The Swedish scientific Albatross Expedition sailed around the world between 1 July 1947 and 3 October 1948. The 75th anniversary of the Albatross Expedition is now being celebrated with an exhibition at the Humanities Library.
The exhibition displays photos and personal letters from the Albatross Expedition from the University Library's manuscript collections. The exhibition also includes samples and materials from the Expedition stored at the Department of Marine Sciences and the Department of Earth Sciences.
The Albatross Expedition is a story of Swedish engineering; of scientists endeavouring for new knowledge; of a remarkable adventure across the oceans; of a time when the belief in the future was enormous and the sea still unexplored; but above all, it is the eternal story of mankind and the sea.
A legacy to be proud of
Today, the methods and knowledge discovered on the Albatross Expedition are still used by researchers around the world. This is a historical and scientific legacy at the University of Gothenburg to be very proud of. The Expedition's sediment cores, and other samples, are still stored at the University of Gothenburg.
The initiator and expedition leader of this pioneering oceanographic expedition was Hans Pettersson, Professor of Oceanography at the University of Gothenburg.
Also on the expedition
- Börje Kullenberg, later professor of oceanography at the University of Gothenburg,
- Gustaf Arrhenius, later professor of oceanography at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego,
- Axel Jonasson, an instrument maker, who worked with the Kullenberg piston corer,
- Waloddi Weibull, professor at KTH.
Scientific advances thanks to the Albatross expedition
- Development of a new scientific discipline: paleo-oceanography. That is, the study of the oceanographic history of the earth through the analysis of the sedimentary deposits of the sea.
- Marine life in the deep sea. Before the expedition, the prevailing opinion was that life could not exist at great ocean depths.
- Obtain climate information using oxygen isotopes.
Technological advances thanks to the Albatross expedition
- The Kullenberg piston corer, developed by Börje Kullenberg. Today, it is an established method to use a piston corer, and one can now take sediment cores up to a length of just over 60 meters.
- Seismic prospecting methods to record the thickness of sediment layers, developed by Waloddi Weibull, professor at KTH.
Opening of the exhibition
Opening of the exhibition takes place on September 25 at 4:00 pm in the Humanities Library's foyer.
At the opening, some of the University of Gothenburg’s researchers will talk in short lectures about the importance of the expedition for the development of their research fields. The inauguration will also tell about the adventure of sailing along the equator.
More information about the opening.
Read more about the Albatross Expedition at the Department of Marine Sciences.