divendres, 2 de gener de 2015

During the early spring of 1949 I had found that it was possible to reach a relatively flat glacier plain, only 1,000 metres above sea level, just north of the head of Geologfjord, Strindbergs Land, and that this appeared to lead westwards into the broad valley of Adolf Hoels Gletscher. In 1931 the Norwegians Hoygaard and Mehren (1932) had followed part of this route in the opposite direction on their west to east crossing of the ice cap. They had travelled down Waltershausen Gletscher to Nordfjord, but from their reports they must have had unusually favourable conditions. Our first plan was to follow the route up Geologfjord westwards and cross northeast Strindbergs Land to the flat glacier plain, thus avoiding the highly crevassed surfacE JOURNEY ACROSS THE NUNATAKS OF CENTRAL EAST GREENLAND, 1951 H. R. Katz* I N THE spring of 1951 plans were made by Lauge Koch's East Greenland Expedition for a summer crossing of the nunataks north of Petermanns Bjerg by a geological party. This region was chosen because large areas of ice-free country extend farther west than elsewhere in central east Greenland and, since the Caledonian mountain chain of the fjord zone trends northeastwards, it was hoped that new light would be thrown on the structure of the mountain belt. Between 72"N. and 71"N. this consists geologically of a crystalline band of gneisses and igneous rocks flanked to the east by non-metamorphic sediments of Late Precambrian and Early Paleozoic age and, nearer the coast, by younger sediments of Late Paleozoic and Mesozoic age. Early work in the Petermanns Bjerg region (Wordie, 1930) had shown that nonmetamorphic sediments occur also in this area, and this had later been interpreted as indicating that a belt of these sediments extended to the west of the crystalline rocks and was therefore part of the foreland west of the belt of Caledonian folding (Wegmann, 1935; Koch, 1936). Previous attempts at exploring the high mountain regions along the ice cap had shown that it would be exceedingly difficult to carry sufficient supplies for a journey lasting one month from a base in the fjords. In this region the large glaciers are heavily crevassed and cannot be used as routes by expeditions 1950) had tried to travel westwards along the large Jaette Gletscher from a base camp near Gregorys Gletscher, northeast of Petermanns Bjerg, but we had failed. Ultima Thule: Nunataks in Greenland

