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Gåshamna (Konstantinovka)

The whalers also left their traces on the east side of Gåshamna in shape of piles of mighty whalebones. These are lying a bit forgotten behind a small hill, which draws the attention at least initially because it is quite obvously a site of major activities in historical times.

This was the wintering site of the Russian section of the Russian-Swedish Arc-de-meridian expedition: not very famous to the public, but certainly a major and very successful undertaking to establish the precise shape of the Earth: a perfect ball or slightly flattened on the poles? To find that out, you need to precisely measure along a meridian both in low and in high latitudes. Spitsbergen was the obvious place to get the latter done. Swedish and Russian scientists joint their efforts fort his huge task. Both wintered in 1899-1900. Gåshamna is the Russian site, they took care of the southern part. The Swedes worked in the north, they wintered at Crozierpynten in Sorgfjord.


last modification: 2019-02-23 · copyright: Rolf Stange