Mapping of the Norwegian Antarctic

Norwegian mapping of Dronning Maud Land started before the area was occupied by Norway in 1939.

The Norwegian annexation of Peter I Island with whaling ship "Norvegia". Photo: The Norwegian Polar Institute

Lars Christensen financed a large expedition to Antarctica in 1936–37. The expedition photographed large areas from the air. Sør-Rondane and the eastern coastal areas of Dronning Maud Land were mapped from these photographs as were ten map sheets in the Australian Antarctic Territory. Captain H.E. Hansen was the driving force in completing this work. A new and better map of Sør-Rondane at a scale of 1:250 000 was made from photographs taken by the United States Navy Operation Highjump, 1946–47.

Systematic and modern mapping started with the Norwegian-British-Swedish Antarctic Expedition, 1949–52. Extensive aerial photography and ground control measurement resulted in eight map sheets at scale 1:250 000. The maps cover the mountain areas in Maudheimvidda between 6° W and 3° E. Two map sheets over Vestfjella, with later Norwegian fieldwork, and two over Heimefrontfjella, with British fieldwork, have been published, all based on the same aerial photography.

With the Norwegian Antarctic Expedition, 1956–60, the survey area was extended eastwards. Field work in Fimbulheimen and new aerial photography eastwards to (and including) Sør-Rondane, have so far resulted in twelve map sheets of Fimbulheimen. Eight map sheets have been constructed of Sør-Rondane based on Belgian field work. The maps were published at a scale of 1:250 000. With this the first time mapping of the main mountain areas of Dronning Maud Land to 30° E was completed.