Antarctic Record (Dec 1966)


  • Masayoshi MURAYAMA

Journal volume & issue
no. 27
pp. 2153 – 2175


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(1) The basic plan of the 7th Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition was the reopening of the Syowa Station, the establishment of a permanent station and preparations for inland survey. The routine observations of the wintering team were to engage in the study of aurora, airglow, geomagnetism, ionosphere, natural earthquake observation and tidology at the station while high level scientific researches were to be made on auroral intensity, auroral spectrum, auroral radio noise emission, geomagnetic pulsation, ionospheric absorption, biology and thermal process in the upper atmosphere. Emphasis in the researches of the 7th Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition was to be placed on the study of upper atmospheric physics and biology in line with the International Quiet Sun Year (I Q S Y) and the International Biological Program (I B P), respectively The basic policy for inland survey was to be based on magnetic meridian which passes through the Syowa Station, and on geosciences, also glaciology and magnetism to be conducted between appropriate points on the magnetic meridian and the South Pole, were to be taken up as important subjects. Preparatory operations were to be made by the 7th wintering team with the target set on a South Pole traverse trip by the 10th expedition While testing the large sized snow car specially developed for such traverse, the wintering team was to conduct inland terrestrial magnetism and meteorological observations and also construct fuel depots for the team to accomplish the traverse. On the other hand, aboard the icebreaker FUJI, observations were conducted on upper stmosphere physics, oceanography, geochemistry and biology. (2) The icebreaker FUJI, which left Tokyo on November 20, 1965, entered the sea of ice floes off the Soviet Station Mirny on December 19 after touching at Fremantle, Australia. After proceeding westward, the FUJI arrived at the edge of close pack ice at a point 65°S, 45°E Compared with the conventional course via Gape Town, the time required to navigate the distance between Tokyo and the sea near Syowa Station was reduced by approximately two weeks Furthermore, because the condition of the ice in Lutzow-Holm Bay is greatly influenced by the ice condition in the area between Enderby Land and the Prince Olav Coast, the FUJI during her voyage was able to carry out effective survey on the condition of the ice in this area. The Prince Olav Coast, west of Enderby Land, is well known for its numerous icebergs which were found in a long row about 30 miles off that coast along a line of the top margin of the continental shelf It was also presumed that an open sea existed along the Prince Olav Coast northwest of the row of icebergs The open sea was spotted by a Sikorsky 61A helicopter which is capable of long distance reconnaissance flight The FUJI entered this open sea and, after cruising in a southwesterly direction, arrived at the edge of fast ice some 40 milts NNE off the Syowa Station on East Ongul Island However, this was one wintei fast ice which had been formed since April of the preceding year Because this ice was considered too soft to hold a large sized snow car and also because it would take the FUJI a long time to break through, it was decided ro carry out an transportation (3) The buildings, antenna and vehicles at the Syowa Station which had been closed since February 1962, seemed in good condition outwardly, but the summer of the preceding year, which had changed the many wintered fast ice of Lutzow-Holm Bay into new fast ice, also had played havoc with the base and the buildings which were caught in frozen waters In particular the powei hut and mess hut weie damaged When closing the base in 1962, I had left two 20 KVA diesel electric generators which I believe would take only about 48 hours to restore the operational condition, but the fact was that it took nearly a week to clean the ice off the generators, dry and reassemble them The 12,000 horse power FUJI, unlike its predecessor the SOYA, was able to advance up to five miles from the Prince Olav Coast by developing only about 25% of her full power However, the reason why the FUJI was able to approach so close to the coast was partly attributable to the favorable ice condition Air transportation of provisions and equipments began from the end of December and was completed at the beginning of Februay under a polar high atmospheric piessuie and under the same weather condition as at the Syowa Station During this period, the operational rate of the two helicopters reached a high 50% out of days feasible to fly Various huts to accoinodate the equipments were constiucted, including the power hut assembled from metal pannels which housed two 45 KVA diesel electric