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“All around us the ice was shifting, tilting, and bobbing. The sea was chaotic, shattered into mishmash of unstable pans. When we encountered a zone of open water and broken ice hundreds of miles long tothe north the next day, we had no choice but to retreat. No sooner had we worked our way back to our starting point near Cape Arkticheskiy however, than we were pinned down by a blizzard for eight days” Will Steger, ‘Dispatches from the Arctic Ocean,’ National Geographic, Vol. 189, No. 1 (January 1996), p. 81.

UN ON ICE studio critic: leslie gill and michael jacobs spring 2008 “The effects of global warming are simultaneously a threat to, and a promise for, one of the last unclaimed territories on our planet: the Arctic Circle. Defined by an imaginary line at latitude 66 ½ degrees north of the equator, the Arctic Circle sits within a temporal boundary set by the summer and winter solstice, during which time this region experiences 24 hours of sunlight and 24 hours of darkness respectively. The Arctic Ocean, a primary presence in this region, is of the worlds smallest and shallowest. Ice depth here can be up to 3 meters without land beneath; the ocean floor where charted, lies 13,000 feet below. With the melting of the ‘ice cap’, this vast wilderness, also home to 4 million people comprised of 10 distinct ethnic groups, holds an unknown amount of natural resources to be exploited. This studio will investigate the role of the UN as protectorate of an increasingly significant and rapidly shifting territory. In laying claim to a UN Regional Outpost fr the Arctic Circle students are asked to define strategies and techniques to bring global awareness to the issues at hand.” -Leslie Gill

“The journeys with a purpose of exploring the regions covered by the eternal polar ice […] have always been considered prestigious and pure. This is partly due to the white fields of snow and the amazing light phenomena in the sky, but it is also because of the pure, unsoiled idealism motivating these expeditions. Except for the journeys made by hunters and fishermen (through polar research owes much to these journeys as well), we can be fully convinced of the fact that even a hopeless dreamer has never travelled to the polar glaciers in pursuit of money and wealth. Moller, Encountering the North, p 127. Roald Amundsen, Luoteisvayla. Kertomus Gjoan matkasta 1903-1907 (Porvoo: WSOY, 1908), pp.1-2. Quotations translated by author

objectives Creating waystations that register changes in thE Arctic by measuring dirt through air, tundra, and ice. Creating an infrastructure that will support scientific research and the dissemination of information across the globe. Mapping the transition from cartesian to digital ways of percieving the world by redefining program in terms of temperature. In a land where visual cues disappear, and scale becomes limitless, how do we adapt ourselves and overcome threat in the Arctic? How do we find refuge and build shelters in an environment without getting lost or disoriented? How do we traverse vast plains without misjudging distances? Historically, we have overcome these difficulties by systematically measuring what we cannot know instinctively, by translating three dimensional landscapes onto two dimensional curves and edges in an attempt to reclaim unknown space. “How critical basic contour recognition is to our survival shows up in the Antarctic during whiteout conditions, when we are subjected to a Ganzfeld, or visual field without contours. Stumbling around in a whiteout, where visible light is dispersed in a perfectly even manner, you start to lose your balance and coordination almost immediately, and within fifteen minutes may suffer a complete, though temporary, loss of vision. Remain deprived of contours in a Gansfeld for long, and hallucinations start, the brain making up something, anything, to see. To say that you are disoriented in a whiteout is to put it mildly.� -William L. Fox, Terra Antarctica


CARTOGRAPHIC IMAGINATION Ways of seeing the Arctic have long been associated with cultural geography. As relations between society and environment change, ways of looking at landscapes also shift revealing particular relationships between society and land. In 700BC, Anaximander, an early proponent of science claimed that physical and not supernatural forces created order in the universe which could be defined through observation. The philosophical idea of creating a world map could be seen as an extension of these observations and an attempt to give spatial order to the world. His circular map represented the entire known world according to the ancient Greeks. This representation consisted of three continents (Europe, Asia, and Libya) divided by three bodies of water (the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea, and the Nile river) and surrounded by a vast ocean with Delphi laying at the navel. By the time of Claudius Ptolmey in 100 BC, unexplored lands, or Terra Incognita, began to appear on maps. In an attempt to create a system by which these areas could be identified, Ptolemy systematized cartography insisting on fixed scales and orientations, offering a spherical projection of the earth. The world was no longer centered around Greece. Instead it was split into 5 horizontal zones with Greek lying in the middle band of temperate climates. The two outer polar zones, and least explored, would become a space of fantasy and fears, occupied by monsters, which would discouraged exploration for some time (image 01). In the first century AD, Terra Incognita would expand becoming the home of increasingly fantastic monsters as an ideological battle between religion and math arose. Advances in technology such as the use of magnetized needles provided compass bearings, further systematizing maps. However, medieval maps, “were intended more to diagram history and anthropology, myth and scripture dreams and nightmares, than to provide geometrically precise representation of the physical world”. In 741 AD, Pope Zacharius excommunicated an Irish pries for believing the world was round having Antipodes (two poles), not mentioned in the travels of the Apostles. “In these borderlands lie the spots that medieval Europeans had never actually seen but wanted to exist, the landmarks of their fondest hopes and darkest fears”. (image 02 and 03). At the top edge of the Psalter Map lies the Garden of Eden where Christ, Adam and Eve watch over the world. On the northeastern border are the nations of Gog and Magog where servants of the AntiChrist dwell i04). “In the coming centuries the borders of the world would expand, and such monsters would move steadily farther from the civilized center, becoming extinct only when their natural habitat, terra incognita, finally ceased to exist.” In the 16th century, as European exploration was increasingly driven by a desire to find alternate trading routes to China, religion would fall and math would dominate cartographic pursuits. Many explorers such as Sir Hugh Willoughby and William Barents would sail for the Arctic in search for a Northwest Passage. To aid such explorers, Gerardus Mercator one of the greatest cartographers in history, published world maps with compass lines and intersecting meridians at constant angles. Although land masses were distorted in size and the unknown Terra Australis was connected to the tips of Africa and Asia, these maps would allow sailors to plot courses in straight lines retracing their voyages and avoiding unprofitable ones. Maps of the northern arctic region were represented by a circular mass with two bisecting rivers. In the center of this mass was a large body of water believed to be a wild vortex where no ship ever returned, the final monster to inhabit the Arctic (image 05). By the 18th century, scientists as well as painters were frequent passengers bringing back the first examples of imagery to Europeans (image 06). However, by the beginning of the 19th century, explorers such as Amundsen, Nansen and Robert Peary were still defeated by Nature, returning from expeditions without ever setting foot on Arctic land. Scientific victory was no longer legitimized by merely seeing unknown lands; it became a matter of exposing Northern myths, revealing the unknown, and scientifically measuring, mapping, and naming the Arctic.

