Geographic Discoveries

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Geographic Discoveries


finding new geographic objects or laws. Discoveries associated with new geographic objects predominated in the early phases of the development of geography. A particularly important role was attached to discoveries of previously unknown land areas (territorial discoveries). With the development of geography as a science, discoveries that help explain geographic laws and deepen the knowledge of the nature of geographic phenomena and their interrelationships continue to acquire ever greater importance.

Territorial discoveries are closely associated with the general process of social development. Their preconditions, stimuli, and historical consequences are, in the final analysis, determined by the mode of production of material wealth and by specific economic and political circumstances. The sociohistorical role of territorial discoveries differs at various stages in society’s development.

The rudiments of geographic knowledge appeared as far back as primitive society and were reflected in legends and primitive drawings, or “maps.” Among the peoples of antiquity who had achieved a certain cultural level, geographic outlooks developed to the point where each group of people envisioned itself as living in the center of the inhabited world. In later times, the first scientific notions about the sphericity of the earth were also conceived, but they were not yet closely associated with the development of territorial discoveries, which were limited by certain regional boundaries beyond which, according to traditions, the habitable world came to an end (for example, the oecumene of the ancient Greeks).

The subsequent development of communications between peoples was accompanied by a corresponding expansion of their geographic horizons. This process, which occurred under the conditions of the slave-owning and feudal system, accelerated with the origin and development of the capitalist mode of production. Scientific notions regarding the earth as a whole were created on the basis of materials gathered by land and sea expeditions. The location of new geographic objects discovered by expeditions was determined with sufficient accuracy relative to any point on the earth. Territorial discoveries were reflected on world geographic maps.

In capitalist society, territorial discoveries were historically associated with the seizure of new lands, the rivalry of colonial powers, and the formation of colonial empires.

Under the conditions of the socialist mode of production, when the explorations of a territory are carried out on a state scale and are systematic in nature, territorial discoveries contribute to a more complete and comprehensive utilization of natural resources and the involvement of new regions in the realm of social production.

On the whole, in the history of geographic knowledge, territorial discoveries were inseparably linked to the process of creating a map of the earth’s surface—beginning with the drawings of primitive peoples down to modern geographic maps of the world.

The cartographic and literary sources concerning the territorial discoveries of the peoples of the ancient world and the early Middle Ages, which are now available to the history of science, have substantial gaps that hamper the consistent reconstruction of the course of the discoveries of various land areas. For the ancient world, relatively more complete studies have been made of the discoveries of the ancient Egyptians, the peoples of Southwest Asia, the ancient Greeks, and the Romans. There are interesting historical remains that record the discoveries of the ancient Chinese, Hindus, and Malays. The names of several ancient explorers are known who had made important discoveries, such as the Carthaginian Hanno (first historically known sea voyage along the western coast of Africa, sixth century B.C.) and Pytheas, a native of Massalia (sea voyage to the North Atlantic, fourth century B.C.). For the early Middle Ages the discoveries of the Normans, Arabs, and Chinese are, by comparison, more fully known. In the 13th through 15th centuries the development of ties between peoples was accompanied by the geographically significant travels and discoveries of Giovanni de Piano Carpini, G. de Rubruquis, Marco Polo, Ibn Batuta, Afanasii Nikitin, and others. In 1492, C. Columbus crossed the Atlantic Ocean and reached the Bahama Islands, Cuba, and Haiti (this year is regarded as the date of the discovery of America). The main turning point in the inception of general geographic notions about the earth were the expeditions of Vasco da Gama in the late 15th and early 16th centuries and the first circumnavigation of the globe by F. Magellan and others, as a result of which America (named for Amerigo Vespucci) and the Pacific Ocean appeared on the map; a sea route to India was discovered. These discoveries, which were associated with the period of primary capitalist accumulation and made in pursuit of profit, were of paramount geographic significance. “The limits of the old orbis terrarum were broken; only now was the earth, in fact, discovered …” (F. Engels, in K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 20, p. 346). In the 15th and 16th centuries navigators from the countries of East Africa, South and East Asia, and Western Europe took part in the mapping of the basin of the Indian Ocean. The 16th- and 17th-century discoveries of Russian explorers in the northern part of Eastern Europe, in Siberia, and in the Far East were of decisive importance for the mapping of northern Eurasia. In addition, separate expeditions were connected with the search for a North Sea route (W. Barents and others). By the middle of the 17th century passage was made through the strait separating Asia and America (S. I. Dezhnev and F. A. Popov, 1648). The territorial discoveries made between the late 15th century and the first half of the 17th century were primarily a result of expeditions for conquest and trade or a result of pioneer journeys associated with the settlement of new lands. Numerous sea “voyages of discovery”.—explorations for new territories undertaken with the purpose of annexing them—were also typical of this time. A number of these voyages were linked to the search for the legendary Terra australis incognita (Unknown Southern Land). This set the stage for the discovery of Australia and New Zealand by European navigators (A. Tasman and others).

In the 18th and early 19th centuries a number of expeditions were already closely associated with special scientific tasks. Such, for example, were the round-the-world voyages of J. Cook and L. de Bougainville and the expeditions of Comte de La Perouse, J. Dumont d’Urville, and others, which were outfitted by the competing colonialist powers of Great Britain and France in search of new lands for annexation but which at the same time had systematic scientific research objectives. The most important scientific expedition of the 18th century was the Second Kamchatka (Great Northern) Expedition, which was equipped in Russia (1733-43). Numbered among the territorial discoveries made by its participants was the discovery of the northernmost tip of the Asian continent (Cape Cheliuskin) and numerous other geographic objects along the northern coast of Eurasia. Northwest America, the Aleutian Islands, and other areas were discovered by V. Bering and A. I. Chirikov, members of this expedition.

Discoveries of islands in the Pacific Ocean were continued by Russian round-the-world expeditions, the first being the expedition of I. F. Kruzenshtern and Iu. F. Lisianskii. In 1820 the expedition of F. F. Bellingshausen and M. P. Lazarev discovered Antarctica. Nineteenth-century territorial discoveries resulted in the disappearance from world geography maps of extensive “blank spaces” within the interior regions of Asia (P. P. Semenov-Tian-Shanskii, N. M. Przheval’skii, G. N. Potanin, and others), Africa (D. Livingstone and H. Stanley), North America (M. Lewis, D. Thompson, J. Fremont, L. A. Zagoskin, and many others), South America (A. von Humboldt, R. Schomburgk, and others), and Australia (C. Sturt, among others). The geographic explorations of these regions were made for commercial, industrial, transportation, and military purposes. In Africa, for example, they were directly linked to colonial seizures by the European powers. Territorial discoveries were made in the 19th century by a great number of expeditions sent into geographically unfamiliar regions. By the time of Humboldt’s expedition to South America in the early 19th century, however, geographic explorations were to a greater extent associated with the study of the interrelationship of natural phenomena rather than with the elimination of “blank spaces” on geographic maps.

By the late 19th century, the arctic and antarctic regions remained the least known geographically. New islands and archipelagoes were discovered in the European and Asian arctic as a result of the scientific expeditions and sea voyages of industrialists (P. K. Pakhtusov, N. A. E. Nordenskjöld, T. Long, J. von Payer, B. Leigh Smith, F. Nansen, and others). A number of territorial discoveries in the 19th century in the American arctic were associated with the search for the Northwest Passage (J. Ross, W. Parry, J. Franklin, R. McClure, and others). Discoveries in the antarctic were concerned primarily with isolated coastal areas of Antarctica. The north pole (R. Peary) and the south pole (R. Amundsen and R. Scott) were reached early in the 20th century.

Discoveries associated with the last great “blank spaces” on maps are being made in this century. These include, for example, the discoveries by Soviet explorers of the Cherskii Mountain Range (S. V. Obruchev) and other geographic objects in northeastern Asia, the discoveries of the highest mountain peaks of the Tien-Shan and the Pamir-Alai ranges, and other discoveries. “Blank spaces” in the central arctic were eliminated with the development of systematic explorations, which originated with the activities of the Soviet drifting station Severnyi Polius-l (1937-38). By the middle of the 20th century territorial discoveries were made chiefly as a result of work on continuous topographical surveys of vast land areas. Aerial photographic surveying acquired a decisive role in this work. The most significant territorial discoveries in the 1950’s and 1960’s were made in Antarctica. They were associated with the mapping of its relief above and below the ice. Relatively few land areas (for example, the Amazon lowland) now retain the possibility of the discovery of important orographic and hydrographic units. In the second half of the 20th century geographic objects that appear on large-scale topographical maps have emerged as the first priority for further exploration.

Discoveries associated with mapping the bottoms of seas and oceans can to a certain extent be regarded as analogous to territorial discoveries. Until the 19th century they were confined mainly to the limits of coastal areas with shallow depths (continental shelf). Individual attempts to measure great depths by means of a manual sounding line, which were undertaken from the 16th to the 18th century, could not yield satisfactory results. The further development of depth-measuring equipment (the use of a deep-sea sounding line with a detachable weight) in the 19th century made it possible to accomplish a series of measurements in the ocean which were associated, in particular, with the laying of the first transoceanic cables. Oceanographie explorations in the latter part of the 19th century were accompanied by the discoveries of separate deep-sea troughs and rises of the ocean bottom. Only in the 20th century, however, after the further development of depth-measuring equipment (Fathometer, sounding devices, and others), did discoveries become possible that resulted in the disappearance of the huge “blank spaces” on the ocean floor and the elaboration of modern scientific ideas concerning deep-sea topography.

The most significant of these discoveries occurred in the 1950’s and 1960’s, when oceanographie research became broadly systematic in nature. An important landmark in its recent history was the International Geophysical Year (1957-59), which contributed to the development of international cooperation in the study of the ocean. Among the principal orographic objects discovered beneath the ocean are huge abyssal plains, broad swells, deep-sea trenches, and mountain ridges that divide the ocean bed into separate basins. It was established that the system of midocean ridges found in all oceans is of a worldwide nature. Separate enormous ridges (for example, the Lomonosov Ridge in the Arctic Ocean) were also discovered. The greatest depths were established within the deep-sea trenches. Among these the greatest depth presently known is 11,022 m in the Marianas Trench (in the Pacific Ocean), which was discovered in 1957 by an expedition on the Vitiaz’. In 1960 the bathyscaphe Trieste reached a depth of 10,919 m on the floor of this trench. Since the study of the ocean bottom is still secondary by far to the study of dry land, oceanographie explorations of the future will undoubtedly be accompanied by discoveries of important underwater orographic units.

The immediate prospects for the discoveries of orographic and hydrographic objects of the earth’s surface are associated to a certain extent with the utilization of artificial earth satellites for surveying from space.

Discoveries of laws in each field of geographic science have special features that depend on the geographic object of its study.


The country that equipped the expedition and the leader or participants of the expedition are indicated in parentheses after each discovery or group of discoveries.

Asia and the arctic regions of Europe

330-325 B.C. March across the Iranian highlands into Middle Asia and western India. (Macedonia; Alexander the Great.)

325-324 B.C. Sea voyage from the mouth of the Indus River to the mouth of the Euphrates River. (Macedonia; Nearchus and Onesicritus.)

Early third century B.C. Journey to India. Geographic data on the basins of the Indus and Ganges rivers and on the Himalayas. (Syria [Seleucid Kingdom]; Megasthenes.)

138-126 B.C. Journey to the Tarim Darya basin and Middle Asia. (China; Chang Ch’ien.)

399-414. Journey from China to India and return to China by sea. (China; Fa Hsien.)

Circa 525. Sea voyage to India and Ceylon. (Byzantium; Cosmas Indicopleustes.)

629-647. Journey from China to India. (China; Hsüan Tsang.)

