As a direct result of the 1989-90 trip as part of ASAC 245, a sample of petrol used by Scott on his ill-fated expedition to the South Pole was obtained. This petrol sample was supplied by the late Garth Varcoe of the New Zealand Antarctic Division following a discussion ensuing from a lecture given whilst on the Icebird when stuck in the ice off Davis. This sample is of intense historical ... interest and the results of the studies are in the download file. The material in the file reports the studies on the composition of the petrol which was left by the remaining members of Scott's group when they departed their base at Evans Head. The aim of this work was to identify the source of the fuel. A later study will attempt to comment on its suitability as a fuel for use under Antarctic conditions.
There are five files on the CD.
a)a poster presented at the Australian Organic Geochemistry Conference held in Leura, NSW in February of this year,
b)a brief description highlighting some salient points of the poster; presented orally,
c)an abstract of this work included in the conference proceedings,
d)the conference proceedings and
e)manuscript of a full paper submitted for publication in the Journal of Organic Geochemistry, including a table of data
Geochemical analyses of the fuel used for the motor driven sledges used by the explorer Robert Falcon Scott for his 1911/1912 quest to the South Pole indicates that it is a straight run gasoline. The presence of bicadinanes, oleanane and other oleanoid angiosperm markers indicate that the feedstock oil was likely to be sourced from terrestrial source rocks of Tertiary age in the South East Asian region. The overall chemical composition of the fuel in its present state indicates that it may have been too heavy for usage in polar regions.