Reviews the controversy as to whether Cook or Peary was first to reach the North Pole, and presents some considerations indicating the authenticity of Cook's claim: his feasable method of travel and proven ability to make the journey, his accurate description of the polar region, and his consistent story. Also, Cook's discoveries of a westerly drift of ice northwest of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and of ice islands are in line with later findings in the area.
The characteristics of some permafrost soils in the Mackenzie Valley, N.W.T.
Arctic, v. 17, no. 4, Dec. 1964, p. 222-236, ill.
Contribution - Canada. Soil Research Institute, no. 93
ASTIS record 9942
Describes in detail soil profiles examined in dug pits at three ecologically distinct localities in the vicinity of Reindeer Depot, Inuvik and Norman Wells: tundra, tundra-boreal forest transition, and boreal forest. Samples were air dried, ground, sieved and analyzed. The climate, vegetation, surficial geology and permafrost conditions at each site are indicated. Descriptions are given of eight soil profiles, and the chemical, mechanical and mineralogical characteristics are separately tabulated. Each profile is referred to both the Canadian and the USDA 1960 7th approximation systems of classification.
General ecology and vascular plants of the Hazen camp area
Arctic, v. 17, no. 4, Dec. 1964, p. 237-258, figures, table
Contribution - Canada. Plant Research Institute. Research Branch, no. 366
ASTIS record 9943
Lists 107 vascular plants with brief notes on characteristic habitats. The principal habitiats in a 25 sq mi area are described (map) and the ecological factors analyzed, with June-Aug temperature graph. The general aridity of the area is emphasized, the relative biotic richness being due to favorable summer temperatures, low wind velocity and absence of stratus cloud. Flowering dates for 14 species are tabulated.
Age of a widespread layer of volcanic ash in the southwestern Yukon Territory
Arctic, v. 17, no. 4, Dec. 1964, p. 259-261
Icefield Ranges Research Project, scientific results, v. 1, 1969, p. 219-220
ASTIS record 9944
Radiocarbon dates pertaining to a widespread layer of volcanic ash in the southwestern Yukon Territory are here reported. The volcanic ash generally occurs in lacustrine sediments and in peat and loess deposited during the Little Ice Age and thus affords a valuable marker horizon for correlating these deposits. ... Bostock ... constructed an isopach map showing two coalescing fans of ash with a combined area of about 129,000 sq. mi. and a maximum thickness of about 300 ft. near the international boundary about 10 mi. south of the White River. Both Bostock ... and Capps ... suggested that there was probably the source of the ash. Moffit and Knopf ... reported that a sample of this ash collected in the White River Basin, Alaska was an andesitic pumice. Berger ... described ash from the Tepee Lake area, southern Yukon Territory, and concluded that it was of dacitic composition. ... A microscopic analysis of an ash sample collected near the southeast shore of Kluane Lake, southwestern Yukon Territory, in 1963 showed it to be composed of whole and broken euhedral crystals of plagioclase (An 35 to An 50), hornblende, biotite, and a trace of magnetite. The glass sherds have a refractive index of approximately 1.510, suggesting a dacitic composition .... Knopf reported a composition slightly more calcic than Ab 1, An 1, or essentially labradorite, whereas the two analyses from the Yukon Territory show the plagioclase to be andesine. The ash layer, 1 inch thick, was found in a peat bog on the timbered rocky knob separating the Slims and Kaskawulsh rivers, southwestern Yukon Territory, approximately 100 yd. north of and about 40 ft. above the Little Ice Age terminal moraine of the Kaskawulsh Glacier. In an excavation the top of the l-in. thick ash layer in this locality was 13 in. below the surface of the bog. Samples of peat, 0.5 in. thick, were collected from positions immediately above and below the ash for radiocarbon dating. The sample Y-1363 from just above the ash yielded an age of 1460 ±70 years B.P. and the sample Y-1364 from just below the ash was dated 1390 ±70 years B.P., indicating that the time of the ash fall was around 1425 ±50 years ago. Although the lower sample provides a younger date, the difference is not significant in view of the statistical error of ±70 years. ... Near the southeast shore of Kluane Lake, Yukon Territory, the ash occurs near the base of a deposit of loess 4 ft. thick. The centre part of a tree buried there in the growth position immediately above the ash was dated at 870 ±100 years B.P. (sample Y-1365) and gives a minimum age for the ash. ...
Describes the meteorological program of the Jacobsen- McGill expedition, summers 1960-1962, the purpose being to evaluate heat-energy balances at snow and ice surfaces. Measurements of the cooling effect of a glacier terminus on the lower atmosphere are discussed (graph).
Offers additions to No 45431, reporting on 42 species of birds and 18 of mammals. Numbers and dates when seen in summer 1963, abundance in the area, nesting, etc are noted. A bird phenology chart is included. Topography, weather, and vegetation of this northeasternmost region of Mackenzie District are also outlined.
Reports that radiocarbon dating of an organic deposit in a glacial terrace on the upper Killik River (68 N, 154 W) containing well-preserved alder and willow necessitates acceptance of a climate 5650 ± 230 BP as warm or warmer than the present.
Long-period oscillations of the ice recorded by continuous gravimeter measurements from drift station T-3
Arctic, v. 17, no. 4, Dec. 1964, p. 272-279, ill., figures, table
ASTIS record 9948
Describes an apparatus constructed by combining a North American 113 gravimeter and Kodak K-100 16 mm camera with which semi-continuous gravity observations were made on ice island T3 (Bravo) Jan-Mar 1960 in Beaufort Sea. The method by which the various components in the record were isolated is outlined, and it is concluded that vertical oscillations of the ice were detected, although their periodicity could not be determined exactly.
