skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Discovery and exploration of Antarctica

Abstract

The continent of Antarctica, some 5000 mi/sup 2/ in area, lies almost wholly within the Antarctic Circle. Some ancient philosophers and cartographers postulated the existence of a southern landmass, but the concept remained untested for centuries. In 1772-1775, Captain James Cook circumnavigated the continent and crossed the Antarctic Circle, but he sighted no land and concluded that the existence of a continent was unlikely. The first definite sightings of land by American, British, and Russian ships occurred in the Antarctic Peninsula region near 1820. In 1840, parts of the coast were mapped and landings were made by American, British, and French expeditions led, respectively, by Wilkes, Ross, and d'Urville. The first systematic geological field work was conducted by the Borchgrevink expedition in 1899-1900 near Cape Adare, south of New Zealand. During the first years of the present century, major expeditions were led by such men as Nordenskiold, Scott, Shackleton, Amundsen, and Mawson, culminating in the journeys to the South Pole by Amundsen and Scott during the 1911-1912 field season. The US has sent a number of expeditions to Antarctica during the last 60 years, beginning with the Byrd Expeditions of 1928-1930 and 1933-1935 when aircraft were used extensively and amore » flight was made to the South Pole. These expeditions were followed by the US Antarctic Service Expedition in 1939-1941. After World War II, US activities resumed with Operation Highjump in 1946-1947, followed the next year by Operation Windmill and the Ronne Antarctic Research Expedition. As late as 1955, most of Antarctica remained poorly known geologically. The International Geophysical Year (IGY) in 1957-1958 led to the building of 48 new stations in Antarctica by 12 nations and marked the beginning of the current period of sustained research.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison
OSTI Identifier:
6312637
Report Number(s):
CONF-870606-
Journal ID: CODEN: AABUD
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: AAPG (Am. Assoc. Pet. Geol.) Bull.; (United States); Journal Volume: 71:5; Conference: American Association of Petroleum Geologists annual meeting, Los Angeles, CA, USA, 7 Jun 1987
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
02 PETROLEUM; ANTARCTICA; EXPLORATION; GEOLOGY; HISTORICAL ASPECTS; RESEARCH PROGRAMS; ANTARCTIC REGIONS; POLAR REGIONS 020200* -- Petroleum-- Reserves, Geology, & Exploration

Citation Formats

Craddock, C. Discovery and exploration of Antarctica. United States: N. p., 1987. Web.
Craddock, C. Discovery and exploration of Antarctica. United States.
Craddock, C. 1987. "Discovery and exploration of Antarctica". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_6312637,
title = {Discovery and exploration of Antarctica},
author = {Craddock, C.},
abstractNote = {The continent of Antarctica, some 5000 mi/sup 2/ in area, lies almost wholly within the Antarctic Circle. Some ancient philosophers and cartographers postulated the existence of a southern landmass, but the concept remained untested for centuries. In 1772-1775, Captain James Cook circumnavigated the continent and crossed the Antarctic Circle, but he sighted no land and concluded that the existence of a continent was unlikely. The first definite sightings of land by American, British, and Russian ships occurred in the Antarctic Peninsula region near 1820. In 1840, parts of the coast were mapped and landings were made by American, British, and French expeditions led, respectively, by Wilkes, Ross, and d'Urville. The first systematic geological field work was conducted by the Borchgrevink expedition in 1899-1900 near Cape Adare, south of New Zealand. During the first years of the present century, major expeditions were led by such men as Nordenskiold, Scott, Shackleton, Amundsen, and Mawson, culminating in the journeys to the South Pole by Amundsen and Scott during the 1911-1912 field season. The US has sent a number of expeditions to Antarctica during the last 60 years, beginning with the Byrd Expeditions of 1928-1930 and 1933-1935 when aircraft were used extensively and a flight was made to the South Pole. These expeditions were followed by the US Antarctic Service Expedition in 1939-1941. After World War II, US activities resumed with Operation Highjump in 1946-1947, followed the next year by Operation Windmill and the Ronne Antarctic Research Expedition. As late as 1955, most of Antarctica remained poorly known geologically. The International Geophysical Year (IGY) in 1957-1958 led to the building of 48 new stations in Antarctica by 12 nations and marked the beginning of the current period of sustained research.},
doi = {},
journal = {AAPG (Am. Assoc. Pet. Geol.) Bull.; (United States)},
number = ,
volume = 71:5,
place = {United States},
year = 1987,
month = 5
}

Conference:
Other availability
Please see Document Availability for additional information on obtaining the full-text document. Library patrons may search WorldCat to identify libraries that hold this conference proceeding.

Save / Share:
  • The principal answer to declining annual production in the North Texas district now lies in a renewed exploratory effort. With the exodus of the major companies virtually complete, this effort must be made by the independent operators and producers of the area. Those who have established a firm economic base from secondary recovery operations must now reconsider exploratory drilling as a means of replacing produced reserves. The volume of exploratory drilling needs to be expanded as much as possible without interfering with the quality of prospects. Current trends in exploration indicate that the Palo Duro basin, Marietta basin, and Ellenburger-Cambrianmore » rocks are the most promising areas of North Texas for the discovery of important new oil fields. Of these, only the Marietta basin currently is in an advanced enough state of development to offer good opportunity for the discovery of floodable reservoirs.« less
  • The principal answer to declining annual production in the North Texas district now lies in a renewed exploratory effort. With the exodus of the major companies virtually complete, this effort must be made by the independent operators and producers of the area. Those who have established a firm economic base from secondary recovery operations must now reconsider exploratory drilling as a means of replacing produced reserves. The volume of exploratory drilling needs to be expanded as much as possible without interfering with the quality of prospects. Current trends in exploration indicate that the Palo Duro basin, Marietta basin, and Ellenburger-Cambrianmore » rocks are the most promising areas of North Texas for the discovery of important new oil fields. Of these, only the Marietta basin currently is in an advanced enough state of development to offer good opportunity for the discovery of floodable reservoirs.« less
  • Discovery patterns and field size have been analyzed in Arkansas, Louisiana (ARKLA), Mississippi, Alabama and Florida (MAFLA) for fields producing from Norphlet, Smackover, Buckner, and Hynesville formations. A total of 325 fields are in this 400-mi-long, 250-mi-wide play. The ultimate recoverable reserves are 1600 million bbl of oil and 9000 billion ft[sup 3] of gas. The play is 56 yr old and mature by all standards. If discovered reserves were to follow log-normal distribution, then the reserves remaining to be discovered are small. However, combining statistical analyses with known geology indicate the possibility of larger reserves. Larger undiscovered reserves dictatemore » a different exploration strategy. One must consider the size of the remaining reserves, the exploration signature, and the economics for each group within the play. A case history of strategies for large undiscovered reserves compares drilling of a deep wildcat well in Mobil County, Alabama, with drilling of California's mature plays.« less
  • In 1988 a so far unknown geothermal resource was drilled into under the City of Alturas in northeastern California. A fracture was tapped below 2300 feet, in cemented fine-grained tuffs and mudflows, producing 182{degrees}F water. The well has been used since 1990 to heat the local high school. A second well was drilled in 1991, producing about 250 gpm 182{degrees}F water from a fracture below 1893 ft. Well productivities and artesian pressures are variable, depending on distance from a major fault zone and local hydrologic regime. It appears as if the wells produce from deep reaching fractures in a caprock,more » that may conceal a 300 to 400{degrees}F resource between 4000 and 6000 feet depth. The results have important implications for geothermal exploration in northeastern California, i.e. just because there are no surface manifestations in a basin, it does not necessarily mean there is no geothermal resource at depth.« less