On the ice cap the temperatures during the first days of August were
mostly between -17" and -25°C (+lo and -13'F), sometimes as low as -30°C
(-22 OF). When approaching the nunataks it became noticeably warmer, which
was mainly due to radiation from the bare rock; this warming effect was also
apparent in the mountainous area at the same altitude as the ice cap (2,400
metres) if there was a sufficient area of exposed rock.
Later, in August, phen travelling along the lower broad glacier valleys,
the mean temperature bas still well below freezing, -15" to -5°C. Although
there were signs that' a few weeks earlier there had been many lakes and
flowing rivers on the /glaciers as well as on the land, the larger lakes, mostly
edging the glaciers, never entirely thawed during the summer We had expected to find a warmer climate, and the temperatures reported
by Hgygaard and Mehren in 1931 had been much higher than on our trip.
The very low precipitation during the month of August was much the same
as that found in all central and northern parts of east Greenland, which is
almost a subdesert. We had some snow on August 1, cloudy and misty
weather on the evening of August 4 and on August 7 and 15, and two further
days of bad weather with snowfall and fog on August 20 and 21; on all other
days there was bright sunshine, but generally with heavy winds from the west.
These winds are usual along the edge of the ice cap, because of the
difference in pressure over the ice cap and off the coast, and their strength
when funnelled in the fjords is well known; there they often cause a sudden
and very large rise in temperature, especially during the winter. Because of
the strong winds most of the snow was packed hard, dunes were formed, and
quantities of drifting snow were transported eastwards, whitening the rocky
slopes of the nunataks up to a height of 50 to 100 metres above the surrounding
ice surface.
On the large glaciers the lower limit of permanent snow cover was about
1,700-1,800 metres, some 2-300 metres higher than on the local glaciers in the
fjord zone. At the edge of the ice cap, however, steep slopes of pure, dense
glacier ice were occasionally found at altitudes up to 2,300 metres.
The glaciers themselves are seemingly filling up the main valleys with a
very thick mass of ice. Visible moraines are rather scarce and limited to
small side tongues running into remarkable depressions, a common feature
along our route. The surface of the main glaciers, which are some 5-7 kilometres
broad and move rather fast, is often much higher than the neighbouring
ice-free areas. As these areas are surrounded by mountains they form a kind
of tributary basin with the narrow mouth towards the glacier-filled main valley
(Fig. 9). In these depressions fairly large lakes are often dammed up by the
side glacier tongues. We saw no streams leading from these lakes, and the
equilibrium-if any exists-must be kept by evaporation, The
side glacier tongues running to the depressions are moving steadily, yet they
melt away as fast as they move owing to the warmth from the great radiation
from the surrounding bare rock slopes. Moraine hills burying dead ice and
moraine lakes are characteristic of such depressions. Even at altitudes of
1,500 metres, where under normal circumstances the large glaciers are little
affected by ablation and melting, a considerable loss of ice must result from
such side tongues.
The route we followed from the westernmost nunataks to Strindbergs
Land cut the trend of the mountain belt almost at right angles, thus providing
us with an ideal geological cross-section. illites, found in the east, were not deposited
on these strata; instead there is a thick mass of slightly altered greenstones
(chlorite-albite-schists and actinolite-epidote-schists with actinolite-marbles)
partly cut by porphyries. Contact phenomena against the underlying strata
appear to exist, so that these rocks must have originated from a kind of
ophiolitic intrusion (Katz, 1952a, p. 47). The tillites, laid down along the
eastern shelf of the old trough, which are in the same stratigraphic position
as the greenstones, are frequently intermingled with tuffitic material (Katz,
1952b). It is concluded therefore that not only great tectonic movements,
but also strong magmatic activity occurred in some place during Late Precambrian
times. Other parts of the trough, however, continued to be undisturbed
areas of marine sedimentation until the Early Paleozoic. In these
areas the Late Precambrian as well as the overlying Cambrian and Ordovician
strata were affected as one single mass by the Caledonian orogeny. 