851. Journey from the city of Siraf. Visit to the Malabar Coast, Ceylon, Indochina, and southern China. (Iran [Tahirid State]; Suleiman.)

Circa 870-890. Sea voyage from northern Norway to the Terek shore of the Kola Peninsula. Discovery of route to the White Sea. (Norway; Othar of Helgeland.)

921-922. Journey from Khwarizm with embassy to the Volga Bulgars across the Caspian Sea and Aral Sea regions. Data on natural features and population. (Iraq [Baghdad Caliphate]; Ibn Fadlan.)

943-967. Travels in Iran, Mesopotamia, and India. (Iraq [Baghdad Caliphate]; Ibn Hawqal [Haukul].)

Second half of 10th century. Journey through the Near and Middle East. (Palestine; al-Muqaddasi [Maqdisi].)

First half of 11th century. Journeys through Iran, India, and Central Asia. (Khwarizm; al-Biruni.)

1166-73. Journey from Spain to Palestine, Syria, Iraq, and Iran. (Spain [Navarre]; Benjamin of Tudela.)

1245-47. Journey with papal embassy from Lyon to the city of Karakorum in Mongolia. (Italy; G. de Piano Carpini.)

1253-56. Journey from Palestine to Karakorum. (France; G. de Rubruquis.)

1271-95. Journey to China. (Italy; Marco Polo.)

1289-1330. Journey with papal embassy to China. (Italy; G. di Monte Corvino.)

1318-30. Journey to China and Tibet. (Italy; Odoric of Pordenone.)

1320. Sea journey from the Severnaia Dvina River to northern Norway. (Novgorod; Luka [Ignat Malygin].)

1325-49. Journeys through the countries of Asia. (Morocco; Ibn Batuta.)

1338-53. Journey with papal embassy to China. (G. de Marignolli.)

1364. Expedition across the Urals to the Ob’ River and along the river to the Kara Sea. (Novgorod; S. Liapa and Aleksandr Abakumovich.)

1403-06. Journey with embassy to Samarkand. (Castile [Spain]; R. González de Clavijo.)

1405-31. Seven sea voyages of large flotillas from China to the countries of South Asia. (China; Cheng Ho.)

1419-44. Visit to India, Ceylon, Burma, and southern Arabia. (Italy; N. de Conti.)

Second half of 15th century. Numerous voyages to Novaia Zemlia and the beginning of its development. (Russia; the Pomors.)

1466-72. Journey to India; description of natural features and population. (Russia; A. Nikitin.)

1483. Military expedition across the Urals and Western Siberia. Voyage on the Irtysh and Ob’ rivers. (Russia; F. Kurbskii [Chernoi] and Saltyk Travin.)

1487-92. Journey to Arabia, Iran, and India. (Portugal; P. da Covilhä.)

1496. Sea voyage from the Severnaia Dvina River along the shores of the Kola Peninsula and northern and western Norway. Data on natural features. (Russia; G. Istoma.)

1498. Arrival of Vasco da Gama’s expedition to India. (Portugal; Vasco da Gama.)

1499-1500. Military expedition across the Urals to Western Siberia. First data on the extent and direction of the Ural Mountains. (Russia; S. Kurbskii, P. Ushatyi, and V. Zabolotskii-Brazhnik.)

1500-20. Sea expeditions to India, Indochina, and Indonesia. (Portugal; P. A. Cabral, Vasco da Gama, F. de Almeida, A. de Albuquerque, D. de Sequeira, and A. de Abreu.)

1521. First visits by Europeans to the Philippine Islands. (Spain; F. Magellan and J. S. del Cano.)

1557-62. Journeys from England across Russia to Bukhara (1557-58) and Iran (1561-62). (England; A. Jenkinson.)

1570’s. Yearly voyages to the Spitsbergen archipelago. (Russia; P. Nishets [Nikitich].)

No later than 1570’s to early 1580’s. Mouth of Enisei River reached many times by sea. (Russia; the Pomors.)

1580’s. Systematic voyages to the Ob’ River across the Strait of Matochkin Shar. (Russia; the Pomors.)

1581-84. Military expeditions beyond the Urals to Western Siberia. (Russia; Ermak Timofeevich.)

1596. Sea voyage to the northwestern coast of West Spitsbergen, along the western and northern shores of Novaia Zemlia. Discovery of Bear Island and Prince Charles Foreland and the reaching of Ice Haven on North East Land. (Holland; W. Barents.)

Late 16th to early 17th century. Systematic voyages from Arkhangel’sk to the Taz River (to Mangazeia). (Russia; the Pomors.)

1603-07. Journey from India across Afghanistan to Kashgar, central China, and Turfan. (The Jesuit B. de Goes.)

1613-17. Exploration of Edge Island and discovery of North East Land in the Spitsbergen archipelago. (England; T. Edge.)

1614-15. Discovery and exploration of Jan Mayen Island. (Holland and England; J. Mayen and R. Foterby.)

1616-26. Journey to Syria, Palestine, Mesopotamia, Iran, and India. (Italy; P. della Valle.)

1618-19. Journey to Mongolia and China; data on the Saians and Lake Ubsa Nuur. (Russia; I. Petlin.)

Circa 1620. Sea voyage around the Taimyr Peninsula. (Russia; navigator-traders.)

1620-23. Reaching the sources of the Nizhniaia Tunguska River and the middle course of the Lena River. (Russia; Penda and other explorers.)

1633-35. Voyage down the Lena River and the reaching of its mouth and the Olenek and lana rivers. (Russia; I. Perfil’ev and I. Rebrov.)

1636-41. Journey across mountain ranges to the lana and Indigirka rivers. (Russia; Ivanov Posnik.)

1636-63. Six journeys to the countries of the Near East and India. (France; J. Tavernier.)

1638. Sea voyage from the mouth of the lana River to the mouth of the Indigirka River. (Russia; I. Rebrov.)

1639. First voyage of Europeans near the eastern shores of Honshu Island. (Holland; M. Quast and A. Tasman.)

1639-41. Reaching of the Sea of Okhotsk by land across the Dzhugdzhur Mountain Range (1639) and voyages by water along its shores. First Russian data on the Amur. (Russia; I. Moskvitin.)

1641-44. Journey to the Aldan River and the reaching of the Kolyma River. (Russia; M. Stadukhin and S. Dezhnev.)

1643. Reaching of Lake Baikal. Visit to Ol’khon Island. (Russia; Kurbat Ivanov.)

1643. First voyage of Europeans near the shores of the island of Hokkaido, the southern group of the Kuril Islands (across the Friz Strait), and southern Sakhalin. (Holland; M. de Vries.)

1643-46. Voyage by water along the Zeia and Amur rivers and along the shores of the Sea of Okhotsk to the Ul’ia River. (Russia; V. Poiarkov.)

1648. Sea voyage from the mouth of the Kolyma River to the Bering Sea. First passage through the Bering Strait. (Russia; Popov [F. Alekseev] and S. Dezhnev.)

1648. Reaching of the mouth of the Anadyr’ River. (Russia; S. Dezhnev.)

1649-52. Crossing of the Stanovoi Mountain Range. Voyage on the Amur River and data on the Amur River region. (Russia; E. Khabarov and I. Nagiba.)

1654-58. Journey to Mongolia and China; data on nature and population. (Russia; F. Baikov.)

1655. Discovery of Krestovskii Island of the Medvezh’i Islands. (Russia; la. Viatka.)

1656-64. First data on Nepal and the central Himalayas in European geographic literature. (The Jesuits J. Grüber and A. Dorville.)

1662-68. Military expeditions from the Anadyr’ River area deep into the Kamchatka Peninsula. (Russia; I. Merkur’ev [Rubets].)

1675-78. Journey across Western and Eastern Siberia and the Far East to Manchuria and China. Description of route and compilation of drawings. (Russia; N. Spafarii.)

1697-99. First description of Kamchatka’s natural features and inhabitants. (Russia; V. Atlasov.)

1711-13. Sea voyage to the northern group of the Kuril Islands; compilation of the first Russian map of these islands. (Russia; D. Anfitserov and I. Kozyrevskii.)

1712. Reaching of Bol’shoi Liakhovskii Island. (Russia; M. Vagin and la. Permiakov.)

1713-14. Start of the development of the Shantar Islands. (Russia; I. Bykov and A. Krest’ianinov.)

1714-15. Description of the eastern and northern coastlines of the Caspian Sea. Discovery of the ancient riverbed of the Amu Darya (Uzboi) and the Gulf of Kara-Bogaz-Gol. (Russia; A. Cherkasskii [A. Bekovich-Cherkasskii].)

1716-21. Journey from India to Tibet; data on the orography and hydrography of southern Tibet. (The Jesuit H. Desideri.)

1718. Description of the eastern shore of the Caspian Sea. (Russia; A. Kozhin and V. Urusov.)

1719-20. Expedition to the Caspian Sea. Description of its western and southern shores. Composite map of the entire sea compiled. (Russia; K. Verden and F. Soimonov.)

1719-21. Expedition through Southern Siberia and sea voyage to the Kuril Islands. Compilation by scientific methods of the first map of part of Southern Siberia, Kamchatka, and the Kuril Islands. (Russia; I. Evreinov and F. Luzhin.)

1720-27. Expedition in the Urals and Western and Eastern Siberia. First investigations of nature and data on permafrost. (Russia; D. Messershmidt.)

1722-24. Journey to Dzungaria. Map compiled of the Tarim Darya, Yarkand Darya, and other river basins and of lakes Balkhash and Issyk-Kul. (Russia; I. Unkovskii.)

1725-30. First Kamchatka Expedition. Passage across Bering Strait (1728) from south to north. Discovery of Ratmanov Island (Big Diomede). Reliable map compiled of extreme northeastern Asia. (Russia; V. Bering, A. Chirikov, and M. Shpanberg.)

1726. Explorations and descriptions of the Caspian Sea and adjacent territories. (Russia; F. Soimonov.)

1733-43. Second Kamchatka (Great Northern) Expedition, which consisted of several large divisions. (Russia; V. Bering, A. Chirikov, and M. Shpanberg.)

1733-43. Academic divisions that worked in Southern, Western, and Eastern Siberia. Multiple investigations of nature and population. (G. Miller and J. Gmelin.)

1734-42. Naval divisions. Description and mapping of coastlines and several adjacent regions from Arkhangelsk to Cape Bol’shoi Baranov and of the Anadyr’ River and basin. Discovery and description of Cape Cheliuskin. (S. Malygin, D. Ovtsyn, F. Minin, D. Sterlegov, V. Pronchishchev, Kh. Laptev, D. Laptev, S. Cheliuskin, and others.)

1737-41. Multiple investigations of nature and population of Kamchatka. (S. Krasheninnikov.)

1738-39. Voyages to the Kuril Islands and Japan; description of part of their coasts. (M. Shpanberg and V. Val’ton.)

1740-43. Investigations of the fauna and natural features of Kamchatka and Bering Island. (G. Steller.)

1741. Discovery of a sea route from Kamchatka to North America, part of its northwestern shores, and several islands in the northern Pacific Ocean. (V. Bering and A. Chirikov.)

1740-41. Expedition from Orenburg to Khiva. Data on natural features of the Aral region and compilation of its first detailed map. (Russia; D. Gladyshev and I. Muravin.)

Between 1740 and 1760. First voyage around Novaia Zemlia. (Russia; S. Loshkin.)

1761-67. Expedition to Syria, Iran, and India. First geographic data on Yemen in European literature. (Denmark; C. Niebuhr.)

1763-65. Map of Chukchi Peninsula compiled. (Russia; N. Daurkin.)

1764-66. Visit to the island of West Spitsbergen for scientific purposes. (Russia; M. Nemtinov.)

