This question is based on physical concepts regarding presssure waves and crystallography, but I thought it might be helpful to include a brief historical context first.
Endurance departed from South Georgia for the Weddell Sea on 5 December (1914),....conditions gradually grew worse until, on 19 January 1915, Endurance became frozen fast in an ice floe.
The crew tried to cut through the sea ice, using saws and pickaxes, but failed to make inroads into the ice, which eventually crushed the ship.
My questions are:
Would high explosives, located at some distance from the ship, been of any use in creating cracks in the sea ice? Unfortunately I know next to nothing about crystallography, in particular the question : does the slow freezing of salt water into ice create planes within the ice mass which may have made the H.E. more efficient at breaking up the ice?
Assuming (arbitrarily), that the sea ice was 2 metres thick, would this have been enough to help create a "downwards" cone shaped area of high pressure, thus reducing to a minimum any possible damage to the Endurance, especially if was positioned bow on to the site of the explosion(s), thereby minimising the surface area of the ship exposed to the blast?
From the picture above, you can see that the movement of the ice has forced what was orginally flat horizontal ice into blocks at various angles to it's orginal location, but I would (again somewhat arbitrarily) assume that this ice was effectively not a hindrance to the passage of the ship and rather I would like to concentrate on the possible effect on the sea level pack ice of H.E.