Essays

Indian Expedition to Antarctica

Category : Essays

Introduction. Man has been exploring land, ocean and space. It is, therefore, natural that he should turn to the frozen regions of the earth. Indians may also feel an attachment to Antarctica because it is believed that India, Latin America and Antarctica were once a single landmass.

Where and what Antarctica is? Antarctica is ice-bound and uninhabited. But penguins and about 12 species of birds live there. The frozen sea has varieties of fish and other creatures. There is night for six months contioluously. The sun shines continuously for six months- i.e. day for six months. The region is free from pollution. The air is fresh and wholesome. The only problem is that of cold. Antarctica is called a sealed paradise on earth.

Government's decision for exploration. In July, 1981 the Government agreed that India must begin scientific exploration of the continent of Antarctica because it was expected that the region might be rich in oil and other minerals.

Preparation for the expedition. Preparations were begun. A 21-man team of Indian scientists landed at a point 70 degree three minutes south and 41 degree two minutes east on January, 1982. They had sailed in 600-ton Norwegian ship, Polar Circle.

Description of expedition. The journey was completed in two phases - from Goa to Mauritius and from Mauritius to the landing site on Antarctica.

The first phase was smooth and the team could do its work well. They flew balloons for meteorological observations. They were able to perform the difficult work of charting the ecograms and recording the magnetic anomalies of the bottom of the sea. The noise level was also recorded.

Then began the second phase. The journeys through the ‘roaring forties’ as the 40-50 degree latitudes are known. It was turbulent. The ship was small and the going was rough. Beyond the 'roaring forties’ was the region of the 'pack ice'. Between latitude 55-60 there were ice-berge floating with greater intensity from the side of Indian Ocean.

An attempt was made to land near the Japanese station but the ice was impenetrable. The Indian team finally landed further west.  The base-camp was set up and equipment and stores were transferred to it by helicopter. During the course of their survey, the Indian scientists landed by helicopter near a fresh water lake. Here they established a weather station, 'Dakshin Gangotn' which is powered by solar energy and records meteorological data. The team spent ten days there,                                                        

Achievement of the expedition. This expedition got certain achievements. A mount beneath the waters, at the height of 3500 meters from the sea bed was discovered. It was named 'Sea-Mount Indira'. Data of various kinds were collected. It helped studies in meteorology, oceanography, and glaciology aerosol measurements, magnetic measurements, Geology, Chemistry, Biology, atmosphere pollution and radio- wave propagation.

Conslusion. The region has great riches: 90 percent of. The worlds usable water largest coal-field and vast deposits of iron ore 50 billion barrels of oil, enormous quantities of uranium and platinum, tent alum and lithium. We hope the second Indian expedition will bring better results.


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