1768-69. First scientific expedition to Novaia Zemlia. Description of the Strait of Matochkin Shar and part of the western coast of Novaia Zemlia. (Russia; F. Rozmyslov, la. Chirakin, and M. Gubin.)

1768-74. Academic expeditions. Comprehensive investigations of the nature and population of European Russia, the Caucasus, the Urals, Kazakhstan, and Siberia. (Russia.) 1768-72. Study of the Central and Southern Urals, northwestern Kazakhstan, and the northwestern and northern shores of the Caspian Sea. (I. Lepekhin and N. Ozeretskovskii.)

1768-74. Study of the Central and Southern Urals, northwestern Kazakhstan, Southwestern and Eastern Siberia, and the northern coastline of Asia. (P. Pallas and V. Zuev.)

1768-74. Study of Siberia and Lake Baikal. (I. Georgi.)

1768-74. Study of the Caucasus, Transcaucasus, and the western and southern shores of the Caspian. (S. Gmelin.)

1768-74. Study of the Central Urals and part of Southwestern Siberia. (I. Fal’k.)

1768-74. Study of European Russia, the Caucasus, and Transcaucasia. (A. G#x00F2C;ldenstaedt.)

1772-73. Compilation of the first hydrographic map of Lake Baikal and adjacent regions. (Russia; A. Pushkarev.)

1774-82. Journeys through Middle and Central Asia and northern India. (Russia; F. Efremov.)

1778. Voyage through Bering Strait to the Chukchi Sea. (Great Britain; J. Cook.)

1779, 1789-91. Journey through the Chukchi Peninsula and sea voyage to Alaska. (Russia; I. Kobelev.)

1785-93. Exploration and descriptions of northeastern Asia —Chukchi Peninsula, some shores of the Sea of Okhotsk and the northern Pacific Ocean, and the Aleutian Islands. (Russia; I. Billings, G. Sarychev, R. Gall, and K. Bering.)

1787. Pacific Ocean voyage during which the southern and eastern shores of Sakhalin Island were explored and the La Perouse and Tatar straits described. (France; Comte de La Perouse.)

1804-05. Description of the northwestern coast of Sakhalin and part of the coasts of the Japanese islands. Precise determination of the outlines of Kamchatka and the northern group of the Kuril Islands. (Russia; I. Kruzenshtern.)

1809-12. Exploration and descriptions of the Novosibirskie Islands. (Russia; M. Gedenshtrom and la. Sannikov.)

1811. Description of part of the Kuril Islands and compilation of a composite map of the entire chain. (Russia; V. Golovnin.)

1819. First crossing by Europeans (from east to west) of the Arabian Peninsula. (Great Britain; G. Sadlier.)

1820-21. Voyage in the northern part of the Pacific Ocean. Explorations and descriptions of the extreme northeastern regions of Asia. (Russia; M. Vasil’ev and G. Shishmarev.)

1820-24. Exploration and descriptions of the coast of Asia from the mouth of the Indigirka River to the Koliuchin Bay. Scientifically based theoretical prediction of the existence of Vrangel’ Island. (Russia; F. Wrangel, F. Matiushkin, and P. Koz’min [Kozmin].)

1820-30. Journey to Syria, Iran, Iraq, and India; crossing of the Hindu Kush mountains and the Kara Kum Desert. (Hungary; S. Kõrösi Csoma.)

1821-24. Compilation of map of the western coast of Novaia Zemlia. (Russia; F. Litke.)

1825-26. Mapping of the Ust-Urt Plateau and adjacent territory. (Russia; F. Berg, P. Anjou, and E. Eversman.)

1827-28. Explorations and descriptions of the northeastern shores of Asia from the Avacha Bay to the Chukchi Peninsula and many islands in the western part of the Bering Sea. (Russia; F. Litke.)

1829-31. First scientific exploration and mapping of the Shantar Islands. (Russia; P. Koz’min [Kozmin].)

1830-56. Determination of the elevations of a number of Himalayan peaks, including Mount Everest, the highest point on earth. (Great Britain; G. Everest and A. Waugh.)

1832-35. Expeditions to Novaia Zemlia; first description of the entire eastern shore and of the strait of Matochkin Shar. Discovery of Pakhtusov Islands. (Russia; P. Pakhtusov and A. Tsivol’ka.)

1832, 1836. Explorations, description, and map compilation of the entire eastern shore of the Caspian Sea. (Russia; G. Karelin.)

1837. Multiple natural history investigations of Novaia Zemlia. (Russia; K. Baer.)

1842. Journey through the Altai for the study of its physical geography and geology. (Russia; P. Chikhachev.)

1842-45. Multiple investigations of the natural features of the Taimyr Peninsula, Stanovoi Mountain Range, Aldan Upland, the western shore of the Sea of Okhotsk, and the Shantar Islands. (Russia; A. Middendorf.)

1843. Explorations of the Hadhramaut region in Arabia. (Bavaria; A. von Wrede.)

1844-65. Study of the orography and geology of Transcaucasia. (Russia; W. H. Abich.)

1845-48. Exploration of the An Nafud Desert. (Egypt [?]; G. Wallin.)

1846-63. Investigation of the relief of Asia Minor and the features of its orography. (Russia; P. Chikhachev.)

1847-48, 1850. Expedition to the Northern and Polar Urals. Descriptions that served as a basis for compiling a map of part of the Urals. (Russia; E. Gofman, M. Koval’skii, and N. Strazhevskii.)

1848-49. Descriptions of the Aral Sea. Discovery of Voz-rozhdenie and other islands. (Russia; A. Butakov.)

1848-49. Proof of the island status of Sakhalin and the accessibility of the mouth of the Amur River and of the Amur Estuary to large vessels. (Russia; G. Nevel’skoi.)

Second half of the 19th century. Hydrographic work and descriptions of the coasts and islands of Russian possessions in the northwestern part of the Pacific Ocean, including the Petr Velikii Bay and the Amur Estuary. (Russia; naval officers [F. Maidel’ and many others].)

1850-55. Explorations and descriptions of the Amur River, Sakhalin and its surrounding straits, the mainland’s shores opposite Sakhalin, and part of the Primor’e. (Russia; G. Nevel’skoi, N. Boshniak, and D. Orlov with officers of the navy.)

1853-55. Explorations of the Viliui and Amur rivers and the regions adjacent to them. (Russia; R. Maak.)

1853-57. Study of the flora and fauna of the Volga River valley and the Caspian Sea with part of the adjoining regions of the Urals. (Russia; K. Baer, N. Danilevskii, and A. Shul’ts.)

1854. Description of the eastern coast of Korea. Discovery of the Pos’et and Ol’ga gulfs and the Rimsky-Korsakov Islands. (Russia; E. Putiatin and I. Unkovskii.)

1854-56. Biogeographical and meteorological observations in the Amur River region and on Sakhalin. (Russia; L. Shrenk.)

1854-57. Journey to India and Central Asia. Exploration of the southern slope of the central Himalayas and crossing of the Karakorum Mountain Range (Great Britain; the brothers A. von Schlagintweit, H. von Schlagintweit, and R. von Schlagintweit.)

1855-62. Orographic, physicogeographical, and geological investigations primarily in Eastern Siberia and in the Far East. (Russia; Siberian Expedition of the Geographical Society.)

1856-57. Exploration of the Tien Shan—Lake Issyk-Kul, upper reaches of the Syr Darya, establishment of the sources of the Chu River. (Russia; P. P. Semenov-Tian-Shanskii.)

1858. First detailed Russian exploration of the Ussuri River. (Russia; M. Veniukov.)

1858-59. Journey to Kashgar across the Tien Shan and exploration of the Takla Makan Desert. (Russia; Ch. Valikha-nov.)

1858-72. Five journeys to Spitsbergen. (Sweden; N. A. E. Nordenskjöld.)

1860-61. Botanical and geographic investigations of the Caucasus. (Russia; F. Ruprekht.)

1863-66. Physicogeographical and geological investigations of the Amur, Sungari, Ussuri, and other rivers, the Greater Khingan Mountains, and the Vostochnyi Saians. (Russia; P. Kropotkin.)

1864. Journey to Arabia. (Italy; C. Guarmani.)

1865-66. Journey through southern and southwestern Tibet; instrument survey of extensive territories in the Himalayas. (Great Britain; Nain Singh.)

1865-77. Explorations and descriptions of the coasts of eastern Asia. (Russia; K. Staritskii and M. Onatsevich.)

1866-68. Explorations of the Kyzyl Kum Desert and Tien Shan. (Russia; N. Severtsov.)

1866-68. Exploration of the Mekong River. (France; E. M. L. Doudart de Lagrée and F. Garnier.)

1867. First description of the southern shore of Vrangel’ Island. (USA; T. Long.)

1867-69. Journey to the Ussuri region. Multiple investigations of the natural features of the Ussuri and Suchan rivers and their basins. (Russia; N. Przheval’skii.)

1868-71. Turkestan Expeditions. Explorations of the Kyzyl Kum Desert, Tien Shan, the high-mountain Kuhistan region, and the Alai Range. Discovery of the Trans-Alai Range. (Russia; A. Fedchenko.)

1868-72. Seven journeys into the interior regions of China. (Germany; F. von Richthofen.)

1869-75. Physicogeographical and geological explorations of a number of Eastern Siberian river basins (Angara, Nizhniaia Tunguska, Olenek, and other rivers) and the ranges of the Vostochnyi Saian and Khamar-Daban. (Russia; A. Chekanovskii.)

1870-85. Central Asian Expeditions (Mongolia, 1870-73; Lob Nor, or Dzungaria, 1876-77; First Tibetan Expedition, 1879-80; and Second Tibetan Expedition, 1883-85), which passed through the deserts and mountains of Mongolia, China, and Tibet. Descriptions of the nature and population and discovery of separate mountain ranges. (Russia; N. Przheval’skii.)

1871-72, 1880. Explorations of Spitsbergen and Franz Josef Land. (Great Britain; B. Leigh Smith.)

1872-74. Sea voyage in the Arctic and discovery of Franz Josef Land. (Austria; J. von Payer.)

1873-76. Explorations of the Vostochnyi Saian and Khamar-Daban mountain ranges and mountains in the Angara River region. (Russia; I. Cherskii.)

1875-79. Inspection of the Nejd Desert and the northwestern part of the Arabian Peninsula. (Great Britain; C. Doughty.)

1876, 1878-79. Multiple investigations and geodetic work in Mongolia and northern China. (Russia; M. Pevtsov.)

1876-77, 1884-86. Multiple investigations of Mongolia, northern China, and the outlying regions of Tibet. (Russia; G. Potanin.)

1877-79. First penetration of Europeans into the central part of the Pamirs. Investigations of nature, including orography and fauna. (Russia; N. Severtsov.)

1877-82. Journeys through Eastern Siberia. Exploration of the shores of Lake Baikal, the Selenga River basin, and the upper reaches of the Nizhniaia Tunguska. (Russia; I. Cherskii.)

1878-80. Journey to India, Indonesia, Japan, China, and Burma. Exploration of the upper course of the Yangtze River. (Hungary; B. Széchenyi.)

1878-82. Travels in Tibet from Lhasa to the upper reaches of the Yangtze and Huang Ho rivers. (Great Britain; Kishen Singh.)

1881. Discovery of the De-Long Islands. (USA; G. De Long.)

1881. Description of the eastern, western and most of the northern coast of Vrangel’ Island. First exploration of the island’s interior. (USA; R. Berry.)

1883-88. Physicogeographical, archaeological, and geological explorations of the southern, western, and eastern regions of Siberia. (Russia; D. Klements.)

1885-86. Explorations of the coasts between the Lena and Kolyma rivers, and of the Novosiberskie Islands. (Russia; A. Bunge and E. Toll’.)

