The scientific experiments

Prince Albert I and staff of
the second Princess-Alice,
on an ice cube in the bay of
the Research (Recherchefjorden),
on August 25th, 1899

Prince Albert I in the bridge of
the second Princess-Alice
(by 1907)

Gunnar Isachsen
« When we have once visited Arctic regions, we are generally thrived by the desire to see them again »

states the Prince. Therefore, he decided to go back to the Spitsbergen, the following summer. Physiology and bacteriology researches were carried out. However, the main part of the scientific activities was dedicated to topographic and hydrographical works. 2400 drillings were carried out in the Red Bay, at the Extreme North of the Spitsbergen; a very specific map could hence be drawn. The location of several glacial fronts was measured to trace the evolution intervened since the previous measured drawings of the nineteenth century.

The 1906 campaign was prepared with peculiar care by the Prince, with the help of Gunnar Isachsen, a Norwegian Officer, topographer of the Fram's Second Expedition. The size of the program and the means spread out were exceptional. As the Prince underlined,

« his results concern the three elements: earth, sea and air. »

The North Western region of the Spitsbergen was explored by the Isachsen mission, whereas a team headed by William S. Bruce drew the topography of the Prince Charles Island. The Prince and his co-workers made more than five hundred drillings in order to draw the hydrographical map of the Cross Bay. The pack ice extension and iceberg production were observed with care. Finally, the upper atmosphere meteorology was studied with kites and balloons, some of which reached an altitude close to thirty thousand meters.

The result encouraged the Prince to a fourth Arctic campaign in order to

"complete works carried out during the three previous campaigns, from a hydrographical, geographic and meteorological point of view."

Again, Isachsen and Bruce conducted the terrestrial, geographic and geologic explorations. Drillings achieved from the Princesse-Alice gave precisions on the topography of Cross, Lilliehook and Moller Bays. The abnormal pressure of the pack ice towards the South, during this summer, brought to multiply measurements of sea water temperatures in order to try to establish a link between these two factors.

Panorama of Lilljehook - july 1906

Prince Albert expressed his deep impressions:

« I felt a genuine happiness to find once again the vigorous melancholy of Arctic scenes, where bodies and souls grow stronger in a magnificent battle, with the pride of their power and in a serenity lost since the first years of youth. »

Monaco Thursday 24 April () - Copyright © 2008 Prince's Palace of Monaco -