Articles | Volume 4, issue 1
13 Mar 2013
 | 13 Mar 2013

The first aeromagnetic survey in the Arctic: results of the Graf Zeppelin airship flight of 1931

O. M. Raspopov, S. N. Sokolov, I. M. Demina, R. Pellinen, and A. A. Petrova

Abstract. In July of 1931, on the eve of International Polar Year II, an Arctic flight of the Graf Zeppelin rigid airship was organized. This flight was a realization of the idea of F. Nansen, who advocated the use of airships for the scientific exploration of the Arctic territories, which were poorly studied and hardly accessible at that time. The route of the airship flight was Berlin – Leningrad – Arkhangelsk – Franz Josef Land – Severnaya Zemlya – the Taimyr Peninsula – Novaya Zemlya – Arkhangelsk – Berlin. One of scientific goals of the expedition was to measure the H and D geomagnetic field components. Actually, the first aeromagnetic survey was carried out in the Arctic during the flight. After the expedition, only preliminary results of the geomagnetic measurements, in which an anomalous behavior of magnetic declination in the high-latitude part of the route was noted, were published. Our paper is concerned with the first aeromagnetic measurements in the Arctic and their analysis based on archival and modern data on the magnetic field in the Barents and Kara sea regions. It is shown that the magnetic field along the flight route had a complicated structure, which was not reflected in the magnetic charts of those times. The flight was very important for future development of aero- and ground-based magnetic surveys in the Arctic, showing new methods in such surveys.