- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
49

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH THE ICE NORTHWARD
49
several summers, is always dirtier and darker than the
new.
It is easy to see that in this way there may be some
difference between ice that is formed in one locality
and in another. If we take, for instance, the ice that
freezes to the north of the estuary of a river like the
Obi, where the water is quite brown with river mud,
it will be readily understood that not much melting
need take place before this ice will be quite dirty on
the surface ; while ice from other regions, where the
sea-water is comparatively clean, will have to melt
a great deal before becoming noticeably dirty.
It is not uncommon for authors—like Nordenskiold,
for example—to imagine that dirty ice originates through
muddy sea-water or river-water being washed on to the
floes by the action of the waves, the water being then
filtered through the snow, leaving its mud behind it.
This is a misunderstanding. Of course, such a thing
may happen, and does happen daily. But it is not
the usual or the chief cause of dirty ice.
When the weather became quite clear, we still saw
no land inshore of us on the east ; on the other hand,
we could see from the crow’s-nest a point of land about
south-east, or it might have been south-south-east, by
compass.
The wind all day was a light breeze, first from the
north-west, then more westerly, then north-west again ;
it freshened during the evening and the sky clouded
over. Here again the current seemed to run mostly
southward, but it was not strong.
Tuesday, August 19. In the early morning it was
calm and clear, and the unbroken ice, alongside which
we lay at anchor, began all at once to drift northward,
quite slowly, and great pieces of it broke off and drifted
away.

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