“Mere descriptions without maps of even eye-measure sketches by different kinds of tourists cannot claim any right to priority, while in such cases it may be left to the first real map surveyors to accept or omit names of that kind. Especially in regions which have become more generally visited by tourists it is easily understood how necessary is such a rule against trespass and poaching on grounds of genuine active geographers.”

“Next morning…winter had come. There was white snow on the deck, and on every little projection of the rigging where it had found shelter from the wind; white snow on the land, and white snow floating through the air. Oh, how the snow refreshes one’s soul, and drives away all the gloom and sadness from the sullen lands of fogs! Look at it scattered so delicately, as if by a living hand, over the stones and the grass-flats on shore!...Suddenly, a flash of light hit our eyes. And, as if created by some magical powers, a wonderful view opened before our very eyes…There was that strange Arctic hush and misty light over everything - that grayish white light caused by the reflection from the ice being cast high into the air against masses of vapor, the dark land offering a wonderful contrast.” The names on maps given for different places also reveal processes embedded within the geographical imagination of the late 19th century concerning power. Newly discovered lands were named after patron, teachers and colleagues paying tribute to the acquisition of knowledge. Regions were often named after royalty as was the case with Dronning Maud Land, King Edward VII Land in Antarctica, King William Land and Queen Elisabeth Islands in Northern Polar Regions. A deeper connection between royal houses and exploration brought new regions under the control of the crown and imposed a sense of national duty upon every expedition. Compelled perhaps by pride, personal gratification, and cultural pressures to become a hero, Roald Amundsen sailed along the Arctic for four years and became the first to successfully navigate of the Northwest Passage in 1906. From this point in history, territorialism would permeate every act within the Arctic land, ice, and seas. The sea monsters of Terra Incognita would finally relinquish their lands in return for a new domain of psychological paranoia and fears. Wars would push Arctic exploration below water (through the invention of submarines) and into airspace (with military aircrafts and scientific balloons) as nations raced to claim land (image 08). Treaty after treaty would be signed addressing concerns for indigenous rights, allocation of natural resources, and delineation of territories. The sublime and once untouched Arctic landscape would be sliced and appropriated over and over again in the quest for total control. As ideologies in exploration shifted from heroism and romanticism to militarization and territorialism, scientific representation of the Arctic would turn from painting, to photography to capture reality. “Science moved, in large measure, from the collection of physical specimens to the collection of images on paper and film. Increasingly scientists turned to photography – x-ray imagery, spectrographs of the starts, microphotography – to provide exactitude of record keeping that could match the precision of their measurements.” The previous century focused on gathering data from plant samples, to capturing light and elevations of icescapes. The emphasis in the 20th century would begin to analyze this information and theorize about the inner workings of the planet. Astronomy would continue to gather data, but would begin to focus on overlying principles and theorems. Biologists would continue to search for new species, but would begin to build upon classification systems to understand the cause of differentiation from one specimen to the next culminating in the mapping of the human genome. Arctic exploration however, would remain a traditional science. Mapping such a vast and harsh terrain involved either traversing by foot, or by air requiring most of the century and the collaboration of several nations to accomplish. And even after this was accomplished, the disorienting vastness of the Arctic would continue to be a mystery. A land both utopian in its sublimity and dystopic in its strangeness, a space of both fantasies and fears, “The Antarctic is so extreme to our visual expectations that, once we attempt to move beyond measurement to describe it, analogies with other parts of nature fall short, and we resort to comparisons with cultural artifacts that push at the boundaries of our perceptions. Sometimes pieces of Antarctic nature are so odd to our senses that they actually reverse the flow of analogy and become cultural artifacts in their own right.”