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  1. From "Vogarian Revised Encyclopedia": SAINTS: Golden Saints, properly, Yellow Saints, a term of contempt applied by the Vogarian State Press to members of the Church Of The Golden Rule because of their opposition to the war then being planned against Alkoria. See CHURCHES. CHURCH, GOLDEN RULE, OF THE: A group of reactionary fanatics who resisted State control and advocated social chaos through "Individual Freedom." They were liquidated in the Unity Purge but for two-thousand of the more able-bodied, who were sentenced to the moon mines of Belen Nine. The prison ship never arrived there and it is assumed that the condemned Saints somehow overpowered the guards and escaped to some remote section of the galaxy.) Kane had observed Commander Y'Nor's bird-of-prey profile with detached interest as Y'Nor jerked his head around to glare again at the chronometer on the farther wall of the cruiser's command room. "What's keeping Dalon?" Y'Nor demanded, transferring his glare to Kane. "Did you assure him that I have all day to waste?" "He should be here any minute, sir," Kane answered. "I didn't find the Saints, after others had failed for sixty years, to then sit and wait. The situation on Vogar was already very critical when we left." Y'Nor scowled at the chronometer again. "Every hour we waste waiting here will delay our return to Vogar by an hour—I presume you realize that? "It does sound like a logical theory," Kane agreed. Y'Nor's face darkened dangerously. "You will—" Quick, hard-heeled footsteps sounded in the corridor outside. The guard officer, Dalon, stepped through the doorway and saluted; his eyes like ice under his pale brows and his uniform seeming to bristle with weapons. "The native is here, sir," he said to Y'Nor. He turned, and made a commanding gesture. The leader of the Saints appeared; the man whose resistance Y'Nor would have to break. A frail, white-bearded old man, scuffed uncertainly into the room in straw sandals, his faded blue eyes peering nearsightedly toward Y'Nor. "Go to the commander's desk," Dalon ordered in his metallic tones. The old man obeyed and stopped before Y'Nor's desk, his hands clasped together as though to hide their trembling.You are Brenn," Y'Nor said, "and you hold, I believe, the impressive titles of Chief Executive of the Council Of Provinces and Supreme Elder of the Churches Of The Golden Rule?" "Yes, sir." There was a faint quaver in old Brenn's voice. "I welcome you to our world, sir, and offer you our friendship." "I understand you can produce Elusium X fuel?" "Yes, sir. Our Dr. Larue told me the process is within our ability. We—" He hesitated. "We know you haven't enough fuel to return to Vogar." Y'Nor stiffened in his chair. "What makes you think that?" "It requires a great deal of fuel to get through the Whirlpool star cluster—and even sixty years ago, the Elusium ores of Vogar were almost exhausted." Y'Nor smiled thinly. "That reminds me—you would be one of the Saints who murdered their guards and stole a ship to get here." "We killed no guards, sir. In fact, all of them eventually joined our church." "Where is the ship?" "We had to cut it up for our start in mechanization." "I presume you know you will pay for it?" "It was taking us to our deaths in the radium mines—but we will pay whatever you ask." "The first installment will be one thousand units of fuel, to be produced with the greatest speed possible." "Yes, sir. But in return"—the old man stood a little straighter and an underlying resolve was suddenly revealed—"you must recognize us as a free race." "Free? A colony founded by escaped criminals?" "That is not true! We committed no crime, harmed no living thing...." The hard, cold words of Y'Nor cut off his protest: "This world it now a Vogarian possession. Every man, woman, and child upon it is a prisoner of the Vogarian State. There will be no resistance. This cruiser's disintegrators can destroy a town within seconds, your race within hours. Do you understand what I mean?" The visible portion of old Brenn's face turned pale. He spoke at last in the bitter tones of frightened, stubborn determination: "I offered you our friendship; I hoped you would accept, for we are a peaceful race. I should have known that you came only to persecute and enslave us. But the hand of God will reach down to help us and—" Y'Nor laughed, a raucous sound like the harsh caw of the Vogarian vulture, and held up a hairy fist. "This, old man, is the hand for you to center your prayers around. I want full-scale fuel production commenced within twenty-four hours. If this is done, and if you continue to unquestioningly obey all my commands, I will for that long defer your punishment as an escaped criminal. If this is not done, I will destroy a town exactly twenty-five hours from now—and as many more as may be necessary. And you will be publicly executed as a condemned criminal and an enemy of the Vogarian State." Y'Nor turned to Dalon. "Take him away." Scared sheep," Y'Nor said when Brenn was gone. "Tomorrow he'll say that he prayed and his god told him what to do—which will be to save his neck by doing as I command." "I don't know—" Kane said doubtfully. "I think you're wrong about his conscience folding so easily." "You think?" Y'Nor asked. "Perhaps I should remind you that the ability to think is usually characteristic of commanders rather than sub-ensigns. You will not be asked to try to think beyond the small extent required to comprehend simple commands." Kane sighed with weary resignation. An unexpected encounter with an Alkorian battleship had sent the Vogarian cruiser fleeing through the unexplored Whirlpool star cluster—Y'Nor and Kane the two surviving commissioned officers—with results of negative value to those most affected: the world of the Saint had been accidentally discovered and he, Kane, had risen from sub-ensign to the shakily temporary position of second-in-command. Y'Nor spoke again: "Since Vogarian commanders do not go out and mingle with the natives of a subject world, you will act as my representative. I'll let Brenn sweat until tomorrow, then you will go see him. In that, and in all subsequent contacts with the natives, you will keep in mind the fact that I shall hold you personally responsible for any failure of my program." The next afternoon, two hours before the deadline, Kane went out into the sweet spring air of the world the Saints had named Sanctuary. It was a virgin world, rich in the resources needed by Vogar, with twenty thousand Saints as the primary labor supply. It was also, he thought, a green and beautiful world; almost a familiar world. The cruiser stood at the upper edge of the town and in the late afternoon sun the little white and brown houses were touched with gold, half hidden in the deep azure shadows of the tall trees and flowering vines that bordered the gently curving streets. Restlessness stirred within him as he looked at them. It was like going back in time to the Lost Islands, that isolated little region of Vogar that had eluded collectivization until the year he was sixteen. It had been at the same time of year, in the spring, that the State Unity forces had landed. The Lost Island villages had been drowsing in the sun that afternoon, as this town was drowsing now— He forced the memories from his mind, and the futile restlessness they brought, and went on past a golden-spired church to a small cottage that was almost hidden in a garden of flowers and giant silver ferns. Brenn met him at the door, his manner very courteous, his eyes dark-shadowed with weariness as though he had not slept for many hours, and invited him inside. When they were seated in the simply-furnished room, Brenn said, "You came for my decision, sir?" "The commander sent me for it." Brenn folded his thin hands, which seemed to have the trembling sometimes characteristic of the aged. "Yesterday evening when I came from the ship, I prayed for guidance and I saw that I could only abide by the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." "Which means," Kane asked, "that you will do what?" "Should we of the Church be stranded upon an alien world, our fuel supply almost gone, we would ask for help. By our own Golden Rule we can do no less than give it." "Eighteen hours ago I issued the order for full-scale, all-out fuel production. I've been up all night and day checking the operation." Kane stared, surprised that Y'Nor should have so correctly predicted Brenn's reaction. He tried to see some change in the old man, some evidence of the personal fear that must have broken him so quickly, but there was only weariness, and a gentleness. "So much fuel—" Brenn said. "Is Vogar still at war with Alkoria?" Kane nodded. "Once I saw some Alkorian prisoners of war on Vogar," Brenn said. "They are a peaceful, doglike race. They never wanted to go to war with Vogar." Well—they still didn't want war but on Alkoria were Elusium ores and other resources that the Vogarian State had to have before it could carry out its long-frustrated ambition of galactic conquest. "I'll go, now," Kane said, getting out of his chair, "and see what you're having done. The commander doesn't take anybody's word for anything."4 de gener de 2015 a les 12:05

