An international team of scientists will study a large ice shelf and look for the famous explorer Ernest Shackleton
An international expedition will try next year to find the remains of the Endurance, the legendary vessel with which the Irish explorer Ernest Shackleton tried, in 1914, to reach Antarctica and then travel on foot. The British researcher Julian Dowdeswell, director of the SPRI (Scott Polar Research Institute) and professor at the University of Cambridge, will lead the scientific expedition whose main objective is to study the Larsen C ice shelf, which produced one of the most important icebergs in July. large of those registered in Antarctica.
The Larsen C platform is very close to the last known location of the Endurance and, although it is not the main objective of the expedition, scientists will take the opportunity to try to find the remains of Shackleton’s ship. “It would be a shame not to do it,” Professor Dowdeswell told the BBC. “In our study of the Larsen, we will use autonomous underwater vehicles. But if we can get close to the area where the Endurance is believed to be, we will send them under the ice to do an inspection, “he added.
The Irish explorer Ernest Shackleto was part of the first official expedition of the Antarctic (the Discovery Expedition) directed by Falcon Scott. He and his crew embarked in 1914 on the ship Endurance to perform the daring expedition of walking on the Antarctic continent. It is a goal that failed to meet because in 1915 the ship was stranded on the ice of the Weddell Sea and ended up sinking at 3,000 meters depth. Shackleton and the crew of the Transantarctic Imperial Expedition, the name by which the voyage was baptized, fled the wreck with lifeboats and the tools they could get. Finally, they managed to be rescued more than a year and a half later without any loss.
The challenge is difficult, as the sea ice of the Weddell Sea remains as thick and difficult to traverse. According to the BBC, despite the current technological advances in the region, this year an expedition of the British Antarctic Survey tried to approach the Larsen C, but the icebergs of the area prevented it. Julian Dowdeswell hopes to have better luck thanks to the vehicles provided by the American company Ocean Infinity and to the collaboration of the experts of the SPRI, Nekton Foundation, the University of Canterbury of New Zealand and the universities of Cape Town and Nelson Mandela of South Africa that make up the equipment.
The Larsen C ice shelf is now floating on an expanse of glaciers located east of the Antarctic Peninsula, but scientists want to know how much it needs for the collapse of Larsen C because, during the past year, it created 6,000 km² of blocks of ice. The intention of The Weddle Sea Expedition is to find this answer, perform some geophysical measurements and establish the past history of advance and retreat of the ice to find the place of the sea floor where the platform was before.
Source: El Pais