A study of conditions on Novaya Zemlya, with an introductory outline of earlier works on plant zones in the tundra, and data on these islands' climate; character of the flora and its age; soils and substrates, plant associations and their distribution (zones); latitude and altitude factors in this zonation.
Permafrost is a widespread phenomenon in the northern parts of North America and Eurasia, and in Antarctica. Between 40 and 50 per cent of Canada's total land surface of 3.8 million square miles is underlain by permafrost. The total land area of the U.S.S.R. exceeds 8 million square miles of which 47 per cent is underlain by permafrost (Tsytovich 1958). Because of the great extent of this phenomenon knowledge of its distribution is of vital concern to both countries. The distribution of permafrost varies from continuous in the north to discontinuous in the south. In the continuous zone permafrost occurs everywhere and is hundreds of feet thick. The continuous zone gives way to the discontinuous zone in which permafrost exists in combination with some areas of unfrozen material. The discontinuous zone is one of transition between continuous permafrost and ground having a mean temperature of above 32°F. In this zone permafrost may vary from a widespread distribution with isolated patches of unfrozen ground to predominantly thawed ground containing islands that remain frozen. In the southern area of this discontinuous zone (called the zone of sporadic permafrost in other countries) the permafrost occurs as scattered patches, is only a few feet thick, and has temperatures close to 32°F. The thickness of permafrost varies with the locality; it is greatest in the Arctic and thins out near its southern limit. In Canada, at Resolute, Cornwallis Island, N.W.T., it is thought to be about 1,280 feet thick (Misener 1955); at Norman Wells, N.W.T. it is about 150 feet thick, and at Hay River, N.W.T. it is only 5 feet thick. In the U.S.S.R. permafrost exceeds 500 metres (1650 feet) in thickness in the Taymyr Peninsula. In southeastern and southwestern Siberia it is less than 25 metres (83 feet) thick (Tsytovich 1958). ... It is evident that there is not a close relationship between permafrost distribution and air temperature. Because so many factors - climatic, surface, and geothermal - affect the occurrence of permafrost, prediction of its distribution cannot be based solely on this one climatic factor. Nevertheless, examination of the southern limit of permafrost as known at present and of air temperature pattern reveals the existence of a very broad relationship. The mapping of the distribution and the delineation of the southern limit of permafrost is a problem with many aspects. What defines the southern boundary and how can it best be shown cartographically? Does a pereletok (a shallow spot of frozen ground that persists for several years), which persists for a number of years and then disappears, belong to the permafrost? How many years must a pereletok persist to be classed perennially frozen ground? Can relict permafrost be distinguished from a pereletok in the field? These and other problems make it difficult to locate the southern limit of permafrost. A large number of field investigations of permafrost and observations of ground temperature are required to give detailed knowledge of its areal distribution and thickness for mapping purposes. In Canada this work is still in the early stages, but already the general areal distribution of the two permafrost zones is becoming evident.
Maps the shore line during the peninsula's maximum submergence, from 1957-1958 field observations north of approx. 68 N. The limit of the post-glacial sea was determined by the highest altitudes at which marine shells and strandlines were found in various localities, and the lowest altitudes of undisturbed ground moraines and perched boulders; locations and altitudes for each of these criteria are mapped and tabulated. The sea rose to an altitude of about 450 ft over most of the region; it covered the low headlands and islands along the west coast (which approximated its present shape), the islands and Proterozoic lowland along the north coast, and the east coast to the steep scarp west of Hall Lake. On the northeast coast, altitudes averaged 100 ft lower than elsewhere, possibly due to the presence of residual ice. The marine limit on the peninsula lower than that (approx. 600 ft.) on Southampton is explained by a lingering ice mass centered over Foxe Basin. The area studied was depressed at least 1,100 ft under this ice mass and should rise another 650 ft.
... After the war arctic oceanographic investigations became more specific in character. The growing national interest in the North and the demand for information on the circulation, ice cover, ice movement, navigability, and the productivity of the waters led to the organization of a number of oceanographic cruises the result of which has been a vast accumulation of oceanographic observations within a very short time. The Fisheries Research Board of Canada has been instrumental in conducting a large proportion of this work beginning with the cruise of H.M.C.S. Magnificent and Haida to Hudson Bay in 1949. The same year the fisheries research vessel Calanus began investigations in Ungava Bay, and in 1951 and 1952 the motor vessel Cancolim of the Defence Research Board carried out oceanographic observations in the western Arctic. The surveys conducted from the icebreaker Labrador since 1954 have covered a large area of the eastern Arctic and have resulted in the first sequence of oceanographic observations to extend from Baffin Bay in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west. ...