1886-87. Journey from Manchuria to India across Mongolia and western China. (Great Britain; F. Younghusband).

1886-88. Oceanographic explorations in the Pacific Ocean. (Russia; S. Makarov.)

1886-88. Explorations of the Kara Kum Desert and the ancient Uzboi valley. (Russia; V. Obruchev.)

1889-90. Travels in Central Asia. Explorations and partial descriptions of Mongolia, the Takla Makan Desert, the Kunlun Mountains and the outlying regions of Tibet. (Russia; M. Pevtsov, V. Roborovskii, and P. Kozlov.)

1889-90. Explorations and descriptions of eastern Tien Shan, Nan Shan, the Turfan Depression, and the Pei Mountains. (Russia; G. Grumm-Grzhimailo and M. Grumm-Grzhi-mailo.)

1891. Explorations of the Moma Mountain Range, the Nera Plateau, and the Tas-Kystabyt and Ulankhan-Chistaia mountain ranges. (Russia; I. Cherskii.)

1892-94. Orographic and geological investigations of Central Mongolia, the Gobi Desert, the Ordos Desert, Tsaidam Basin, Lake Koko Nor, the Mongolian Altai, eastern Kunlun, and Nan Shan. (Russia; V. Obruchev.)

1892-96, 1898. Physicogeographical and geological investigations during a number of journeys in Mongolia. (Russia; D. Klements.)

1893-95. Journey through Central Asia, including eastern Tien Shan, Kashgar, the Turfan Depression, and Nan Shan. (Russia; V. Roborovskii and P. Kozlov.)

1893-97. Journey to the Tarim Basin, Tibet, Tsaidam, Ordos, and Gobi; exploration of the Takla Makan Desert and lakes Lob Nor and Koko Nor. (Sweden; S. Hedin.)

1895-99. Orographic, glaciological, and botanical investigations of the Altai. (Russia; V. Sapozhnikov.)

1898-99. Establishment of the vertical soil zonation of Transcaucasia and the Greater Caucasus. (Russia; V. Dokuchaev.)

1899-1901. Journey through Mongolia and Tibet. Explorations and descriptions of the Mongolian Altai, central Gobi, Tsaidam, and eastern Tibet. (Russia; P. Kozlov.)

1899-1902. Multiple physicogeographical and biological investigations of the Aral Sea. (Russia; L. Berg.)

1899-1902. Second journey to Sinkiang and northern Tibet; exploration of the Yarkand River and crossing of central Tibet from Lake Seling to Karakorum. (Sweden; S. Hedin.)



15th century B.C. Campaigns in the south and up the Nile, to the fifth cataract. (Egypt; generals of the pharaohs of the Eighteenth Dynasty.)

No later than eighth century B.C. Discovery of the entire northern coast of Africa and the Strait of Gibraltar. (Phoenicia; unknown seafarers.)

Before 594 B.C. Three-year voyage around Africa. (Egypt; Phoenician seafarers.)

Circa 525 B.C. (according to other sources, in the fifth century B.C.). Sea voyage from Carthage along the western coast of Africa beyond Cape Verde, possibly to the Guinea Gulf. (Carthage; Hanno.)

Second century B.C. Discovery of the Canary Islands. (Spain; Cadiz fishermen.)

Circa 20 B.C. Campaign to the Fezzan oases (central Sahara). (Rome; L. C. Balbus [Minor].)

Circa 42. Crossing of the Grand Atlas. (Rome; S. Paullinus.)

Circa 50-100. Sea voyages along the east coast of Africa to the island of Zanzibar. (Rome; Greek navigators.)

Circa 60. Military expedition up along the White Nile beyond 10° N lat. (Rome; unknown soldiers.)

Circa 340. First Christian mission to Ethiopia. (Byzantium; Frumentius.)

Eighth and ninth centuries. Discovery of the Comoro Islands, Madagascar, and the shores of Mozambique. (Iraq; Arabic seafarers.)

1060’s. Crossing of the Sahara from the Atlas Mountains to the Niger River (military campaign in Mali). (Morocco; Berber generals.)

1312-41. Second discovery of the Canary Islands. (Italy and Portugal; Genoan seafarers.)

1344 or 1345. Discovery of the Madeira Islands. (Italy; unknown seafarers.)

1352-53. Crossing of the western Sahara to the Niger River (from south to north) and the central Sahara. (Morocco; Ibn Batuta.)

1431-35. Discovery of the Azores. (Portugal; captains of Prince Henry the Navigator.)

1434-57. Sea voyages southward along the shores of West Africa to 10° N lat. Discovery of Cape Verde, the Senegal and Gambia rivers, and the islands of Bissagos. (Portugal; captains of Prince Henry the Navigator.)

1456-62. Discovery of the islands of Cape Verde. (Italy and Portugal; A. da Cadamosto, A. da Nola, and D. Affonso.)

Circa 1461-73. Advance southeastward along the shores of Africa to the Bight of Biafra and southward to 2° S lat. Discovery of the Cameroon volcano and the islands in the Gulf of Guinea. (Portugal; P. Sintra, S. da Costa, J. de Santarem, R. Siqueira, and F. Poo.)

1482-86. Advance along the western shores of Africa to 22° S lat. Discovery of the lower reaches of the Congo River. (Portugal; D. Cam.)

1487-88. Discovery of the southern coast of Africa and the Cape of Good Hope. (Portugal; Bartolomeu Dias.)

1489-93. Sea voyage from the Somali Peninsula along the east coast of Africa to 20° S lat. and land journey from there to Ethiopia. (Portugal; P. da Covilhä.)

1497-98. First sea voyage from Europe to India around Africa. Completion of the discovery of the coastline of Africa. (Portugal; Vasco da Gama.)

1500. First visit by Europeans to the island of Madagascar. (Portugal; Diogo Dias.)

1501-07. Discovery of the Ascension Islands, the island of St. Helena, the Amirante Islands, the Seychelles, and the Mascarene Islands. (Portugal; J. da Nova, P. de Mas-carenhas, and others.)

1511-15. Journeys across the Sahara to the Niger River and Lake Chad. (Morocco; Leo Africanus.)

Circa 1570. Exploration of the lower course of the Zambezi River. (Portugal; F. Barreto.)

1613. Exploration of Lake Tana and the upper reaches of the Blue Nile. (Portugal; P. Páez.)

1616. Discovery of Lake Nyasa and the Ruvuma River. (Portugal; G. Bocarro.)

1648-61. Exploration of eastern Madagascar. (France; E. de Flacourt.)

1652-62. Discovery of the mountains of the Cape of Good Hope and the Little and Great Karroo plateaus. (Holland; J. van Riebeeck and others.)

1714-16. Exploration of the Senegal River basin. (France; A. Brue.)

1760-61. March to the Orange River. Discovery of the Great Namaqualand plateau. (Holland; Cape colonists.)

1769-72. Exploration of the Amhara (Ethiopian) Plateau. (Great Britain; J. Bruce.) 1787. Exploration of the Cunene River basin. (Portugal; F. de Lacerda e Almeida.) 1791-92. Discovery of the Namib Desert. (Holland; Cape colonists.)

1795-97, 1805-06. Journey from the mouth of the Gambia River to the upper Niger; voyage by water along the Niger from the city of Ségou to the rapids at Bussa. (Great Britain; M. Park.)

1812. Discovery of the sources of the Limpopo River and the watershed of Witwatersrand. (Great Britain; D. Campbell.)

1818-23. Discovery of the upper reaches of the Gambia, Senegal, and Niger rivers in the Fouta Djallon Highlands. (France and Great Britain; G. Mollieu and A. Laing.)

1822-25. Two crossings of the Sahara. Exploration of Lake Chad and the Chad-Niger watershed. (Great Britain; D. Denham and H. Clapperton.)

1827-28. Crossing of West Africa from Sierra Leone to Morocco. (France; R. Caillié.) 1830. Exploration of the lower course of the Niger and Benue rivers. (Great Britain; the brothers R. Lander and J. Lander.)

1836-40. Exploration of the areas between the Orange and Vaal rivers and between the Vaal and Limpopo rivers (Transvaal); exploration of the Drakensberg Mountains. (South Africa; A. Pretorius, P. Retief, and other leaders of the Boer settlers.)

1837-48. Exploration of the Amhara (Ethiopian) Plateau. (France; the brothers Antoine Abbadie and Arnaud Abbadie.)

1848-49. Exploration of the Kilimanjaro and Kenya massifs. (Germany; J. Krapf.)

1849-54. Crossing of the Kalahari Desert. Exploration of the upper reaches of the Zambezi River. (Great Britain; D. Livingstone.)

1849-55. Exploration of the river network in Angola. (Hungary; L. Magyar.)

1850-53. Crossing of the Kalahari and the Damaraland. (Sweden; K. Andersson.)

1850-55. Exploration of the Sahara, the Lake Chad region, the upper reaches of the Benue River, and central Sudan to the Niger River. (Great Britain; D. Richardson, A. Overweg, and H. Barth.)

1852-53. Crossing of Africa from the city of Benguela (Angola) to the mouth of the Ruvuma River. (Portugal; A. Silva Porto.)

1854-56. Crossing of Central Africa from the city of Luanda (Angola) to the mouth of the Zambezi River. Discovery of Victoria Falls. (Great Britain; D. Livingstone.)

1856-63. Exploration of Lake Tanganyika. Discovery by Europeans of Lake Victoria and the Victoria Nile River. (Great Britain; R. F. Burton, J. Speke, and J. Grant.)

1859-61. Completion of discovery of Lakes Nyasa and Chilwa. (Great Britain; D. Livingstone.)

1864. Discovery of the Albert Nile River and Albert Lake. (Great Britain; S. Baker.)

1865-70. Multiple exploration of Madagascar. (France; A. Grandidier [père].)

1867-71. Discovery of Lakes Mweru and Bangweulu and the Lualaba (Upper Congo) River. (Great Britain; D. Livingstone.)

1869-74. Exploration of the Tibesti Massif. (Germany; G. Nachtigal.)

1870. Exploration of the Uele River, chief source of the Ubangi River. (Germany; G. Schweinfurth.)

1873-75. Crossing of Central Africa in the 6° 30-12° 30’ S lat. region and study of its topography. Completion of the discovery of Lake Tanganyika. (Great Britain; V. L. Cameron.)

1875-77. Discovery of Kagera River, Edward Lake, and the Ruwenzori Mountains. Voyage by water along the Congo River from the upper reaches to the mouth. (Great Britain and USA; H. Stanley.)

1875-92. Exploration of the Ogooué River basin and the northern right tributaries of the Congo. (France; P. de Brazza.)

1877-79. Crossing of Africa from Angola to Mozambique; exploration of the Cubango River basin. (Portugal; A. Serpa Pinto.)

1878-83. Exploration of the Great Rift Valley. Discovery of Lake Rukwa. (Great Britain; D. Thompson.)

1880-83. Exploration of the Uele River and part of the watershed between the Nile and Congo rivers. (Russia; V. Iunker.)

1883-1900. Exploration of the Sahara and of the Chari and Ubangi rivers. (France; F. Foureau.)

1884-86. Exploration of the Kasai River. (Belgium; H. von Wissmann.)

1884-86. Exploration of the Ubangi and Lomami river systems. (Belgium; G. Grenfell.)

1888. Discovery of Lake Rudolf. (Hungary; S. Teleki.)

1892-97. Exploration of the Somali Peninsula and the Juba River basin. (Italy; V. Bottego.)

1894. Discovery of Lake Kivu. (Germany; A. von Gotzen.)

1897-99. Exploration of the Lake Rudolf basin and the Juba, Sobat, and Omo rivers. (Russia; A. Bulatovich.)

