Velken Kurt

(1905 -?)

German geophysicist and glaciologist, member of the 3rd Greenland Expedition of Alfred Wegener, in whose composition he was engaged in determining the thickness of the ice sheet using the seismometric method.

In 1931, Welken was invited to the headed by MM. Yermolaev, the Soviet-German expedition to the Russian Harbor (west coast of Novaya Zemlya), whose work was conducted in the framework of the research of the Second International Polar Year. Together with the Soviet polar explorers, he was involved in measuring the thickness of the ice cover in Russian Harbor, on Cape Zhelaniya and in the Matochkin Strait by the seismometric method.

During the expedition, the life of Wölken was in mortal danger during the forced walk to Cape Desire. He was saved thanks to the dedication of his comrades Ermolaev and Petersen, who did not abandon Welken on the ice sheet. On the map of Novaya Zemlya the names of Yermolaev, V.E. Petersen and Velken surround the Bay of Melky: the capes of Yermolaev and Velken, respectively, are the southwest and northeast entrances of this bay; Petersen Glacier goes into the bay.

During the short months of life in the USSR, Velken was strongly attached to his new friends. The courage and self-sacrifice shown by Yermolaev and Petersen, the mutual assistance of our sailors, pilots and scientists, the scope of polar explorations could not fail to make it to him. He really wanted to stay in our country forever.


Wölken Glacier

(photo by E.A. Korago)


Velken returned to his homeland when the Nazis came to power in Germany. Having barely set foot on the ground of the “waterland”, Dr. Welken landed in a concentration camp: he was not forgiven for his stay in the Soviet Union and his close friendship with the “red ones”. He survived, managed to escape from the camp, came to South America, to Buenos Aires, where he later headed a large geophysical observatory.

Further traces of it are lost.

Cape southwestern entrance gulf Small. The cape was named during topographical survey in 1933 by the All-Union Arctic Institute expedition under the direction of G.V.Gorbatsky. 

Glacier on the northwest coast of the northern island of Novaya Zemlya. Goes to Legzdin Bay.


Return to the main page