Without War or battles, military regiments were often sent on expeditions (image 07). The disappearance of Sir John Franklin’s expedition aboard the Erebus and Terror, ship after ship would be sent in search for him over the span of 10 years. The Arctic would be romanticizes through imagery of heroic conquests and literary excerpts:

600 bc babylonian map

550 bc anaximanders world map

world is a 4 cornered parallelogram world is a sphere




Greek, mathematician, cosmological doctrine, which held that the world originated from water

of Thales, early proponent of science, tried to observe different aspects of the universe, claiming that nature is ruled by laws. created a map of the world that contributed greatly to advancement of geography.

624-546 Thales of Miletus

610-546 Anaximander, student

336 Peutinger map

focus split between philosophy and geography qustioning what the world is made of

580-500 Pythagoras hypothesis

earth is a sphere


515-450 Creates of Mellos

proposed globe with 4 symmetrical continents: 2N, 2S:Antipodes/Antoikoi

Paramenides earth split into 5 zones defined by climate:frigid north, temperate band, torrid equitorial, temperate band, frigid south 485 BC Parmenides makes

the ontological argument against nothingness,

mapping: greek speculation

150 bc ptolemys map

latitude and long lines established Indian Ocean enclosed by land labeled Terra Incognita (mythical UR continent)



460 Leucippus, in opposi-

tion to Parmenides’ denial of the void, proposes the atomic theory, which supposes that everything in the universe is either atoms or voids

469-399 Eudoxus agreed with Paramenides, divded globe into bands

Aristotle points out shadow thrown by earth on moon during eclipse is curved: proves Pythagoras’s hypothesis of sphericality 2. postulates S landmass needed couterbalance, named N polar Arktos and S Antarktos



access to library of Alexandria. 240 calculates earth’s circumference at 25000mi

proposed torrid zone was occupied by monsters (discouraging exploreration for some time) publishes Geographica with 8000 places and coordinates but uses less accurate estimate of circumference leading to distortions

276-194 Eratosthenes has

150 Claudius Ptolemy

1 AD

190-120 Hipparchus insists geography must

have accurate pictorial representation leading to topography develops lat and

12 c Al-Idrisi mappe mundi

1060 Skiapodes map of Anipodes

1290 Richard of Haldingham mappe mundi

15th century T-O map

blank areas filled with creatures, Christianity abhoring idea parts of world unknown to Church Arabs travelling according to Ptolemy’s model Chinese begin using magnetized needles to discern North and South T-O scheme (mappe mundi)

1000 0ad

Alexandria library sacked by Christian mob. 391 Pope Zacharius ex

communiates an Irish priest for thinking the world is round. Antipodes is not mentioned in the travels of the Apostles.


use of compass bearings in navigation


Italian sailors use compass needles and portolean charts, 32 directions, focus on Med and Black Sea, more descriptive than mathematical, used narrative drawings, lines for prevailing winds not compass direction.

1276 earliest portolean map



portolani technique transferred to Islamic world

emergence of printing press



Geographica translated and becomes popular due to emergence of printing press

1457-49 portolani mappa mundi

Ptolemy’s world map, republished in 1482. Maps 1.d.2

Terra Incognita begins to unfold.

renewed vigor of exploration 1420 1419 Prince Henry the Navagator establishes

the nautical college and offerse cash bonus to sailors brave enought o sail off the edge of the map.


1460 1472 first printed European T-O map


Terra Australis is not connected to Africa. 1490 1497 Vasco da Garna


Ulm edition of Ptolemy world map published , 8 compass directions, merdians/parallels.

crosses the Indian Ocean proving Africa and India are not connected to Terra Australis.

1488 Bartholemew Dias

reaches the Cape of Good Hope.

Cartography becomes a system of visualization that could be projeted forward.

mapping: religionvs.math

Antique Map, Geographica, c.1630

1538 Sebastian Munster Asien In Cosmographia

European exploration driven by a desire to find alternate trading routes to China.


1595 mercator map

outlining of Pacific and the process of mapping where Antarctic is not begins 1512 Gerardus Mercator

is born, and becomes one of the greatest cartographers.

The Dutch, greatest seagoing cartographers and merchants at the time, adopt perspective techniques developed in Italy but use a lower, more panoramic view, and are more generous with sky acknowledging the importance of weather in navigation.

1520 Ferdinand Magellan sails around South

Arctic is 4 huge masses resting symmetrically above Asia, Europe, and North America for the next century. 1530


Explorers such as Balboa, Magaellan and others began to to demonstrate that the earth was 2/3 water. not the biblical notion that is was 6/10 land and water.


mapping: fallof religion,rise of math

1595 mercator map

1594 plancius world map

1566-1648 Spain fights for independence and exploration halts. comfirmation that Antarctic is separate from Africa. sailors can plot courses in straight lines. 1553 Sir Hugh Willoughby


searches for the NW Passage

Richard Chancellorsearches for the NW Passage

NW route is published and the search begins. 1570 Abraham Ortelius Antwerp publishes 1st


1594-1597 William Barents

poular atlas, 70 maps last printed in 1612. Delineating possible NW Passage.

1569 Mercator publishes

world maps. He is the first to draw compass lines, and intersecting meridians at constant angles. there are two distortions 1. land masses are distored in size, 2. Terra australis is connected to the tips of Africa and Asia.

1576-1578 Sir Martin Frobisher

during his three attempts to find the NW Passage, brings back the first visual image of the polar returning with paintings by John White.