1898-1902. Exploration of the western and southern regions of the island of Madagascar. (France; G. Grandidier [fils].)


North and South America

Circa 900. First voyage to the eastern coast of Greenland. (Norway; Gunnbjørn Ulfsson.)

981-983. Discovery of southern and southwestern Greenland. (Iceland; Eric Thorvaldsson [Eric the Red].)

985. First voyage to northeastern America. (Norway; Bjarni Herjolfsson.)

1000-1001. Discovery of so-called Markland (Newfoundland [?]) and Vinland (east coast of North America [?]). (Greenland; Leif Ericson.)

Before 1207. Discovery of the western coast of Greenland to 74° N lat. and Disko Bay. (Greenland; Vikings.)

1492. Discovery of the Bahama Islands, the northeastern coast of Cuba, and the island of Haiti. (Spain; C. Columbus, M. Pinzón, and V. Pinzón.)

1493. Discovery of the islands of Dominica, Guadeloupe, and Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. (Spain; C. Columbus.)

1494. Discovery of the island of Jamaica and the southern coast of Cuba from 74° to 84° W long. (Spain; C. Columbus.)

1497-98. Sea voyage along the eastern coast of North America. (England; J. Cabot and S. Cabot.)

1498. Discovery of the island of Trinidad and a portion of the northern coast of South America from the Orinoco delta to the island of Margarita (Paria Peninsula and Araya Point). (Spain; C. Columbus.)

1499. Discovery of the coast of Guiana and the Caribbean shore of South America to 72° W long., with the Gulf of Venezuela, the Paraguaná and Guajira peninsulas, and a number of islands, including Curaçao. (Spain; A. de Ojeda and A. Vespucci.)

1500. Discovery of the northern coast of Brazil and Marajó and other islands in the delta of the Amazon River and its mouth. (Spain; V. Pinzón.)

1500. Discovery of the eastern coast of Brazil between 6° and 10° S lat. (Spain; D. de Lepe.)

1500. Discovery of a portion of the eastern coast of Brazil at 17° S lat. (Portugal; P. Cabral.)

1501. Completion of the discovery of the Caribbean shore of South America (as far as the Gulf of Urabá). Discovery of the mouth of the Magdalena River. (Spain; R. de Bastidas.)

1501-02. Discovery of the coast of Brazil from 10° to 25° S lat., the mouth of the Säo Francisco River, Todos Los Santos Bay, and Guanabara Bay (Rio de Janeiro). (Portugal; expedition with the probable participation of A. Vespucci.)

1502-03. Discovery of Martinique and other Caribbean islands and the coasts of Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama to the Gulf of Urabá. (Spain; C. Columbus.)

Circa 1504. Discovery of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the Nova Scotia Peninsula, and Cape Breton Island. (France; Breton fishermen.)

1508. First circumnavigation of Cuba. (Spain; S. de Ocampo.)

1513. Discovery of the Florida Peninsula and the Florida Current (beginning part of the Gulf Stream). (Spain; J. Ponce de León and A. Alaminos.)

1513. Crossing of the Isthmus of Panama, discovery of the “Southern Sea”—Gulf of Panama of the Pacific Ocean. (Spain; V. Balboa.)

1515-16. Discovery of the Plata Estuary and the lower reaches of the Parana River. (Spain; J. de Solis.)

1517-18. Discovery of the Yucatán Peninsula and the western shore of the Gulf of Mexico. (Spain; F. de Córdoba, J. de Grijalva, and A. Alaminos.)

1519. Discovery of the northern shore of the Gulf of Mexico. (Spain; A. de Pineda.)

1519-21. Conquest of the land of the Aztecs and discovery of the Meseta Central. (Spain; H. Cortés.)

1520. Discovery of the shores of Patagonia, the northern coast of Tierra del Fuego, and the Strait of Magellan. (Spain; F. Magellan.)

Before 1522. Discovery of the northwestern coast of South America (8°-4° N lat.). (Spain; P. de Andagoya.)

1522-23. Military expeditions in the Pacific Ocean regions of southern Mexico. Discovery of the southern Sierra Madres, the Lerma River, and Rio Balsas. (Spain; G. de Sandoval, C. de Olid, and P. Alvarez Chico.)

1522-23. Discovery of the Pacific shores of Costa Rica and Nicaragua and lakes Managua and Nicaragua. (Spain; J. Avila and A. Niño.)

1523-24. Military expedition to Guatemala. Discovery of the isthmus of Tehuantepec and the Pacific Ocean coast of Central America between 95° and 88° W long. (Spain; P. de Alvarado.)

1524. Discovery of part of the eastern coast of North America between 34° and 46° N lat. (France; G. da Verrazano.)

1526-27 Discovery of the Pacific Ocean coast of South America between 4° N lat. and 8° S lat. and the Gulf of Guayaquil. (Spain; F. Pizarro and B. Ruiz.)

1527-28. Discovery of the entire lower course of the Paraná River and the lower reaches of the Paraguay River. (Spain; S. Cabot.)

1528. Discovery of the Mississippi River delta. (Spain; P. de Narvaez.)

1529-34. First military expeditions in the land of “El Dorado.” Discovery of the northwestern Andes, the lower Magdalena, and the Cauca River. (Germany and Spain; A. Ehinger, P. Heredia, and J. César.)

1529-36. Crossing of the Gulf coastal plain, the southern belt of the Great Plains, and the basin of the Rio Grande. (Spain; A. Cabeza de Vaca.)

1531-39. Discovery (while searching for “El Dorado”) of the lower and middle courses of the Orinoco River and the Llanos. (Spain and Germany; D. Ordás, N. Federmann, and G. Hohermuth.)

1532-34. Conquest of Peru. Discovery of the Cordillera Occidental and Cordillera Central of the Andes and the Marañón River—source of the Amazon. (Spain; F. Pizarro and S. de Belalcázar.)

1532-40. Discovery of the California Peninsula, the Gulf of California, and the lower reaches of the Colorado River. (Spain; H. Cortes, F. de Ulloa, and H. de Alarcón.)

1534-35. Circumnavigation of the island of Newfoundland. Discovery of the Gaspé Peninsula, Prince Edward Island, Anticosti Island, and the St. Lawrence River (the so-called discovery of Canada). (France; J. Cartier.)

1535. Discovery of the Galápagos Islands. (Spain; T. de Berlanga.)

1535-37. Chilean military expedition. Discovery of the Altiplano in the Central Andes, Lake Titicaca, the Chilean-Argentine Andes, and the Atacama Desert. (Spain; D. de Almagro [father].)

1536. Ascent along the Paraguay River to 21° S lat. First military expedition in the Gran Chaco region. (Spain; J. de Ayolas.)

1536-39. Completion of the discoveries in search of “El Dorado” of the Magdalena River basin and the northwestern Andes. (Spain; G. Jiménez de Quesada and S. de Belalcázar.)

1540-42. Discovery of the Colorado River basin, the Grand Canyon, the southern part of the Rocky Mountains, and the upper reaches of the Rio Grande. March across the Great Plains to 40° N lat. (Spain; F. de Coronado and G. de Cárdenas.)

1540-43. Discovery of the southern Appalachians, the lower Mississippi, the Ozark Plateau, the Red River, and the Arkansas River. (Spain; H. De Soto and L. de Moscoso de Alvarado.)

1541-42. First march across the Andes to the Amazon. (Spain; G. Pizarro.)

1541-42. March eastward from the Guayaquil Gulf and voyage by water along the Amazon to the sea. First crossing of South America. (Spain; F. de Orellana and G. Carvajal.)

1541-42. Crossing of the southern part of the Brazilian Highlands. Discovery of Iguassú Falls and the Iguassú River. (Spain; A. Cabeza de Vaca.)

1542-43. Voyage by water along the west coast of North America to 40° N lat. (Spain; J. Cabrillo.)

1547. Crossing of the Gran Chaco region from the Paraguay River to the central Andes. (Spain; D. de Irala.)

1547-52. Completion of the discovery of middle Chile. (Spain; P. de Valdivia.)

1552-58. Discovery of the Chilean archipelago, including the island of Chiloé and Chonos Archipelago, and the Taitao Peninsula. (Spain; J. Pastene and J. Ladrilleros.)

1560. Discovery of the Huallaga River and the lower course of the Marañón River. (Spain; P. de Ursúa.)

1576-78. Search for the Northwest Passage. Discovery of the southeastern projection of Baffin Island. (England; M. Frobisher.)

1578-79. Reaching of the sea south of Tierra del Fuego (Drake Passage). Discovery of the western coast of North America from 38° to 43° N lat. (England; F. Drake.)

1579-84. Exploration of the Chilean archipelago and the branches of the Strait of Magellan. (Spain; P. Sarmiento de Gamboa.)

1581-83. Exploration of the middle and upper part of the Rio Grande basin. (Spain; A. Rodriguez and other missionaries.)

1585-87. Searches for the Northwest Passage. Discovery of Davis Strait and the eastern shore of Baffin Island to 73° N lat. (England; J. Davis.)

Before 1587. Exploration of the Sao Francisco River. (Portugal; G. Soares de Sousa.)

1592. Discovery of the Falkland Islands. (England; J. Davis.)

1602-05. Exploration of the peninsulas of Cape Cod and Nova Scotia and the Gulf of Maine (bounded by Nova Scotia in the northeast and Cape Cod in the southwest). Discovery of Massachusetts Bay, Penobscot Bay, and the Bay of Fundy. (England and France; B. Gosnold, G. Weymouth, and S. de Champlain.)

1606-09. Discovery of the James River basin, the Fall Line, and the central zone of the Piedmont Plateau. (England; C. Newport and J. Smith.)

1609. Discovery of the Adirondack Mountains and the Green Mountains in the northern Appalachians. (France; S. de Champlain.)

1609. Exploration of the east coast of North America between 36° and 44° N lat. Discovery of Chesapeake and Delaware bays and the Hudson River. (Holland; H. Hudson.)

1610. Discovery of Hudson Strait and the eastern shore of Hudson Bay. (England; H. Hudson.)

1610-35. Exploration of the Paraná and Uruguay river basins. (Spain; Jesuit missionaries.)

1612-15. Discovery of the island of Southampton and the western shore of Hudson Bay. (England; T. Button, R. Bylot, and W. Baffin.)

1615-23. Exploration of the Amazon delta. Discovery of the Para River and the mouth of the Tocantins River. (Portugal; F. Caldeira and colonists from the city of Para.)

1615-28. Discovery of Lakes Huron and Ontario and the Susquehanna River. ((France; S. de Champlain and E. Brul#x00E9;.))

1616. Discovery of Cape Horn and the first voyage across Drake Passage. (Holland; W. Schouten and J. Le Maire.)

1616. Exploration of Baffin Bay as far as Smith Sound. Start of the discovery of the islands of Ellesmere and Devon. (England; R. Bylot and W. Baffin.)

1631. Discovery of the southern shore of Hudson Bay, James Bay, and the Foxe Basin. (England; T. James and L. Foxe.)

1637-39. First exploration of the Amazon River and the lower reaches of its major tributaries to the eastern slope of the Andes. (Portugal; P. Teixeira and B. Acosta.)

1640-48. Discovery of Lake Erie and Niagara Falls. (France; J. de Brébeuf.)

1654-64. Exploration of the shores of Lake Michigan. Discovery of the upper Mississippi and Lake Nipigon. (France; Sieur de Groseilliers and P. Radisson.)

1669. Discovery of the Ohio River. (France; Sieur de La Salle.)

1671. Exploration of the rivers and lakes of southern Labrador. (France; C. Albanel.)

1673. First voyage down the Mississippi from the Wisconsin River to the Arkansas River. Discovery of the mouth of the Missouri River. (France; L. Jolliet and J. Marquette.)