geneiatois, a pie-heating hut housing a circulation flush toilet and a pre-hcatmg tank, radio and tiansmittei huts The buildings weie connected by passageway made of corrugated iron pipe with a diameter of two meters Thus, the Syowa Station was completely revitalized About 80 kilohters diesel oil is consumed in one year at the base for the diesel electric geneiators, excluding the fuel in diums to be used for inland survey tups This time the transportation of diesel oil for geneiators was earned in bulk from the FUJI to the base, i e , in two 1-kilohter tanks installed in the helicopter and delivered to six newlv constructed 10-kiloliter rubber pillow tanks and one 20-kilohter aluminum tank A rhombic antenna was constiucted on an island off East Ongul Island, with directional beams toward Tokyo and the mother station, Mawson. The establishment of telegraph and telephone services with Tokyo using a 1 KW transmitter was completed on January 27. On the other side, the FUJI started her voyage southward by breaking through the blue ice on the western side of Ongul Island. The ship advanced further in the Ongul Straits and finally succeeded in berthing at East Ongul Island More than 400 tons of cargo had been air-lifted from the FUJI to the base, but the FUJI berthed near the base in search of ice strong enough to hold the snow car to be sent ashore. The snow car was the KD 60, which was developed specially for traverse trip between the base and the South Pole It has the following specifications and capacities, resistant to cold up to 60 degrees below zero centigrade, operatable up to a height of 4,000 meters above sea level, durable 6,000 kilometers trip, equipped with seismic sounding instrument, gravity meter, 50 W SSB transmitter, gyrocompass and straight steering navigation system It is also equipped with berthes and a kitchen for a crew of four and is capable of pulling a load of seven to nine tons at speed range of 10km per hour to 15 km on even snow Facilities and instruments for observations in upper atmosphere physics such as multicolor photometer, all-sky camera, spectrograph, aurora radar, riometer, continuous measurement of VLF emission, magnetic recorder and hiss recorder were completed To increase the meteorograph system, the automatic Rawin system was successfully installed, inaddition to a hydrogen gas generator and a tide gauge. On February 1, I nominated eighteen members of the wintering team led by Dr. A. MUTO. (4) The FUJI sailed eastward along the Prince Olav Coast, reached some 25 miles northwest of Molodezhnaya Station (67°50'S, 45°50'E), and berthed here where the Soviet relief ship OB lied already alongside. The fast ice on the Prince Olav Coast, 10 to 20 miles wide during the past month and the northern line of the ice floes at about 40 to 50 miles from the coast, had turned to an area of loose ice with an ice concentration of 3 to 5 The FUJI stopped some 15 miles north-northwest off the Molodezhnaya on the edge of fast ice and paid a visit to the station by helicopters on the night of February 3. We were welcomed by Dr. N. N OUCHINNIKOV, the leader of Molodezhnaya, who personally guided us throughout the station, our nearest neighbor. Next day, we visited OB, which was moored to the continental ice, and were welcomed by Captain KUPRI and Dr. MAKSUTOV, the leader of the 11th Soviet Antarctic Expedition. In return, Captain KUPRI, Dr. MAKSUTOV and Dr OUCHINNIKOV paid a visit to the FUJI where a mutual-welcome party was held by the members of the Japanese and Soviet Antarctic expeditions The FUJI started her westward cruise on February 6 and arrived at a point 45 miles north of the Syowa Station A helicopter was flown to Syowa to bring back five summer personnel who had been left there, and we baid farewell to the eighteen members of the wintering team The FUJI continued her survey cruise from Princess Ragnhild Coast through ice floes some 20/60 miles wide from the ice front in a west-southwest direction On February 9, the FUJI pushed southward through the loose ice floe filled with an ice concentration of 2 to 3 and discovered oil drums on the shelf ice indicating the place where the MAGA DAN, a relief ship chartered by the Belgian-Dutch Antarctic Expedition, had berthed seveial days before We cast anchor at Glacier Bay and on the night of Februaiy 10, we were visited by Mr AUTENBOER, leader of the Belgian-Dutch Antarctic Expedition, and his men from Roi Baudoum Station The following night, four Japanese members, including myself, paid a visit to Roi Baudoum with Mr AUTENBOER on his snocat, and were given the opportunity of touring the station The Belgo-Netherland party gave us very cordial reception and hospitality during our stay at Roi Baudouin Early in the morning of February 12, the FUJI continued her westwaid voyage along the Princess Astrid Coast and on the night of the 13th, she took northward ciuise for home via Cape Town