Sir Francis Drake

lands on Cape Horn confirming the Antarctic


1584 Wahgenaeur publishes the first sea chart atlas.

makes three voyages in search of a Northeast Passage. He discovers Spitsbergen and sails onto the Kara Sea.


Ship is trapped in ice and the crew is forced to spend the winter ashore. Crew becomes the first W Europeans to survive a high Arctic winter.


The crew sets out for

1631 arctic Mercator-Janssonius

1648 arctic MercatorJanssonius

1662 arctic Theunis, Jacobsz, Lootsman,Casparus

innovation of topography, elongated horizontal coastal profiles added to cartography.

spain and portuguese lock up trade routes around Africa urging others to search for a NW passage

first sighting of southern Arctic lands

explorers begin using meterological charts.


1607-1610 Henry Hudson (Eng-

lishman) makes 3 voyages in search of Northwest Passage to Asia through the Arctic Ocean. On the final expedition the Hudson Bay is mapped but the ship becomes trapped in ice. When waters thaw, the crew wanting to return home sends Hudson and his son adrift.



1624-1712 Giovanni Domenico Cassin begins map-


ping accurately paris and later the moon using new cartographic skills and grid lines.

Russians force the North East passage.

Edmund Halley sees Cassini’s work, invents meterological chart mapping prevailing winds He publishes his first sea chart atlas in 1689.


1680 1699 Edmund Halley is

temporary commission by Royal Navy to go on 1st scientific sea boyage South. He documents the first sighting of the Antarctic icebergs using this meteorological charts, upholding the links of astronomy/geography.

mapping: imagevs.imagining

1773 William Hodges, The Resolution & Adventure

1725-42 The Russian Admiralty organizes the Great Northern Expeditions to find the Northeast Passage along the coast of Siberia. Overseen by Vitus Bering mapping thousands of kilometers of the coast of Siberia for the first time.




The Russian physicist and philosopher, , participates in the Great Northern Expeditions for 20 years. From information gathered, he suggested a scheme of currents in the Arctic Ocean, classified sea ice types, and explained the role of the sun as a source of heat in the Arctic. He also made a map of the Arctic with ocean at the North Pole.



1776-1779 James Cook, English naval captain and explorer,

sailed on the ships Discovery and Resolution on his final voyage of exploration along the west American coast and up to Bering Straits with the hope of finding the Northwest Passage. There he ran into ice demonstrating the separation between the Asian and American continents.

On the voyage, artist William Hodges makes topographic drawings/watercolors, injects meteorological observation demanded by sailors into paintings taking note of land and sky


Olaf Jansen and his father were Norwegian fishermen in the 1800's who, according to their religious mythologies of Odin and Thor, believed in a land "beyond the North wind" that is populated by a race of giants and is ever green and lush.








1831 James Clark Ross,

quest for NW passage evolves to keep British officers occupied w no wars/ military heroism

John Franklin, another English sea captain, sets out on an overland and canoe expedition up the Coppermine River to explore the north coast of America. Unfortunately, it ends disastrously with 11/20 members of the expedition losing their lives, most dying from starvation.


1819 The search for the Northwest Passage is resumed. William Edward Parry, a British naval officer, takes his first voyage in search of the Northwest Passage. This is the first expedition to enter the Arctic Archipelago. He reached 110°W before ice prevented him going further.

Parry leaves on a second voyage in search of the Northwest Passage with his ships Hecla and Fury. After spending two winters in the region he ends the expedition.

1824-1825 Parry sails on his third/final voyage to the Canadian Arctic. Encountering shifting ice the Fury sustains serious damage and the mission is abandoned.


numerous rescue attempts for Franklin produce an outpouring of romantic visual and literary imagery

who had sailed with Parry later led an expedition to Antarctica, resumes the search for the Northwest Passage. He is the first to reach the North Magnetic Pole. Having to winter over, Ross abandons his ship, and it is 4 years before the expedition returned home.

1845 Sir John Franklin’s

expedition aboard Erebus and Terror sails in search of the Northwest Passage. 129 men set off with hopes of finding the passage— but none would return. Over the next several years, many land and sea expeditions search for Franklin.

















1864 1ST steam-powered icebreaker built in Kronstadt, Russia, name the Pilot

1882-1884 W. S. Schley and his


An expedition led by

1878 Baron Nordenskiöld



by the mid 1800’s, the NW passage is not perceived as a viable route

Francis Leopold McClintock finds a

clairn left by the Franklin expedition that told of the death of Franklin and of 24 others, and of abandoning the ship.


In 1853, Dr. John Rae, sent by the Hudon’s Bay Company to complete a coastal survey discovers relics of the Franklin expedition in the possession of the Eskimos.

completes the first successful navigation of the Northeast Passage sailing on board the Vega, navigating the northern coasts of Europe and Asia for the first time.


US Naval Officer Lt.

George Washington DeLong commands

an expedition attempting to reach the North Pole via the Bering Strait. The small steamboat Jeannette was trapped in the ice for two winters, and eventually crushed and sank. Some crew survived a harrowing

relief expedition crew with the six survivors of the Greely Expedition

mapping: tehage of heroism


1911 Lake Harbour Baffin Island shortly before WWII

a century of deliniation treaties and exploration for territorial claims. 1920

SVALBARD is declared a part of Kingdom of Norway, partial demilitarization, signatories (40) given rights to engage in commercial activities

1900 1903-1905

Norwegian explorer,

Roald Amundsen,

completes first successful navigation of the Northwest Passage. It would be another 34 years before this is done again.


