Data Set ID:

Norwegian North Polar Expedition 1893-1896: Oceanographic Data, Version 1

This data set contains water depth, temperature, specific gravity, salinity, and density measurements from the North Polar Basin and the Barents Sea, gathered by Nansen and crew on the Norwegian North Polar Expedition from 1893-1896.

This is the most recent version of these data.

  • Salinity/Density > Density > DENSITY
  • Salinity/Density > Salinity > SALINITY
  • Ocean Chemistry > SPECIFIC GRAVITY
  • Bathymetry/Seafloor Topography > Water Depth > WATER DEPTH
  • Ocean Temperature > Water Temperature > WATER TEMPERATURE
Data Format(s):
  • Microsoft Excel
Spatial Coverage:
N: 85.87, 
S: 69.42, 
E: 137.83, 
W: 12.43
Spatial Resolution:
  • Varies x Varies
Temporal Coverage:
  • 22 July 1893 to 15 April 1896
Temporal Resolution1 dayMetadata XML:View Metadata Record
Data Contributor(s):Fridtjof Nansen

Geographic Coverage

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As a condition of using these data, you must cite the use of this data set using the following citation. For more information, see our Use and Copyright Web page.

National Snow and Ice Data Center. Compiled by F. Nansen. 2002. Norwegian North Polar Expedition 1893-1896: Oceanographic Data, Version 1. [Indicate subset used]. Boulder, Colorado USA. NSIDC: National Snow and Ice Data Center. doi: [Date Accessed].

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Norwegian researcher and explorer Fridtjof Nansen originated the idea of using a ship, beset in ice and drifting, as a research station after pieces of wreckage from the USS Jeannette, crushed in the ice of the Laptev Sea, washed up on the southwest coast of Greenland after three years. To Nansen, this event suggested the existence of a trans-Arctic current. The Fram, designed specifically for the expedition by naval architect Colin Archer, drifted from a starting point in ice north of the New Siberian Islands to Svalbard in what was later named the Transpolar Drift Stream.

Detailed Data Description

NSIDC staff keyed the data in this data set from the print version of the final values table (pages 243-256) in The Norwegian North Polar Expedition, 1893-1896, Scientific Results, Volume III, reprint. The Microsoft Excel file exactly replicates the data in the table from the publication, except the Excel file includes corrections made from Nansen's Errata and Addenda (pages VI-VII).

Meteorological data from the Nansen expedition can be found in the Environmental Working Group (EWG) Arctic Meteorology and Climate Atlas.


The data are in Microsoft Excel format.

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File Size

72 Kb

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Spatial Coverage

The Norwegian North Polar Expedition, on board the Fram, drifted from a starting point in ice north of the New Siberian Islands at approximately 78°50' N, 0°00' E to the west coast of Svalbard, at approximately 78°00' N, 20°00' E.

Spatial Coverage Map:

Expedition location
Figure 1. Drift track of the Fram.

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Temporal Coverage and Resolution

The data span ranges from July 1893 to April 1896. Data were collected daily.

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Parameter or Variable

Parameter Description:

Variables measured were water temperature, density, salinity, depth, and specific gravity.

Sample Data Record:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1 1893 July 22 70 43 39 20 0 5.80 1.02593 34.10 1.02678
20 3.92 1.02664 35.03 1.02772
40 3.58 1.02664 35.03 1.02775
60 1.58 1.02662 35.01 1.02789
80 1.01 1.02661 34.99 1.02792
100 0.65 1.02661 34.99 1.02795
150 -0.61 1.02752
200 -1.14 1.02674 35.16 1.02817

Column Titles Key: 
Column 1: Distinguishing Number 
Column 2: Year 
Column 3: Month and Day 
Column 4: Latitude Degrees (N) and Minutes 
Column 5: Longitude Degrees (E) and Minutes 
Column 6: Depth (meters) 
Column 7: Temperature (°C) 
Column 8: Specific Gravity (ratio)
Column 9: Salinity (0/00) 
Column 10: Density

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Software and Tools

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Data Acquisition and Processing

Sensor or Instrument Description

Temperature - Various types of thermometers were used to measure temperatures in water samples collected with Pettersson's insulated water bottles with non-conducting water jackets.

Specific gravity and salinity - floating hydrometers of constant weight and Tornoe's Apparatus were used to measure specific gravity and salinity in water samples collected with Pettersson's insulated water bottles with non-conducting water jackets, Ekman's insulated water bottle, and Blessing's water bottle. Please refer to The Norwegian North Polar Expedition, 1893-1896, Scientific Results, Volume III, reprint (see the References and Related Publications section of this document) for more specific information on instruments and sampling procedures.

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Data Source

Density and specific gravity values were calculated.

The Fram Ship
Figure 2. The Fram. Photo by James S. Aber, Dept. Earth Science, Emporia State University. Copyright James S. Aber.

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References and Related Publications

Contacts and Acknowledgments

Fridtjof Nansen, 1861-1930
Explorer, Oceanographer, Ambassador to Norway, (1906-1908), 1922 Nobel Peace Prize recipient

Document Information

Document Author

NSIDC Technical Writers

Document Creation Date:

1 October 2002

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