Gauss Expedition (1901 – 1903), was the first German
expedition to Antarctica, led by Arctic veteran and geology
professor Erich von Drygalski in the ship Gauss.
Drygalski led the first German South Polar expedition with
the ship Gauss to explore the unknown area of Antarctica
lying south of the Kerguelen Islands. The expedition started
from Kiel in the summer of 1901.
A small party of the expedition was also stationed on the
Kerguelen Islands, while the main party proceeded further
south. Erich von Drygalski paid a brief call to Heard Island
and provided the first comprehensive scientific information
on the island's geology, flora and fauna.
Despite being trapped by ice for nearly 14 months until
February 1903, the expedition discovered new territory in
Antarctica, the Kaiser Wilhelm II Land with the volcano
Drygalski was the first to use a hot-air balloon in
The expedition arrived back in Kiel in November 1903.
Subsequently, Erich von Drygalski wrote the narrative of the
expedition and edited the voluminous scientific data.
Between 1905 and 1931, he published the 20 volumes and 2
atlases documenting the expedition.