1678-81. Voyage from the St. Lawrence River through the Great Lakes to the upper Mississippi and down the Mississippi to the sea. (France; Sieur de La Salle.)

1685-89. Exploration of the Amazon River. (Spain; P. Fritz.)

1690-91. Crossing of the Laurentian Plateau (Canadian Shield) from the mouth of the Nelson River to Lake Winnipeg. Discovery of the Saskatchewan River. (Great Britain; H. Kelsey.)

1718-23. Discovery of the Mato Grosso plateau and the Serra dos Pareéis plateau. (Portugal; Paulistas [mestizos from the vicinity of Säo Paulo, Brazil].)

1732. Discovery of the extreme northwestern projection of North America and its western point—168° W long. (Russia; I. Fedorov and M. Gvozdev.)

1734-43. Discovery of Lakes Winnipeg, Winnipegosis, and Manitoba, part of the middle course of the Missouri River, and the Missouri plateau. (France; Sieur de la Verendrye [P. G. de Varennes] and his sons.)

1736-43. Measurement of the meridian arc in the equatorial Andes. (France; C. de La Condamine and P. Bouguer.)

1741. Discovery of the northern and eastern shores of the Gulf of Alaska, Mount St. Elias, the Alexander Archipelago, the Kenai Peninsula, Kodiak Island, Shumagin Island, and several Aleutian Islands from the Fox, An-dreanof, Rat, and Near island groups. (Russia; V. Bering and A. Chirikov.)

1742. First voyage from the Mato Grosso along the Madeira River system and along the Amazon to the Para River. (Portugal; M. de Lima.)

1745-58. First debarkations on the Near, Andreanof, and Rat islands. (Russia; M. Nevodchikov and small trade artels.)

1754-55. Exploration of the Saskatchewan River basin. (Great Britain; A. Henday.)

1750’s. Exploration of the Rio Negro basin (northern Patagonia). (Spain; T. Falkner.)

1759-64. Discovery of Umnak, Unalaska, Islands of the Four Mountains from the Fox island group, and a number of the Andreanof Islands. (Russia; S. Glotov, S. Ponomarev, and A. Tolstykh.)

1768. Discovery of Unimak Island and the southwestern projection of the Alaska Peninsula. (Russia; P. Krenitsyn and M. Levashov.)

1769. Discovery of San Francisco Bay. (Spain; G. de Portolx00E1;.)

1770-72. Discovery in northern Canada of Dubawnt Lake, Coppermine River, and Great Slave Lake. (Great Britain; S. Hearne.)

1774-75. Discovery of the mouth of the Columbia River, the western shore of Vancouver Island, and the Queen Charlotte Islands. (Spain; J. Pérez and B. Heceta.)

1776. Crossing of the Mojave Desert and discovery of the California Valley. (Spain; F. Garcés.)

1776. Discovery of the Wasatch Mountains and the eastern lakes of the Great Basin. (Spain; S. Velez de Escalante.)

1776-89. Discovery of Lake Athabasca and the Athabasca, Slave, Mackenzie, and Peace rivers. (Great Britain; P. Pond, A. Hendry, and A. Mackenzie.)

1778. Exploration of the northwest coast of America to 70° 20’ N lat., the shores of the Gulf of Alaska, Cook Inlet, and Bristol Bay. Discovery of Norton Bay. (Great Britain; J. Cook.)

1781-1801. First scientific exploration of the Pampas and the Chaco Austral. (Spain; F. de Azara.)

1784-92. Exploration of the islands and coasts of the Gulf of Alaska, the Alaska Peninsula, and the Aleutian Islands. (Russia; G. Shelikhov, D. Bocharov, and G. Sarychev.)

1788. Discovery of the Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea. (Russia; G. Pribylov.)

Circa 1791. Discovery of Iliamna Lake and the Kuskokwim River. (Russia; A. Ivanov.)

1791-1805. Exploration of the Laurentian Plateau (Canadian Shield) and the basins of Lakes Superior and Winnipeg. (Great Britain; D. Thompson.)

1792. Discovery of the lower course of the Columbia River. (USA; R. Gray.)

1792. Discovery of Great Bear Lake. (Great Britain; A. Mackenzie.)

1792-94. Double crossing of North America (Canada). Passage across the Rocky Mountains and the Coast Ranges to the Pacific Ocean at 52° N lat. (Great Britain; A. Mackenzie.)

1792-94. Completion of the discovery of Vancouver Island and the Queen Charlotte Islands. Discovery of Juan de Fuca Strait and the Strait of Georgia. Exploration of the eastern and northern shores of the Gulf of Alaska. (Great Britain and Spain; G. Vancouver and J. Bodega y Quadra.)

1799-1804. Exploration of the Llanos Plains, bifurcation of the Orinoco River, volcanoes of the equatorial Andes, and the Meseta Central. (Germany and France; A. von Humboldt and A. Bonpland.)

1804-05. Crossing of North America from east to west. Exploration of the entire course of the Missouri River. Passage across the Rocky Mountains and Cascade Range to the Pacific Ocean at 46° N lat. (USA; M. Lewis and W. Clark.)

1805-07. Discovery of Fraser River. (Great Britain; S. Fraser.)

1806. Crossing of North America from west to east and exploration of the Yellowstone River. (USA; M. Lewis and W. Clark.)

1806-07. Exploration of the southern part of the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains. (USA; Z. Pike.)

1807-11. Discovery of the upper and middle courses of the Columbia River and exploration of its entire basin. (Great Britain; D. Thompson.)

1811-14. Exploration of the Serra do Espinhaço. (Brazil; W. Eschwege.)

1816. Discovery of Kotzebue Sound in the Chukchi Sea. (Russia; O. Kotsebu.)

1817-18. Exploration of the Säo Francisco and Parnaiba river basins and the Amazon valley from 70° W long, to the mouth of the Japurá. (Bavaria; J. Spix and K. von Martius.)

1817-20. Exploration of the right bank of the Tocantins River. (Austria; J. Pohl.) 1817-20. Latitudinal crossing of the Brazilian Highlands from the upper Tocantins to the Mato Grosso. (Austria; J. Natterer.)

1818-19. Exploration of the eastern shores of the Bering Sea. Discovery of the Yukon River delta. (Russia; P. Korsakovskii and P. Ustiugov.)

1819-20. First voyage westward from Baffin Bay through Lancaster Sound, Barrow Strait, and Viscount Melville Sound. Discovery of the southern shores of Devon, Corn-wallis, Bathurst, and Melville islands and the northern shores of Banks, Somerset, and Baffin islands. (Great Britain; W. Parry.)

1819–20. Discovery of the Wrangell Mountains to the north of the Gulf of Alaska. (Russia; A. Klimovskii.)

1821. Exploration of the southeast coast of the Bering Sea. Discovery of Nunivak Island, Kuskokwim Bay, and Etolin Strait. (Russia; M. Vasil’ev, V. Khromchenko, and A. Etolin.)

1821. Discovery of Coronation Gulf and Bathurst Inlet in the Arctic Ocean. (Great Britain; J. Franklin.)

1822. Discovery of the Melville Peninsula in northern Canada. (Great Britain; W. Parry.)

1824. Discovery of the northern and central part of the Great Basin and the Humboldt River. (Great Britain; P. Ogden.)

1824-25. Second discovery of Great Salt Lake and Utah Lake. (USA; W. Ashley.)

1824-25. Completion of the discovery of Baffin Island. (Great Britain; W. Parry.)

1826. Discovery of the shores of the Beaufort Sea and the Amundsen Gulf from 149° to 114° W long. (Great Britain; J. Franklin and J. Richardson.)

1826-28. Multiple explorations of the Brazilian Highlands and crossing of it along the upper Paraná, Paraguay, and Tapajós river systems. (Russia; G. Langsdorf, N. Rubtsov, and L. Ridel’.)

1826-30. Survey of the coasts of Patagonia, the Falkland Islands, and the archipelagoes of Tierra del Fuego and Chile. (Great Britain; P. King and R. Fitzroy.)

1826-33. Exploration of the Paraná and Paraguay river basins, northern Patagonia, and the Andes. (France; A. d’Orbigny.)

1829-31. Discovery of the Boothia Peninsula, the north magnetic pole, and King William Island. (Great Britain; John Ross and James Ross.)

1829-32. Exploration of the Huallaga and Amazon rivers. (Germany; E. Pöppig.)

1829-41. Exploration of the west coast of North America and completion of the discovery of the Alexander Archipelago. (Russia; F. Wrangel, D. Zarembo, and P. Mit’kov.)

1830-33. Exploration of the Kuskokwim River. (Russia; I. Vasil’ev and P. Kolmakov.)

1832-35. Exploration of Patagonia, the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, and the Galápagos Islands. (Great Britain; R. Fitzroy and C. Darwin.)

1832-35. Exploration of the Great Basin. Discovery of a group of lakes in the southwestern Great Basin area. (USA; B. de Bonneville and J. R. Walker.)

1833-34. Discovery of the Back River and the Chantrey Inlet in northern Canada. (Great Britain; G. Back.)

1835-38. Discovery of the lower and middle courses of the Yukon River. (Russia; A. Glazunov and V. Malakhov.)

1835-44. Exploration of the Essequibo River basin and the Guiana Highlands. Discovery of the Pakaraima Mountains and Mount Roraima. (Great Britain; the brothers R. H. Schomburgk and M. R. Schomburgk.)

1837. Completion of the discovery of the northern coast of America from Point Barrow to the Chantrey Inlet. Discovery of the entire southern coast of Victoria Island and of Dease Strait, Queen Maud Gulf, and Simpson Strait. (Great Britain; P. Dease and T. Simpson.)

1839-44. Exploration of the Cordilleras in Chile and the southern part of the Atacama Desert. (Chile; I. Domeyko.)

1842-43. Exploration of the lower and middle courses of the Yukon River. (Russia; L. Zagoskin.)

1843-47. Double crossing of South America. (France; Comte de Castelnau [F. de la Porte].)

1843-50. Discovery of the sources and upper course of the Yukon River. (Great Britain; R. Campbell.)

1843-53. Completion of the discovery of the Great Basin and establishment of the contours of its drainless area. (USA; J. Fremont and K. Carson.)

1844. Discovery of the Susitna River basin and part of the southern slope of the Alaska Range. (Russia; V. Malakhov.)

1845-46. Discovery of Wellington Channel, Peel Sound, Franklin Strait, and Prince of Wales Island. (Great Britain; J. Franklin and F. Crozier.)

1845-50. Completion of the description of the Kenai Peninsula and compilation of the Atlas of the Northwestern Shores of America. (Russia; M. Teben’kov.)

1846-52. Completion of the discovery of Melville Peninsula; exploration of the entire southern coast of Victoria Island. (Great Britain; J. Rae.)

1848-58. Exploration of the Amazon and Rio Negro valleys. (Great Britain; A. Wallace and H. Bates.)

1850-53. So-called discovery of the Northwest Passage. Discovery of Prince of Wales Strait and M’Clure Strait. First (incomplete) circumnavigation of Banks Island. Discovery by sledge teams of the northwestern and southeastern coasts of Victoria Island. (Great Britain; R. McClure and R. Collinson.)

1851-53. Completion of the discovery of Bathurst and Prince of Wales islands. (Great Britain; S. Osborn.)

1851-69. Exploration of the Peruvian Andes, especially Cordillera Occidental. (Peru; A. Raimondi.)

1852. Final determination of the contours of the North American continent: discovery of Bellot Strait between Boothia Peninsula and Somerset Island. (Great Britain; W. Kennedy and J. Bellot.)

1852-61. Discovery of Smith Sound, the Kane Basin, and the Kennedy Channel between Ellesmere Island and northwestern Greenland. (Great Britain, USA; E. Inglefield, E. Kane, and I. Hayes.)