Peary reports that he has reached the North Pole with his friend with Matthew Henson and natives.


RUSSIA draws territory from Murmansk and Chukotka Peninsula to NPole.

July 1928 Umberto Mobile’s Red Tent taken by Krasin.

Feb 14 1934 Camp Shmidt

1920 Nenets Aleksandr Vylka and family ,Novaya Zemlya

April 1937 stores ready to load for 1st drifting station.

Arctic territory extends into airspace 1944

-Internatioanl Civil Aviation Organization

1928 Malygin carries

out valuable scientific observations in the N egions of the Barents Sea.

CANADA is 1st to extend boundaries N of NPole

an effort by Imperial Russian Navy to explore, survey, and chart the Northern Sea Route. Two icebreaking research vessels used, Tamyr and Vaygach. Spent three years working along the Arctic coast of Siberia, sounding, surveying, producing a vast volume of data.

-International Marine Organization (IMO)

Russian efforts surge in race to claim Arctic.


1910-1915 The Russian Arctic Ocean Hydrographic Expedition represented



Founding of Floating Marine Institute in Russia. TheMalygin is the first cruise made.


Having conquered the Northwest Passage and the South Pole, Norwegian explorer Ronald Amundsen sets sights on the North Pole. He builds a new wooden vessel, the Maud. They depart from Oslo and set off through the Northeast Passage. By September the Maud and her ten pas-

Russian vessel Krasin reaches ice camp of Italian airman Nobile and takes part in rescue

1930 Sir Hubert Wilkins

acquires a submarine from the US Navy and prepares her for an undersea expedition to the North Pole, renaming her Nautilus. The submarine heads into the pack ice north of Spitsbergen in August 1931, but the diving plane is damaged. The submarine can no longer cruise very far under the ice however the Nautilus does make several short runs under ice.

Russian vessel Sedov explores the western and souther part of Frantz Josef Land.


Northwind, Southwind, Eastwind, Westwind commisioned by US due to urgency during WWII Edisto, Burton Island, Glacier commissioned by the US Navy


Pres.Truman challenges the Freedom of the Seas extending

US rights to resources and sea of continental shelf.

mapping: territorialism

1937 Ivan Papanin’s drifting ice station 2 mi from NPole.

1920 winter’s catch of white and blue ARctic fox pelts

Arctic goes underwater. 1980

Fishery lished




first maritime boundary agreement, establishes boundary at Baranger Fjord between NORWAY -RUSSIA.

1950 1958

US nuclear-powered submarine Nautilus passes under the North Pole, but does’nt surface. Same year, nuclear-powered submarine, Skate, became the first vessel to surface at the North Pole.

1959 Russian Lenin: 1st nuclear powered ice breaker


-Inuit Circumpolar Conference (ICO)


treaty:CANADA-RUSSIA define limits resulting in 6.250 sq nm overlap


modern scientific expeditions aunched : 1957 International Geophysical Year, 1980 YMER Expedition... 1970

-Polar Bear Treaty -Canadian Arctic Waters -Pollution Prevention Act -Establishment of EEZ’s


treaty:‘grey zone’ area wi 200 nmi from coasts of NORWAY AND RUSSIA.

treaty:CANADA-DENMARK list points from Davis Strait to Robeson Channel. does not address Hans Island.

1960 1966

many US icebreakers transferred to US Coast Guard. Oceanographic results from vessels operating in the Arctic from the 1930s through the 1960s have been reported by the Coast Guard, International Ice Patrol, and Naval Oceanographic Office, among others.


negotiations between Canada and Russia over compensation for destruction of Cosmos satellite over N Canada



-Convention on Biological Diversity -Taiga Rescue Network


treaty: RUSSIA-US address resource concerns in Bering Sea.

1982 Law of the Sea established. 1980


Polar Star, Polar Sea although Wind class icebreakers began showing their age in the 70’s, these were commissioned bye the US to continue to serve the Arctic


Russian vessel Britney was built with the bow shape now used in all icebreakers.


Stranded Russian Sub found in Swedish Waters


-Forestry Reserves get funds


-Treaty:DENMARKIceland-NORWAY -RUSSIA Limits of Continental Shelf Submission. UN


1st scientific trip by nuclear powered submarine to the Arctic made by Pargo.


The US Healy is the first icebreaker designed specifically to fulfill scientific needs.


Soviet target cruise missile launched from Barents Sea into Finnish Lapland

1996 spatial variability testing radar profile of the surface snow layers along a section of the Swedish ITASE route in Dronning Maud Land

2003 live webcast from North Pole

2000-2008 NPole observatory has been tracking drift paths of floating stations.

Dome C Station

technologies usher new ways of seeing and imagining the arctic.

Wayward cruise missile fired from either

a submarine or ship during Soviet naval maneuvers in the Barents Sea

mapping technologies allow researchers to study what lies beneath the snow.



Ratification of Law of the Sea by Canada

technologies allow researchers communicate from poles


National Science Foundation will establish a camp at the



“Polus” Arctic and Antarctic Research Centre majority

of his personnel has taken part in arctic expeditions.

