British Graham Land Expedition

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The British Graham Land Expedition, or BGLE for short, was a British Antarctic expedition that was undertaken in Grahamland from 1934 to 1937 for geophysical and research purposes . It was directed by John Rymill .

Goals and preparation

It was planned to explore the west coast of Grahamland and expand knowledge of the entire region. They also wanted to explore the presumed passage into the Weddell Sea , which could serve future expeditions as an alternative to the eastward journey, which had proven fatal for Shackleton . Research in the fields of geology , glaciology , zoology , meteorology , ornithology and biology should not be neglected . The ten members of the expedition team had to cope with a comparatively small sum, which was only possible because the entire staff was unpaid or assigned by the Royal Navy . Two ships were used to arrive , the Penola and the Discovery II . Sled dogs and an airplane were used on site.


After two bases had been established, research could begin. For example, the nearly 550 kilometers of coastline between the stations has been explored, fossils have been found and the first landing made on Alexander I Island . Another expedition explored Grahamland, now known as the peninsula, in an east-west direction. The plane's excursions were limited to a radius of 450 kilometers, but weather conditions often prevented flights and landings, which is why the plane was not very useful for route finding and the creation of depots .


The most important finding was that the crossings between the Bellingshausen and Weddell Seas did not exist and that Grahamland was a peninsula and not an archipelago . In addition, almost the entire coast was mapped, important geological facts were obtained, seals and birds were researched and fossils were found.

See also

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