1959–60 Antarctic Campaign

Alberto J. Valdez

Argentine Antarctic Institute, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Rolando Nawratil

Argentine Antarctic Institute, Buenos Aires, Argentina

During the 1959–60 Argentine Antarctic Campaign, the ice-breaker General San Martin was beset in the pack ice while enroute to Marguerite Bay, 68.1°S, 67.1°W, at the end of February 1960, in a position ten nautical miles off the western coast of Belgrano Island (Adelaide Island) (67.5°S, 68.5°W).
In this situation a gale from the northeast that lasted some 30 hours caused three ‘flaws’ in the ice field, one of which passed exactly through the point where the ship was beset.
This phenomenon presented the following characteristics: (1) a complete transformation of the pack ice, formed by large floes, into a field of hummocked and pressed small floes with a continuous convulsive movement; (2) the displacement to the south of the ice field in which the ship was beset, at a speed of 1.5 knots; (3) the formation of three long flaws three meters wide orientated north to south, and more or less eight nautical miles apart; (4) a final transformation of the ice field showing hummocked and pressed large floes.
The cause was the force of the strong northeast wind up to 32 m sec−1 and the presence of obstacles, the Amiot Islets, 67.8°S 69.7°W, that prevented part of the ice from moving south.
The ship was beset ten days during which the wind blew from the northern sector, after which it changed direction and was from the south.

Citation: Valdez, A. J., and R. Nawratil (1962), Glaciological phenomenon in the Bellingshausen Sea during the 1959–60 Antarctic Campaign, in Antarctic Research: The Matthew Fontaine Maury Memorial Symposium, Geophys. Monogr. Ser., vol. 7, edited by H. Wexler, M. J. Rubin, and J. E. Caskey Jr., pp. 171–171, AGU, Washington, D. C., doi:10.1029/GM007p0171.

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