North Pole. The scientists will use the camp to lay the groundwork for a fiveyear project to take the pulse of the Arctic Ocean and learn how the world’s northernmost sea helps regulate global climate.

China’s first scientific research station

located on Svalbard Island, step to improve understanding impact of climate changes. 2003 first year that videos were uploaded from the Arctic via Iridium.

first live videos from the 90N Pole were done by my NASA team on April 1999


mapping: computer imaging

from Cryosphere Today :side-by-side images of Northern Hemisphere sea ice extent (left) 1980 (right) 2007)

mosaic image created from images acquired in September 2007 by the Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar instrument aboard ESA’s Envisat satellite, dark gray color represents the ice-free areas, green represents areas w/sea ice.

Arctic Patrol Vessels built for Canadian defense “Canada has a choice when it comes to de-

fending our sovereignty over the Arctic,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper said. “We either use it or lose it. And make no mistake, this government intends to use it.”

mobile applications via cyrosphere today.

Limits of Continental Shelf Subtechnologies allow for mission to UN by more mobility NORWAY 2005

The French (IPEV) and Italian (PNRA) Antarctic programmes have agreed to cooperate in developing a research programme that includes the construction and operation of a scientific base located at Dome C, high on the Antarctic plateau, some 1,100 km inland from Dumont D'Urville and 1,200 km inland from Terra Nova Bay. The station at Dome C is called Concordia.


LORIA-1, Danish expedition consisting of Swedish icebreaker Odena dn Russian nuclear icebreaker. 50 people set out to do tectonic research and hope to claim Lomonosov Ridge as extension of Greenland

nuclear-powered icebreaker and research vessel dispatched from Murmansk the Lomonosov Ridge. they pitch a flag and argue is a geological extension of its continental shelf and thus the 460,000 sq mi of resource-rich Arctic waters stretching from the North Pole to Eurasia fall under the Kremlin’s jurisdiction.

2007 International Polar Year in 2007-2008 will provide

an opportunity to engage young Earth System scientists and to get the public to realize how much the cold ends of the sphere we all live on really do influence us. Building on technological developments, such as autonomous vehicles and molecular biology techniques, there will be new expeditions to investigate polar systems.

The ice floe on which on which a Russian drifting station is operating“North Pole-35” cracks putting the station and its crew at risk.

NASA sends Robots K10 Black and K10 Red robots, which carry 3D laser scanners and ground-penetrating radar, arrived at Haughton Crater at Devon Island in Canada on 12 July and will remain until 31 July. Arktika Expedtition, six explorers led by Arthur Chilingarov, employing MIR sub-

mersibles for the first time in history descended to the seabed below the North Pole. Here they planted the flag of Russia and took water and soil samples for analysis, continuing a mission to provide additional evidence related to the Russian claim of the mineral riches of the Arctic. This was part of the ongoing 2007 Russian North Pole

sastrugi Wind erodes from the windward side of an obstacle and deposits on the lee side. We call the eroded snow sastrugi. You can recognize it by its rough, sand-blasted texture. We usually think of wind eroded snow as being stable because stress on buried weak layers has been decreased by wind eroding the overlying snow. Conversely, wind will deposit that same snow on to the lee slopes, which increases weight on buried weak layers.

As fishing and natural resources continue to be explored and collected, more and more industrial processing facilities are built along Arctic coastlines. However, the negative effects of pollution and waste production can be an opportunity to understanding pollution on a global scale. The extensive amounts of data on particulate matter found in ice and snow can help scientists to create accurate models to predict future climate patterns and disaster relief plans.

“geologists, who is desirous to join us, and who is especially adapted for the purpose‌You will easily understand that besides a clever and experienced geologist he must be an exceedingly strong and enduring fellow who is able to stand any fatiguing and exhausting exercise in the shape o dragging sledges, boats, etc. I think the age between 25 and 35 is the best. He must also have a fine character of course; if possible he ought to be good humored jolly fellow.â€? (139). Letter to Archblad Geikie, 17 May 1893 as cited in Svetlana A. Khorkina, Russia and Norway in the Arctic 1890-1917. A Comparitive Study of Russian and Norweigian Traditions of Polar Expedition and Research (Tromso: Univeristy of

measurement: dirt + air

taiga migration Model simulations performed by the scientists of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) indicate that alpine tundra will lose ground to boreal forest spreading northward. According to their estimates, between one- and two-thirds of the current tundra will likely be replaced by boreal migrants. But as the boreal forest is gaining ground to the north, it will probably be losing ground in the south, as warmer temperatures speed up evaporation from the warming soil. If this happens, the low-moisture-requiring grasses from the prairies of southern Canada will begin to push northward, especially in the interior of the continent, and the losses to the boreal forest at the southern ecotone are expected to exceed gains in the north.


warmingand drying


In Western Canada, some scientists are already concerned that the expected warming and drying of the climate will drastically reduce the abundance of aspen, the primary commercial hardwood species in the southern boreal forest. Insufficient moisture could produce an open aspen parkland, where stunted aspen cluster along water courses, with grasslands in between. The warming temperatures will almost certainly melt the upper layers of permafrost. This permanently frozen layer of soil keeps the water table fairly close to the surface, and many boreal species have developed shallow root systems in response.