1853. Discovery of Prince Patrick and Eglinton islands. Completion of the discovery of Melville Island and M’Clure Strait. (Great Britain; H. Kellett, D. Mecham, and F. McClintock.)

1853-54. Exploration of the Atacama Desert. (Chile; R. Philippi.)

1863. Exploration of the entire course of the Yukon River. (Russia and Great Britain; I. Lukin and R. Kennicott.)

1864-67. Survey of the entire Purús River and the Juruá River. (Great Britain; W. Chandless.)

1868-74. Exploration of the northwestern and equatorial Andes. (Germany; A. Stiibel and W. Reiss.)

1869-70. Crossing of Patagonia from the Strait of Magellan to the Rio Negro. (Great Britain; J. Musters.)

1869-72. Exploration of the Colorado River basin. (USA; J. W. Powell.)

1871. Voyage northward from Baffin Bay to 82° 25’ N lat. Discovery of the Robeson Channel and the Lincoln Sea, with the Hall Basin. (USA; C. Hall.)

1875-76. Discovery of the north shore of Ellesmere Island and part of the northern coast of Greenland. (Great Britain; G. Nares, A. Markham, and P. Aldrich.)

1875-80. Exploration of the Gran Chaco region. (Argentina; L. Fontana.)

1875-81. Exploration of the basin of Patagonian rivers; discovery of a chain of lakes in their upper reaches, including Lake Argentino, Lake Viedma, and Lago San Martin. (Argentina; F. Moreno and C. Moyano.)

1877-89. Exploration of the Guiana Highlands and the upper reaches of the Orinoco River basin. (France; J. Crevaux, H. Coudreau, and J. Chaffanjon.)

1878-84. Exploration of the northwestern Andes and the Guajira Peninsula. (Great Britain; F. Simons.)

1879–81. Exploration of the Putumayo and Japurá rivers and the Guaviare River system. (France; J. Crevaux.)

1882-84, 1887-88. Exploration of the northern part of the Rocky Mountains and the basin of the upper Yukon. (Canada; G. Dawson.)

1882-95. Exploration of the eastern slopes of the Chilean-Argentine Andes. (Argentina; F. Moreno.)

1884-88. Exploration of the entire Xingú River. (Germany; K. von den Steinen.)

1884-93. Exploration of the Cordillera de Mérida, the Sierra de Perijá, and the Venezuelan Andes along the Caribbean coast. (Germany; W. Sievers.)

1888. First crossing of Greenland’s ice cap at 64° N lat. (Norway; F. Nansen and O. Sverdrup.)

1892-94. Exploration of the central part of the Laurentian Plateau (Canadian Shield). Discovery of Reindeer Lake, Wollaston Lake, Cree Lake, Lac la Ronge, and other lakes. (Canada; the brothers Joseph Tyrrell and James Tyrrell.)

1892-99. Crossing of Greenland. Discovery of the peninsula Peary Land and Cape Morris Jesup, the northernmost tip of dry land (83°40’ N lat.). (USA; R. Peary.)

1893-94. Exploration of the Labrador Peninsula, in particular the basin of the Hamilton River. (Canada; A. Low.)

1893-99. Exploration of both slopes of the Patagonian Andes for their entire length. (Chile and Argentina; G. Steffen and F. Moreno.)

1899-1902. Completion of the discovery of Ellesmere Island. Discovery of the Sverdrup Islands—Axel Heiberg Island, Ellef Ringnes Island, and Amund Ringnes Island. (Norway; O. Sverdrup and G. Isachsen.)


Australia and Oceania

1521. Crossing of the Pacific Ocean in the course of the first round-the-world expedition; discovery of the Mariana Islands (the island of Guam). (Spain; F. Magellan.)

1526. Discovery of the northwestern coast of New Guinea. (Portugal; J. de Menezes.)

1528-43. Discovery of the Marshall Islands, Admiralty Islands, and Caroline Islands. (Spain; A. de Saavedra and R. Villalobos.)

1565. Discovery of the northern tradewind route from the Philippines to the shores of North America. (Spain; A. de Urdaneta.)

1568. Discovery of the southern group of the Solomon Islands. (Spain; A. de Mendaña de Neyra.)

1595. Discovery of the southern group of the Marquesas Islands and the Santa Cruz Islands. (Spain; A. de Mendaña de Neyra.)

1606. Discovery of islands in the Tuamotu Archipelago in Micronesia and the island of Espíritu Santo (in the New Hebrides archipelago), which was thought to be the “Southern Continent.” (Spain; P. de Queirós.)

1606. Discovery of Torres Strait. (Spain; L. de Torres.)

1606. Discovery of the western shore of the Cape York Peninsula in Australia. (Holland; W. Jansz [Janssen].)

1611. Discovery of sea route from the Cape of Good Hope to the western shores of Australia. (Holland; H. Brouwer.)

1616-29. Discoveries on the western and southwestern shores of Australia and of a number of islands in the Tuamotu and Samoa archipelagoes. (Holland; D. Hartog and others.)

1642-44. Discovery of Tasmania, the western shores of New Zealand, the Tonga Islands, and other areas. Exploration of the northern shores of Australia. (Holland; A. Tasman.)

1700. Discoveries on the northwestern shores of Australia and the west coast of New Guinea; discovery of the island of New Britain. (England; W. Dampier.)

1722. Discovery of Easter Island. (Holland; J. Roggeveen.)

1767. Discovery of the island of Tahiti. (Great Britain; S. Wallis.)

1768. Discovery of the northern group of the New Hebrides, the Louisiade Archipelago, and the islands of Bougainville and Choiseul of the Solomon island group. (France; L. de Bougainville.)

1769-70. Discovery of four islands in the Society Islands; continuous exploration of the New Zealand coasts and discovery of Cook Strait. Discovery of the eastern coast of Australia and the Great Barrier Reef. (Great Britain; J. Cook.)

1773-74. Discovery of the southern group of the Cook Islands, the southern group of the New Hebrides, New Caledonia, and the island of Norfolk. (Great Britain; J. Cook.)

1777-78. Discovery of the northern group of the Cook Islands, a number of islands in the Tonga group, and the Hawaiian Islands. (Great Britain; J. Cook.)

1787. Discovery of the island of Savai’i in the Samoa group. (France; Comte de la Perouse.)

1788. Discovery of the Gilbert archipelago and the main islands of the Marshall archipelago. (Great Britain; T. Gilbert and J. Marshall.)

1791. Discovery of the northern group of the Marquesas Islands. (USA; J. Ingraham.)

1791. Discovery of the Chatham Islands and Snares Islands. (Great Britain; G. Vancouver and W. Broughton.)

1791-93. Discovery of islands in the Kermadec group. Survey of the coasts of New Guinea, Tasmania, and the western part of the southern coast of Australia. (France; Chevalier d’Entrecasteaux [A. de Bruni].)

1797-98, 1801-03. Discovery of Bass Strait and clarification of the island status of Tasmania. Survey of the coasts of Australia. Exploration of the Great Barrier Reef. (Great Britain; G. Bass and M. Flinders.)

1801-03. Discovery of the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf, Géographe Bay, and Cape Naturaliste. (France; N. Baudin.)

1805. Discovery and description of Lisianski Island. (Russia; Iu. Lisianskii.)

1813-15. First crossing of the Great Dividing Range and the rivers to the west of the Blue Mountains. (Great Britain; G. Blaxland and G. Evans.)

1814. Discovery and description of Suvorov Island. (Russia; M. Lazarev.)

1816-17. Systematic scientific explorations and descriptions of the Marshall and Tuamotu islands. (Russia; O. Kotsebu.)

1820. Discovery and descriptions of a number of island groups, primarily in the Tuamotu Archipelago (Islands of the Russians). (Russia; F. Bellingshausen and M. Lazarev.)

1824. Discovery of the Murray and Murrumbidgee rivers. (Great Britain; H. Hume and W. Hovell.)

1826-28. Geographic explorations in Oceania. (France; J. Dumont d’Urville.)

1828. Systematic explorations and descriptions of the Caroline Islands. (Russia; F. Litke.)

1828. Discovery and description of the Moller Atoll in the Tuamotu Islands and two islands of the Hawaiian archipelago. (Russia; M. Staniukovich.)

1829-30. Discovery of the Darling River and exploration of the Murray Basin. (Great Britain; C. Sturt.)

1831, 1835, 1836. Exploration and surveys in southeast Australia. (Great Britain; T. Mitchell.)

1835. Discovery and description of the Wotho (Shants) Atoll in the Marshall Islands. (Russia; I. Shants.)

1835. Crossing of the Pacific Ocean on the ship Beagle. (Great Britain; R. Fitzroy and C. Darwin.)

1837-39. Discovery of the Gascoyne River and survey of part of the western coast of Australia. (Great Britain; G. Grey.)

1838-42. Geographic explorations in Oceania. (USA; C. Wilkes.)

1839. Discovery of the Flinders Ranges and Lake Torrens in South Australia. (Great Britain; E. J. Eyre.)

1840. Discovery of the highest peak in Australia—Mount Kosciusko—and exploration of the Australian Alps. (Great Britain; P. de Strzelecki.)

1840-41. Crossing of South Australia. (Great Britain; E. J. Eyre.)

1843-45. Inspection of the southern coast of New Guinea. Discovery of the Fly River. (Great Britain; F. Blackwood.)

1844-45. Crossing of northeastern Australia. (Great Britain; L. Leichhardt.)

1844-46. First journey to central Australia. (Great Britain; C. Sturt.)

1846. Expedition to the northeastern margin of central Australia. (Great Britain; T. Mitchell and E. Kennedy.)

1858. Second crossing of Australia, from the city of Brisbane to the Flinders Ranges and the city of Adelaide (Great Britain; A. Gregory.)

1858. Discovery of Lake Eyre. (Great Britain; E. J. Eyre.)

1858-61. Four journeys to northwestern Australia. (Great Britain; F. Gregory.)

1860-61. First crossing of Australia in a meridional direction, from Adelaide to the Gulf of Carpentaria. (Great Britain; R. Burke.)

1860-61. Two journeys to central Australia. Discovery of the Macdonnell Ranges. (Great Britain; J. Stuart.)

1862. Two crossings of Australia from Adelaide to the northern shores of Arnhem Land. (Great Britain; J. Stuart.)

1871-72. Explorations of part of the northern coast of New Guinea. (Russia; N. Miklukho-Maklai.)

1872-76. Journeys to the interior of Western Australia. Crossing of the southern edge of the Great Victoria Desert and the Gibson Desert. (Great Britain; E. Giles.)

1874. Journey to the interior regions of Western Australia. (Great Britain; J. Forrest.)

1876-77. Explorations of Micronesia and Melanesia. (Russia; N. Miklukho-Maklai.)

1879. Exploration of northwestern Australia. Discovery of the King Leopold Ranges. (Great Britain; A. Forrest.)

1889-97. Explorations of the inland regions of New Guinea. (Great Britain; W. Macgregor.)

1891-96. Detailed exploration and survey of the Great Victoria Desert and the Great Sandy Desert. (Great Britain; D. Lindsay and D. Carnegie.)


1903-06. First voyage across the Northwest Passage. (Norway; R. Amundsen.)

1907. Discovery of the northeastern coast of Greenland. (Denmark; L. Mylius-Erichsen.)

1909. Reaching of the north pole. (USA; R. Peary.)

1909-11. Exploration of Novaia Zemlia. (Russia; V. Rusanov.)

1912-24. Explorations of Greenland and the northern coast of Canada and Alaska. (Denmark; K. Rasmussen.)