Describes a geomorphic investigation of raised marine depositional features. Two sets were identified; a younger up to 375 ft above sea level is referred to the Recent isostatic emergence of the area; the older and higher set are considered evidence of either an older emergence or earlier deglaciation. Investigation of Eskimo Spit (map) showed uplift to be continuing or to have ceased only recently.
The Ice Field Ranges Research Project concluded its fourth summer of research in the St. Elias Mountains, Yukon Territory, Canada, on September 2, 1964. The project is sponsored jointly by the Arctic Institute of North America and the American Geographical Society and its director is Dr. Walter A. Wood. The studies of a glacierized area in terms of its total environment that were begun in 1961 were successfully continued. The base camp at the southern end of Kluane Lake (870 m.) was opened on May 29. In addition to this there were three glacier stations, Divide Station (2640 m.), Seward Station (1850 m.), and Kaskawulsh Station (1730 m.), and four satellite camps located at glacier termini (920 m. and 915 m.), and on the glaciers (3600 m. and 2420 m.). All except one of them were established and supplied by the Helio Courier H391B aircraft of the Institute. Twenty-five persons took part in the work in 1964. Of the fourteen students, representing seven colleges and universities, who participated, six are working for graduate degrees. The remaining students assisted the graduate candidates and the Institute research and administrative personnel. Members of the Institute staff, Mr. M. Mellor (U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory), Drs. C. Bull (Institute for Polar Studies, The Ohio State University), and M. Marcus (The University of Michigan) supervised the research projects. ...
Lauge Koch, renowned leader of 24 Danish government expeditions to Greenland spanning almost half a century, was born July 5, 1892 and died June 5, 1964 in Copenhagen. He gained his Mag. Scient. (cartography) in 1920 from the University of Copenhagen and his Ph.D. in geology in 1929. Dr. Koch's unique series of explorations began in 1913 in West Greenland. During 1916 and 1917 he accompanied Knud Rasmussen on the Second Thule Expedition to Northwest Greenland. From 1920 to 1923 Lauge Koch was leader of the remarkable Bicentenary Jubilee Expedition (to commemorate Hans Egede's arrival in Greenland) when he performed, together with three Eskimos, the strenuous 200-day sledge journey along the north coast of Greenland, which resulted in the Atlas of North Greenland (24 maps at the scale 1: 300,000). The systematic geological investigation of North and East Greenland conducted by Dr. Koch between 1926 and 1958 has been lauded as "one of the most concentrated efforts towards co-ordinated regional geology of a significant segment of the earth's surface which the geological science has experienced, and one made in the face of exceptionally unfavourable geographic and climatic conditions" (G. O. Raasch, 1961, p. 147, Foreword to the "Proceedings" of the First international Symposium on Arctic Geology). In that period of 32 years 1291 persons from many countries, mainly Scandinavia, Switzerland, and Britain, took part in his expeditions, the largest parties consisting of more than 100 men. A total of 1208 "man-summers" and 126 "man-winters" were spent under Dr. Koch's supervision in Northeast Greenland - that harsh but beautiful stretch of land between the Inland Ice and the pack ice, in the latitude 70°N. to 83°N. Although Dr. Koch himself was primarily interested in geology, he encouraged work in a variety of other fields: an almost complete coverage of medium-scale topographical maps was produced, many geographical and biological investigations were carried out, and studies were made in glaciology, hydrology, meteorology and archaeology. "Such continuity of leadership ... is without parallel in the history of polar expeditions" (J. W. Cowie, 1959, Polar Record, Vol. 9, p. 547). In the early days when travelling was by dog-team, Lauge Koch was master of this art and gained the admiration of his Eskimo companions whose language he thoroughly understood and spoke. He kept abreast of the time however, and became a pioneer of arctic aviation when, as early as 1932 and 1933, he equipped his two expedition ships with sea planes. Then in 1938 he successfully completed an air reconnaissance of Northeast Greenland on two daring flights with a Dornier aircraft operating from Spitzbergen. His post-war expeditions were characterized by the extensive use of Norseman, Catalina, and DC-4 aircraft and later, in 1955 and 1956, of helicopters. In 1953 I was one of a two-man party which he landed in North Greenland, to make the first geological traverse of the mountains of northern Peary Land starting from Friggs Fiord and reaching Kap Morris Jesup, 83° 39'N., the northernmost point of land in the world. Here we found the cairn Lauge Koch had erected in 1923 and from it retrieved his report. In the Catalina, which came to collect us, he read his own historic document as we flew over the desolate plains of southern Peary Land where Mylius-Erichsen and his companions had perished, and where he himself, 30 years previously, was forced to eat his exhausted dogs. This big, quiet man who spoke so slowly and made every so often a bear-like noise, had, with his indomitable will, been a great leader through two eras of polar history. Like the polar bears he did not bother about his enemies, he would just weave amusing stories about them. The results from Koch's expeditions published by the participants in the Meddelelser om Grønland are an invaluable collection of some 240 papers totalling 22,000 pages. His own observations and investigations, mainly on the geology and the ice conditions of Northeast Greenland are the substance of some 14 major publications. For his leadership and his scientific merits Lauge Koch was awarded numerous honours. He received 12 medals from various countries, the last one being the highly regarded Danish Rink Medal, and many other distinctions including being made an Officer of the Legion of Honour. In 1960 the University of Basle (Switzerland) honoured Lauge Koch with a Dr. h.c. and in 1963 McGill University (Canada) awarded him an Honorary Doctor of Science. With the death of Lauge Koch the Arctic has lost one of its most colourful personalities. Those who had the good fortune to work with him and to listen to his stories will never forget the towering strength, the stimulation and the refreshing humour of this great man, who had already during his own lifetime become a legendary figure.