Reference numberEXP/4
TitleTristan Da Cunha Expeditions papers
Description' late 1961 a volcanic eruption very close to the settlement on the remote South Atlantic island of Tristan da Cunha led to the evacuation to the UK of the whole of the population (figure 4). Council accepted a recommendation from the (then) South Pacific Expeditions Committee that an expedition be sent as soon as possible. With the support of the Royal Navy, a brief preliminary visit was made by two geologists in December 1961, followed by the main expedition consisting of four or five geologists and a couple of biologists from early February to mid March 1962. Advice provided by these scientists helped the UK government in its consideration of whether and when the Islanders might return.

In the light of this experience, the Society established the Volcanological Research Committee and developed a procedure for rapidly sending scientists to sites of eruptions. Over the following years studies were made of activity in many places, including Mount Etna, Soufriere in the Caribbean, Surtsey (Iceland), Agadir (Morocco) and, with the British Antarctic Survey, Deception Island off the Antarctic Peninsula.'

Quoted from Hemmen, G E 'Royal Society expeditions in the second half of the twentieth century' Notes and Records Vol. 64 (2010). An account of the expedition can be found in Allan Crawford's book 'Tristan da Cunha and the roaring forties' (1982).

Royal Society interest in Tristan da Cunha was ongoing, and led to the establishment of the Tristan da Cunha study group. The papers in this subfonds therefore cover the Society's interest in Tristan da Cunha beyond the expedition of 1962.

Film footage from the expedition to Tristan da Cunha can be found under reference number AV/3/13.
ArrangementFollowing original order where possible, five series catalogued as follows:
1.) financial papers
2.) logistics and planning papers
3.) Committee papers
4.) Correspondence
5.) Results and findings
NotesBoxes 2013FX002 and 2014FX082 - see CALM records for further details.
Access statusOpen
Related materialCMB/130; CMB/174; CMB/175; CMB/176
Related records in the catalogueAV/3/13
Fellows associated with this archive
NA2081Gass; Ian Graham (1926 - 1992)1926 - 1992
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