The contribution of Bering Sea water to the Arctic Ocean
Arctic, v. 14, no. 3, Sept. 1961, p. 146-161, figures, table
Contribution - University of Washington. Dept. of Oceanography, no. 249
ASTIS record 9856
Summarizes the characteristics, especially temperature-salinity of these waters as they flow north through Bering Strait, and as they modify the surface water, deeper water, and ice cover of the western Arctic Ocean. Analysis of about 200 deep-water stations reveals regularity in the vertical distribution of temperature and salinity. The shallow 75-100 m depth, temperature maximum observed in the western as distinct from the eastern Arctic Basin is maintained by advection from some external source, in part the flow through the Strait. Bering Sea water apparently flows north into Chukchi Sea, where it mixes with Siberian shelf water then joins the general circulation in the area northwest of Point Barrow. The intruding Bering Sea water separates deeper Atlantic water from Arctic Ocean surface water; this Bering water may be traced by the shallow temperature maximum; but it affects ice conditions in the Basin very little.
Discusses procedures for making local estimates of population density and prospective catch of the Eskimo hunters. A method is outlined for counting seals from ships in open water; and for determining population density by the amount and quality of fast ice, with regard to complexity of the coastline. From hunting trips in various parts of the Eastern Arctic, average daily catch to be expected is estimated at 3.6 seals from a boat in summer on a complex coast and 1.4 on an open coast, 2.8 on the ice before the peak of the spring basking season, and 6.8 at the peak. From these and other calculable variables, such as loss of kill by sinking, weather conditions, etc., an equation is formulated for predicting the potential annual catch of a hunter in a given region.
Compares Aug. 1958 photographs and observations of this valley glacier in the Romanzof Mts. with those of Leffingwell in 1907, cf. No. 9835. The indicated recession and thinning of the glacier in 51 years are confirmed by aerial photographs and topographic maps. The 1000 ± 100 ft, mean rate 20 ft/yr, probably increased in the 1950s. Thinning, estimated at 150 ft in the lower 1.2 miles of the glacier, occurred at about 3 ft/yr. The advance from which the ice is retreating is correlated with the Fan Mountain glaciation. Similar evidences of retreat and thinning are found in neighboring glaciers.
In spring, when sea-ice is mostly snowcovered, the albedo of the surface is 80-90%, that of melting sea-ice in summer 65-46%, according to the proportion of puddles. Excluding puddles, the albedo of melting shelf-ice is about 77% and that of melting sea-ice about 65%; hence under similar conditions ablation of sea ice is 1.5 times greater than that of shelf ice. Based on airborne and surface measurements, on Ptarmigan flights, T-3, etc.
A number of observers, working in arctic and antarctic waters, have commented on the discoloration of sea-ice caused by unicellular algae, mainly diatoms, that are frozen into the ice. The discoloration is usually seen when the ice is broken and over turned, because it occurs principally on the lower surface of the ice and occasionally on its sides. The brown or greenish-brown colour is due to the chloroplasts in the algae and undoubtedly indicates the presence of a potential source of food in polar seas in addition to the phytoplankton and the benthic algae. The algae associated with the ice present interesting problems concerning the adaptation of protoplasm to life under conditions of low temperatures (maximum about -1.68°C.) and of the adaptation of photosynthetic activity to low light intensities. Although they have been frequently observed, these algae have been very little studied, partly on account of collecting difficulties. Investigations of algae frozen into sea-ice have been started at the Devon Island station (75° 42'N.) of the Arctic Institute and some preliminary results are reported here. ...