During the summer of 1959 the writer was engaged in studies on the behaviour of sea-ducklings in the Belcher Islands, Hudson Bay. This work is centred on an ethological study of eider ducklings (Somateria mollissima) with comparative observations on ducklings of oldsquaw (Clangula hyemalis) and redbreasted merganser (Mergus serratus); it had been begun in the False River area, Ungava in the summer of 1958. Once again Mr. C.W. Nicol gave able assistance. The objective of this work is to build up as complete an account as possible of the behaviour of the normal eider duckling in its natural environment, beginning shortly before hatching and ending with fledging. It is hoped that an account of the basic behaviour of this species will provide a sound foundation on which to plan analytical studies. The approach to this work is largely that of the present European vertebrate ethologists, but it is planned to develop the more "psychological" aspects of the work in future studies. The most obvious single comment to be made about the behaviour of the eider duckling is that it is extremely complex, more so than has previously been recognized. This complexity is partly due to the mixture of innate and learned processes, which together enable the duckling to survive the difficulties of the pre-adult stages. One of the present aims therefore is to describe the part played by innate mechanisms and to correlate learning processes with them. A brief summary of the results to date follows. ...
In May 1960 a group of Japanese scientists from Hokkaido University, led by Dr. Akira Higashi, left Yokohama for Alaska to conduct a study of the Mendenhall Glacier for a period of 6 weeks. ... Objectives of the project were the collecting of large single ice crystals at a lake at the terminus of Mendenhall Glacier and glaciological investigations of the glacier to elucidate the mechanism of the formation of large single ice crystals. Single ice crystals of large size are urgently needed by physicists at Hokkaido University, who are studying the solid state physics of ice crystals. ... The planned glaciological investigations include measurements of the speed of flow at various points of the glacier; determination of crystal orientation, grain size, and impurity content in the crystal grain and grain boundary for each sample taken at different places. A geological survey of nunataks and cirques near the upper part of the glacier and studies of firn snow were also planned, as well as comparative studies of the Taku Glacier, which is apparently different from the Mendenhall Glacier in many respects. The work schedule was planned as follows: first week, aircraft reconnaissance of the glacier and the Juneau Ice Field, determination of the location of observation sites from air photographs, establishment of a base camp at the terminus of the glacier; second week, search for and collecting of large single ice crystals at the glacier snout and putting them into cold storage in Juneau, establishing a base line across the glacier near the terminus for the determination of the speed of flow; third week, move to the second camp, routine glaciological work at two crevasses of medium altitudes; fourth week, move to the third camp glaciological work at two crevasses of high altitudes, special work on the firn of the ice field and on the geology of nunataks and cirques at the upper part of the glacier; fifth week, move to Taku Glacier, comparative studies of ice at the lower part of the glacier; sixth week, move to the upper part of Taku Glacier and continuation of the work of the previous week on the higher part of the glacier. The project has been supported in part by the Arctic Institute of North America under contract with the Office of Naval Research and by Hokkaido University.
The main objective of the field work carried out in March-April 1960 was the testing of a method that will make possible a relatively quick survey of the physical and mental health in an Eskimo community like that on Barter Island. After discussions with health survey specialists at the Harvard School of Public Health, the Cornell Medical Index Questionnaire (CMI) was chosen as the main instrument to be tried out in the field. The CMI contains 195 questions and was originally devised to collect a large body of medical and psychiatric data from American patients in a minimal amount of time. Revision of the questionnaire, necessary to meet the educational and cultural differences present in the village, was accomplished in consultation with various public and mental health specialists familiar with Eskimo concepts of health and disease. Following a preliminary test at Barrow, the final form of the CMI was administered to the Barter Island Eskimos by three specially trained native interviewers. A 91 per cent sample of all adults over the age of seventeen (n=51) was obtained. The results were then briefly compared with some of the medical records of the sample population at the native hospital at Barrow. While it is hoped that a much more thorough comparative analysis can be made during the summer of 1961, the preliminary findings suggest that the questionnaire can be used profitably in a non-western cultural setting. In the relatively few instances in which individual responses indicate a strong cultural bias, anthropological knowledge can be used to interpret the results correctly. For example, questions about difficulties in making decisions (as an index of "inadequacy") were answered positively by a large majority of Eskimo women. In view of the passive role played by women in this society, a resolute woman should be considered deviant rather than adequate. Further analysis of the questionnaire should contribute additional knowledge to the whole area of cross-cultural health testing. The general anthropological investigation of the effects of rapid change on the Eskimos of Barter Island was also continued. The health survey and the main anthropological study are closely interrelated, the degree of physical and mental health serving as one important index of the overall process of adjustment.