1913. Precise determination of the configuration of the western coast of Novaia Zemlia. Study of the interior regions of the northern island of Novaia Zemlia. (Russia; G. Sedov and V. Vize.)

1913. Crossing of Greenland between 76° and 73° N lat. (Denmark; J. Koch.)

1913-14. Discovery of Severnaia Zemlia and the Malyi Taimyr, Starokadamskii, Zhokhov, and Vil’kitskii islands. (Russia; B. Vil’kitskii.)

1921-25. Explorations of Novaia Zemlia. (USSR; N. Roze and R. Samoilovich.)

1922. Discovery of Shokal’skii Island. (USSR; D. Vardroner.)

1929-30. First wintering on the ice cap in the center of Greenland. (Germany; members of A. Wegener’s expedition.)

1930. Discovery of Mount Gunnbj0rn—the highest point in the arctic—in eastern Greenland. (Great Britain and Canada; H. Watkins.)

1930. Discovery of the islands of Vize, Voronin, and Shmidt, the Sedov Archipelago, and the Kirov Islands. (USSR; O. Shmidt, V. Vize, and V. Voronin.)

1930-32. Discovery and exploration of the islands of Oktiabrskoi Revolutsii, Pioner, Komsomolets, and Bol’shevik. (USSR; G. Ushakov and N. Urvantsev.)

1932. First through voyage by an Arctic Ocean route from west to east during a single navigation on the icebreaker Sibiriakov. (USSR; O. Shmidt and V. Voronin.)

1932-33. Discovery of the Arkticheskogo Instituta Islands. (USSR; R. Samoilovich.)

1932-33. Discovery of the Izvestiia TsIK Islands. (USSR; O. Shmidt and V. Vize.)

1934. First through voyage by an Arctic Ocean route from east to west during a single navigation on the icebreaker Litke. (USSR; V. Vize.)

1935. Discovery of Ushakov Island. (USSR; G. Ushakov and N. Zubov.)

1937-38. Explorations in the Arctic Basin by the first drifting station Severnyi Polius-1. (USSR; I. Papanin, E. Krenkel’, P. Shirshov, and E. Fedorov.)

1948-71. Explorations of the Arctic Basin. Discovery of the Lomonosov, Mendeleev, and Gakkel’ underwater ridges. (USSR; Soviet high-latitudinal Sever Expedition and the Severnyi Polius drifting stations.)


1739. Discovery of Bouvet Island. (France; J. Bouvet de Losier.)

1771. Discovery of Kerguelen Island. (France; Y. de Kerguelen-Trémarec.)

1775. Discovery of the island of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. (Great Britain; J. Cook.)

1819. Discovery of the South Shetland Islands. (Great Britain; W. Smith.)

1819-20. Discovery of the islands of Annenkov and Traverse; description of the South Sandwich Islands. (Russia; F. Bellingshausen and M. Lazarev.)

1820. Discovery of the mainland of Antarctica; first mapping of the coastline in the zero meridian region. (Russia; F. Bellingshausen and M. Lazarev.)

1821. Discovery of Peter I Island, Alexander Island, one of the Tri Brata Islands, and Rozhnov Island of the South Shetland Islands. (Russia; F. Bellingshausen and M. Lazarev.)

1821. Discovery of the South Orkney Islands. (Great Britain; G. Powell and N. Palmer.)

1823. Discovery of the Weddell Sea. (Great Britain; J. Wed-dell.)

1831-33. Discovery of Enderby Land, the Biscoe Islands, the island of Adelaide, and the Antarctic Peninsula. (Great Britain; J. Biscoe.)

1833. Discovery of the Kemp Coast. (Great Britain; P. Kemp.)

1838-40. Discovery of the islands of Astrolabe and Joinville, the Louis Philippe Peninsula, and the Adélie Coast. (France; J. Dumont d’Urville.)

1840. Discovery of the Clarie Coast, the Budd Coast, Wilkes Land, and the Knox Coast. (USA; C. Wilkes.)

1840-42. Discovery of Victoria Land, the Admiralty Mountains, Mount Erebus, Mount Terror, and the Ross Ice Shelf. (Great Britain; J. Ross.)

1893. Discovery of the Larsen Ice Shelf, Robertson Island, the Jason Peninsula, the Oscar II Coast, and the Foynøya Coast. (Norway; C. Larsen.)

1898. Discovery of the Danco Coast, Brabant Island, Liège Island, the Gerlache Strait, and the Palmer Archipelago. (Belgium; A. de Gerlache.)

1902. Discovery of the Edward VII Peninsula, The Drygalski Ice Shelf, and White Island. (Great Britain; R. Scott.)

1902. Discovery of the West Ice Shelf, Mount Gaussberg, and the Wilhelm II Coast. (Germany; E. von Drygalski.)

1904. Discovery of Coats Land. (Great Britain; W. Bruce.)

1908. Discovery of the Beardmore Glacier and the Queen Alexandra and Dominion ranges. Reaching of the south magnetic pole. (Great Britain; E. Shackleton, D. Mawson, and A. MacKay.)

1911. Reaching of the geographic south pole for the first time; discovery of the Queen Maud Range and the Prestrud and Liv glaciers. (Norway; R. Amundsen.)

1911-12. Discovery of the Oates Coast. Geographic south pole reached for the second time. (Great Britain; R. Scott.)

1912. Discovery of the Shackleton, Scott, Mertz, and Ninnis glaciers and the George V Coast. (Australia; D. Mawson.)

1912. Discovery of the Luitpold Coast and the Filchner Ice Shelf. (Germany; W. Filchner.) 1915. Discovery of the Caird Coast and the Dawson-Lambton Glacier. (Great Britain; E. Shackleton.)

1928-30. Discovery of the Edsel Ford Ranges, Grosvenor Range, the Rockefeller Plateau, Marie Byrd Land, and Amundsen Glacier. (USA; R. Byrd.)

1929. Discovery of Amundsen Bay. (Norway; H. Riiser-Larsen.)

1930-31. Discovery of Queen Maud Land, the Princess Martha Coast, the Prince Olav Coast, and the Princess Ragnhild Coast. (Norway; H. Riiser-Larsen.)

1930-31. Discovery of the Lars Christensen Coast. (Norway; K. Mikkelsen.)

1930-31. Discovery of the Mac-Robertson Coast, Princess Elizabeth Land, the Banzare Coast, MacKenzie Bay, and Masson Mountains. (Great Britain, Australia, and New Zealand; D. Mawson.)

1933-35. Discovery of the Horlick Mountains, Roosevelt Island, and the Ruppert Coast. (USA; R. Byrd.)

1933-37. Discovery of the Leopold and Astrid Coast, the Prince Harald Coast, and the Lars Christensen Coast. (Norway; L. Christensen.)

1935. Discovery of the Hollick-Kenyon Plateau, the Eternity Range, James Ellsworth Land, and the Sentinel Range. (USA; L. Ellsworth.)

1935. Discovery of the Vestfold Oasis and the Ingrid Christensen Coast. (Norway; K. Mikkelsen.)

1938-39. Discovery of the Drygalski, Payer, Humboldt, and Wohlthat mountains. (Germany; A. Ritscher.)

1939-41. Discovery of Dolleman Island, the Executive Committee Range, and the Richard Black, Hobbs, and Walgreen coasts. (USA; R. Byrd.)

1947. Discovery of the Grierson Oasis. (Great Britain; D. Grierson.)

1947. Discovery of the Banger Oasis. (USA; A. Banger.)

1947. Discovery of the Lassiter Shelf Ice and Edith Ronne Land. (USA; F. Ronne.)

1956. Discovery of the Gidrografov and Geologov islands, the Geografov Peninsula, the Annenkov Glacier, the Zavadovskii Ice Cap, Lake Druzhba, the Dlinnyi Peninsula, and many others. (USSR; First Soviet Antarctic Expedition, led by M. Somov.)

1957. Geomagnetic south pole reached for the first time. (USSR; Second Soviet Antarctic Expedition, led by A. Treshnikov.)

1957-58. First overland transantarctic passage across the south pole. (Great Britain and New Zealand; V. Fuchs and E. Hillary.)

1957-58. Discovery of the Sovetskii Plateau, the subglacial Gamburtsev Mountains, the International Geophysical Year (IGY) Valley, and Cape Lunnik; the “pole of inaccessibility” reached for the first time. (USSR; Third Soviet Antarctic Expedition, led by E. Tolstikov; the lower part of the IGY Valley was discovered by a joint British-Australian-American expedition.)

1958. Discovery of the Bélgica Mountains. (Belgium; A. de Gerlache.)

1959. Discovery of the Shmidt subglacial plain and the Russkie Mountains. (USSR; Fourth Soviet Antarctic Expedition, led by A. Draklin.)

1962. The Kosmonavt, Cooperation, Lazarev, Mawson, and Riiser-Larsen seas were defined. (USSR; the Fifth and Sixth Soviet Antarctic Expeditions, led by E. Korotkevich and V. Driatskii.)

1963-64. Land journey following a route from Vostok Station to the “pole of inaccessibility” and then to Molodezhnaia Station. (USSR; A. Kapitsa.)

1964. Discovery of the Vostochnaia subglacial plain and the subglacial Vernadskii Mountains. (USSR; Ninth Soviet Antarctic Expedition, led by M. Somov.)

1966-67. First overland crossing of Queen Maud Land following a route from Molodezhnaia Station to Plato Station and then to Novolazarevskaia Station. (USSR; I. Petrov.)

1968. Exploration of the South Shetland Islands and the establishment of Bellingshausen Station on Waterloo Island. (USSR; A. Treshnikov.)

1965–71. Systematic multiple investigations of Antarctica by Soviet and foreign expeditions.



Baker, J. Istoriia geograficheskikh otkrytii i issledovanii. Moscow, 1950. (Translated from English.)
Hennig, R. Nevedomye zemli, vols. 1-4. Moscow, 1961-63. (Translated from German.)
Magidovich, I. P. Ocherki po istorii geograficheskikh otkrytii. Moscow, 1967.
Magidovich, I. P. Istoriia otkrytiia i issledovaniia Severnoi Ameriki. Moscow, 1962.
Magidovich, I. P. Istoriia otkrytiia i issledovaniia Tsentral’noi i Iuzhnoi Ameriki. Moscow, 1965.
Magidovich, V. I., and I. P. Magidovich. Istoriia otkrytiia i issledovaniia Evropy. Moscow, 1970.
Svet, la. M. Istoriia otkrytiia i issledovaniia Avstralii i Okeanii. Moscow, 1966.
Treshnikov, A. F. Istoriia otkrytiia i issledovaniia Antarktidy. Moscow, 1963.
Berg, L. S. Ocherki po istorii russkikh geograficheskikh otkrytii. Moscow-Leningrad, 1949.
Lebedev, D. M. Ocherki po istorii geografii v Rossii 15 i 16 vv. Moscow, 1956.
Lebedev, D. M. Ocherki po istorii geografii v Rossii 18 v. (1725-1800 gg.). Moscow, 1957.
Grekov, V. I. Ocherki iz istorii russkikh geograficheskikh issledovanii v 1725-1765 gg. Moscow, 1960.
Gvozdetskii, N. A. Sovetskie geografiche skie issledovaniia i otkrytiia. Moscow, 1967.
Istoriia otkrytiia i issledovaniia Sovetskoi Azii. Moscow, 1969.
Fradkin, N. G. Ocherki po istorii fiziko-geograficheskikh issledovanii heskikh issledovanii territorii SSSR (1917-1927 gg.). Moscow, 1961.
Fradkin, N. G. “Geograficheskie otkrytiia, ikh ob”ekty i kharakter na raznykh etapakh nauchnogo poznaniia Zemli.” Izv. AN SSSR: Seriia geograficheskaia, 1968, no. 1.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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