(diagram above) Since the height of the last ice age, the geographic range and abundance of tree and plant species in North America have changed, with many modern boreal species migrating northward. The images above show changes from 21,000 to 12,000 years ago in pine, spruce, birch, and non-grass prairie vegetation. Increasing color intensity represents increasing concentration of pollen, which is proportional to the amount of that species in a given area. The Laurentide Ice Sheet is pale blue, and areas where no data were collected are white.


prairie years




permafrost Permafrost is also important to the survival of many of these northern ecosystems. It elevates surface soils, allowing trees to survive because their roots remain relatively dry (Zoltai 1993, Vitt et al. 1994). In the absence of permafrost, previously elevated, dry forest soils may become saturated with water, resulting in reduced growth and increased mortality of existing stands. Finally, many species of boreal trees require a period of chilling before their buds will burst open in the spring, which ensures that new leaves will not open up before the winter is really over. If winter temperatures rise too greatly, this important growth cycle requirement may be lost, and species that require it might fail.

“Mere descriptions without maps of even eye-measure sketches by different kinds of tourists cannot claim any right to priority, while in such cases it may be left to the first real map surveyors to accept or omit names of that kind. Especially in regions which have become more generally visited by tourists it is easily understood how necessary is such a rule against trespass and poaching on grounds of genuine active geographers” (144). Gerard De Geer, as cited in Urban Wrakberg, ‘Minnets land: om den geografiske namngivningsens historia I Arktis,’ in Roger Sorheim an dLeif Jonny Johannessesn, eds., Svalbard – fra ingenmannsland til del av Norge (Trondheim: University









aug 1

aug 15

sept 1


90% total depth ~16” deep.

92% total depth. ~16.5”. Plants finishing growth.

94% total depth ~16.75”. Surface begins to refreeze.

96% to 17

measurement: dirt + tundra





present day


may 15

june 1

june 15

july 1

july 15


tundra soil buried under snow.

active layer frozen.

active layer frozen.

75% total depth

85% total depth 15”

pt 15

oct 1

oct 15

nov 1

nov 15


98% total depth 17.75”

max depth ~18”

region above base of active layer unfrozen.

active layer completely frozen


otal depth 7.25”

ice cores Ice cores contain an abundance of climate information --more so than any other natural recorder of climate such as tree rings or sediment layers... An ice core from the right site can contain an uninterrupted, detailed climate record extending back hundreds of thousands of years. This record can include temperature, precipitation , chemistry and gas composition of the lower atmosphere, volcanic eruptions, solar variability, sea-surface productivity etc...It is the simultaneity of these properties recorded in the ice that makes ice cores such a powerful tool in paleoclimate research.

nationalice core laboratory Exam Room The Exam Room is maintained at -25 C and is used for sampling of ice from the collection and performing scientific analyses at lower temperature. This also includes a Class 100 clean room for minimizing contamination of samples during preparation. Main Storage Main Storage is maintained at -36 C and is used for archive longterm storage. With the numerous ongoing projects this room has very limited space for storage of cut samples. It is expected that researchers will remove cut samples from the NICL facility within three (3) months. Warm working space Warm working space is available in close proximity to the Exam Room. This allows for electrical or electronic connection to apparatus. The flexible nature of this facility is responsive to researchers needs.

“The sea was covered by newly frozen ice, too thin to bear a man’s weight but strong enough to prevent the ship from sailing forward. As far as one could see there was tightly packed drift ice which, together with the newly formed ice, made it hopeless to move on (140).� A.E. Nordenskiold, Vegas fard kring Asien och Europa (Stockholdm: bibilioteksforlaget, 1960 [1880]), p. 100.

coring process Acquiring

cores from remote regions of the world and transporting then can require several years of planning.


teams of scientists and drillers travel to the ice sheets and glaciers of the world to get samples.

measurement: dirt + ice


ice cores requires coordination. Upon arrival, boxes carrying cores are unloaded into the main storage area held at -35 degrees Celsius.

When a new core arrives at NICL, scientists gather to examine and

analyze it.




allocation falls under the NICL Science Management Office.


objectives Address the cost of mounting supply routes, and transportation of expeditions. Measure/analyze a changing landscape. Re-imagine how we know the world today as mapping changes from cartesian (maps of past, images, how we understand the arctic today) to future of digital (GPS, internet, high speed communication technologies)

step 01: 2 km swath of land is chosen in Greenland. This stie will typically be at the crest of a hill where snow accumlation beneath is less likely to have irrgularities.

site: greenland Current schemes fail to address the economic burden of mounting such an expedition where materials and supplies must be flown across vast distances. Instead of singular outposts, what if a supply infrastructure could be created to accommodate future expeditions? Located in Greenland, these waystations build upon the existing supply lines and stations currently coring ice and taking tundra and air samples.

N’ air

strategy: spatial variability testing


The spatial variability across a regional surfaces of the ice sheet is analyzed to determine promising ice core sites. Markers are are spaced at a regular interval across the ice sheet, in this case 2 km, measuring the height of snow above and below the surface of the ground at annual and seasonal intervals. CHARACTERISTICS OF A PROMISING SITE Regions where snow layering is laminar over a few kilometers prove the most promising sites for building coring facilities.. Areas with folding or interruptions in laminar layering or irregularities within the snow structure are to be avoided.



step 04:

orient buildings according to north and magnetic north referencing catographic systems.