    called a turbo-car and driver to take him to the multi-purpose factory, which was located a short distance beyond the other side of town. The driver stopped before the factory's main office, where a plump, bald man was waiting, his scalp and glasses gleaming in the sunshine.

    "I'm Dr Larue, sir," he greeted Kane. He had a face that under normal circumstance would have been genial. "Father Brenn said you were coming. I'm at your service, to show you what we're doing."

    They went inside the factory, where the rush of activity was like a beehive. Machines and installations not needed for fuel production were being torn out as quickly as possible, others taking their place. The workers—he craned his neck to verify his astonished first-impression.

    All of them were women.

    "Father Brenn's suggestion," Larue said. "These girls are as competent as men for this kind of work and their use here permits the release of men to the outer provinces to procure the raw materials. As you know, our population is small and widely scattered—"

    A crash sounded as a huge object nearby toppled and fell. Kane took an instinctive backward step, and bumped into something soft.

    "Oh ... excuse me, sir!"

    He turned, and had a confused vision of an apologetic smile in a pretty young face, of red curls knocked into disarray—and of amazingly short shorts and a tantalizingly wispy halter.

    She recovered the notebook she had dropped and hurried on, leaving a faint cloud of perfume in her wake and a disturbing memory of curving, golden tan legs and a flat little stomach that had been exposed both north and south to the extreme limits of modesty.

    "A personnel supervisor from Beachville," Larue said. "She was sunbathing when the plane arrived to pick her up and had no time to obtain other clothing. Father Brenn firmly insisted upon losing not one minute of time during this emergency."

    A crane rumbled into view and its grapples seized the huge object that had fallen.

    "Our central air-conditioning unit," Larue said. "It had to go."

    "You're putting something else in its place, of course?"

    "Oh yes. We must have more space but Father Brenn opposed the plan of building an annex as too dangerously time consuming. The only alternative is to tear out everything not absolutely essential."

    Kane left shortly afterward, satisfied that the Saints were doing as Brenn had said.

    He went back out in the spring sunshine where the turbo-car was still waiting for him, debated briefly with himself, and dismissed the driver. After so many weeks in the prison-like ship, it would be pleasant to walk again.