As promising sites are found, drill stations for cores are set up and a waystation is constructed, opening new routes of exploration and providing shelter, laboratories, and core storage.

magnetic north As magnetic north shifts and compasses become irrelevant in the northern regions, new forms of seeing the landscape are needed in order to help explorers and scientists find their way in lands that are constantly breaking and reforming.

step 05:

program building according to temperature.

cold programs

sleeping units laboratoires

ice core library laboratories

warm programs

The Earth’s North Magnetic Pole is the wandering point on the Earth’s surface at which the Earth’s magnetic field points vertically downwards (i.e. the “dip” is 90°). This movement is on top of a daily or diurnal variation in which the North Magnetic Pole describes a rough ellipse, with a maximum deviation of 80 km from its mean position.This effect is due to disturbances of the geomagnetic field by charged particles from the Sun.

In early times European navigators believed that compass needles were attracted either to a “magnetic mountain” or “magnetic island” somewhere in the far north, or to the Pole Star. The idea that the Earth acts as a giant magnet was first proposed in 1600 by Sir William Gilbert, a courtier of Queen Elizabeth I. He was also the first to define the North Magnetic Pole as the point where the Earth’s magnetic field points vertically downwards. This is the definition used today, though it would take several hundred years before the nature of the Earth’s magnetic field was properly understood.




step 06:

navagate waystations by gps and temperature readings tracking the evolution of arctic building technology and forms through time.

cold programs

west facade

warm programs

east facade

weak ice

ice core way point

snow shelter

weak ice

step 03: areas with few interruptions become core sites.

weak ice

step 02: radar markers are placed in a grid across this 2 km swath of land providing an image of the snow density below.

(2048) unknown

floor plans

basement level

ground level

level 01

level 02

level 03


section 01: facing easet

section 02: facing west

section 03: facing north

skin:dirt+air warm



data t r i a . . . . . . ..... .........

ransmitted to satellite....

satell o t tted i m s tran a t a lite l e t a ia r d to s n o d i e t t t smi leva n e a r t igh ata h d . . r i . .... nd a . u . o . r . g . .... ............ . . . . ..............

.... .

data intake


data intake

Today, technology provides opportunities to build permanent structures within the arctic. Imaging allows us to see not only what is on the surface, but below the ice where vast amount of information lie frozen in time. Ice cores are a valuable source of the earth’s atmospheric, oceanic, and biological history. From studying the contents trapped in deep ice, we know that there has been a rise in CO2 emitted over the past century. We know that temperatures are at one of the highest points in history. And we know that there will be more changes to come. Shifts in climate chance can eventually affect water levels, air quality, and biodiversity among many other things. With a rising sense of uncertainty over climate change, the urgency to global network diagram learn more from the ice and find accurate models becomes an international scientific pursuit.


d back.......................



...ground air data relaye

The boundary between inside and outside is easily delineated by temperature in the Arctic. Much like the panel of the Dirty House, this Arctic cladding detects and collects particulate matter within the arctic air, as well as controlling the indoor climate through the expansion and contraction of a double layered panelled system. In warm temperatures the panels lay flat while in colder temperatures, the panels expand trapping air and allowing more light into the living areas.


ran smi



lit atel os


data t


..... . . . .


rma t r e lay

de ... .... . . . . ....


.......... . . . . . . . . . . . ....... lite.... ..... . . . . . ...... . . . . . ...... e..... goes to gov agencies. ......... ..

...........inform a t re l a y ed b a c k ...............

................... ......

hallway rendering

icecores:dirt+ice plan

(above) Ice core storage configurations.

Cores are stored in 6� x 3’ clear polycarbonate tubes. When empty the containers remain transparent. When occupied by an ice core, these tubes are capped with opaque lids changing the interior an exterior facades. Each ice wall stores up to one 3200m ice core.

(above) Ice core facade when empty.

ice cores are so cool!

(above) Ice core facade when filled (below) Physical model with ice wall.


Divided by a utility wall, a slower circulation reflecting the decompression time requried deep ice cores is represented by ramps wrapping around laboratories. A quicker route to living units are found on the east end by a series of stairs. Ramps are oriented towards true North and magnetic North creating split views throughout the facility that remind scientists of changing conditions within the Arctic landscape.

(above) Split view created by the dual orientation of the ramps.

(above) Ramp view looing north.

(above) Ramp view looing south. (right) Physical model showing ramp relationship to units and labs.

(above) Ramp relationship to laboratory and living units.


Units are composed of simple 8’ x 20’ rooms. First floor units have units offering views of the arctic landscape. Top level units penetrate the utility wall extending to the ice core walls offering lumiescent views of ice and light.

(above) East elevation of living units with stair circulation


warm public spaces

private unit

cold ice core library

(above) Interior perspectives of unit looking out to arctic landscape. (right) Physical model showing units on the east side of utility wall.

(above) Physical model: effects when different amounts of light are allowed to pass though the ice wall.

As magnetic north shifts, the dual orientation and ramp configuration also allow for the evolution of waystation forms mapping advances in technology, buidling techniques, and cartographic imagination.

When viewed from the North, units are seen as a gridded configuration of waystations.

When viewed from the East, the form, light temperature, and color begin to shift mapping the evolution of waystation building technology and changes in magnetism in the Arcitc.v

UN on ICE  

GSAPP Columbia University Spring 2008

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