Canada has found itself at the centre of a vortex as it faces decisions about transportation of oil and natural gas through its Arctic territories. ... Many departments of government have an interest in one or more aspects of these decisions; many fields of knowledge must be searched for the information on which decisions will be based. The Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources, the Department of the Environment, the National Energy Board, the Ministry of Transport and the Department of Finance all have major roles to play. Oil-and gas-producing companies, pipeline operators, contractors who install pipelines and their attendant facilities, those who serve northern transportation and those who supply northern needs are all involved. ... So that those concerned will be able to make effective proposals, guidelines were issued in August 1970 .... The guidelines relate to oil or gas pipelines north of the 60th degree of latitude in the Yukon or Northwest Territories. They establish requirements with respect to environmental protection, pollution control, Canadian ownership and participation, and training and employment of resident northerners. ... In order to be sure that the right questions are put to those who would build lines and that all factors are taken into account, the government established a Task Force on Northern Oil Development as early as 1968. This group brings together senior officials from the Departments of Energy, Mines and Resources, Indian Affairs and Northern Development, the Environment, the Ministry of Transport and the National Energy Board. ... The Task Force has set up five sub-committees: Environmental and Social, Economic Impact, Marketing, Marine Transport, and Pipelines. ... The government research program falls into eight main categories: aquatic ecology; wildlife; hydrology; terrain investigations; vegetation; topographic, mapping and air photography; pipeline structural safety; and land use. This last covers environmental impact studies, environmental classification, terrain sensitivity; mapping, and the compilation of an environmental atlas of the Mackenzie Valley. ... The Task Force on Northern Oil Development is the focal point for the departments concerned. ... The advantages or disadvantages of northern pipelines could be debated endlessly. The risks can be diminished and possibly eliminated if adequate research is done. ... After all the pros and cons have been assessed a decision must be made; that decision must rest on judgement as to where Canada's best interests lie. The purpose of all the activity today is to bring forward the necessary information so that the ultimate decision will be based on wisdom and understanding.
Amended emergence and uplift curves are presented for the Truelove Inlet area. The new curves are based mainly on radiocarbon dates from whalebone, driftwood and basal peat. The marine limit lies at 76 m a.s.l., and dates to approximately 9450 BP, which is also considered to be the date of deglaciation; total postglacial uplift is 107 m. The rate of uplift during the first thousand years following deglaciation reached 4.05 m per century, which is markedly less rapid than was previously reported. The rate of uplift decreased steadily thereafter and, at present, appears to be matched by eustatic sea level rise. What had appeared to be fossil evidence of restrained rebound at the onset of uplift was probably due to accidental mixing during collection of interstadial shells with postglacial shells. The total amount of postglacial uplift, and the rates of uplift, have probably been somewhat suppressed by the close proximity of the Devon Island Ice Cap.
Réévaluation du mouvement isostatique postglaciaire dans le nord-est de l'île Devon. L'auteur présente des courbes corrigées d'émergence et de relèvement pour la région de Truelove Inlet. Ces nouvelles courbes sont surtout basées sur des radiodatations d'os de baleines, de bois flotté et de tourbe profonde. La limite marine se trouve à 76 m au dessus du niveau de la mer et remonte approximativement à 9450 A.P., ce qui est aussi considéré comme la date de la déglaciation; l'émergence postglaciaire totale est de 107 m. Au cours du premier millénaire après la déglaciation, le taux d'émergence a atteint 4,05 m/siècle, ce qui est beaucoup moins rapide que ce que l'on avait d'abord rapporté. Ce taux a régulièrement décru par la suite et, à présent, semble compensé par le relèvement eustatique du niveau de la mer. Ce qui semblait une preuve fossile d'un rebondissement retenu au début de l'émergence était probablement dû à un mélange accidentel de coquillages interstadiaires et poststadiaires au cours de la cueillette. L'émergence postglaciaire totale et les taux d'émergence ont probablement été quelque peu amortis par la proximité de la calotte glaciaire de l'île Devon.
Concentrations of the worldwide fallout radionuclides manganese-54, zinc-65, strontium-90, cesium-137, and cerium-praseodymium-144, and naturally occurring potassium-40 were measured in 80 lichen species collected near Thule, Greenland, during July-August 1968. Emphasis was placed on 137Cs for detailed comparison of radionuclide distribution within the 6 major and 5 minor lichen communities of the 1500 km² area studied. Mean 137Cs concentrations in major lichen species ranged from 22 picocuries per gram standard dry weight in Stereocaulon paschale to 50 pCi/g in Cornicularia divergens, with an overall average of 33 pCi/g. Significant differences were noted between species, habitats and world regions.
Distribution des radionucléi de retombée dans les associations lichénique près de Thulé. En juillet-août 1968, on a mesuré les concentrations mondiales des radionucléi de retombée manganèse-54, zinc-65, strotium-90, césium-137 et cérium-praséodymium-144, et du potassium-40 naturel, dans 80 espèces de lichens recueillis près de Thulé, Groenland. L'étude à surtout porté sur le 137Cs dans les espèces lichéniques majeures variaient de 22 picocuries par gramme de poids normal à sec dans Stereocaulon paschale, à 50 pCi/g dans Cornicularia divergens, avec une moyenne générale de 33 pCi/g. On a noté des différences significatives entre les espèces, les habitats et les régions du monde.
Two late Pleistocene limits of glaciation were delineated in the Snag-Klutlan area. Radiocarbon dates, surficial characteristics of its drift, and the palynology of overlying sediments imply the older glaciation (Mirror Creek) is early Wisconsin in age; the younger glaciation (Macauley) is late Wisconsin in age and culminated c. 13,700 BP. The stratigraphy of deposits within the Macauley glacial limit implies that deglaciation between the two glaciations was minimal.
Glaciations fini-pléistocènes dans la région de Snag-Klutlan, Territoire du Yukon. On a retracé dans la région de Snag-Klutlan deux limites fini-pléistocènes de glaciation. Les datations au radiocarbone, les caractéristiques superficielles de sa moraine et la palynologie des sédiments de recouvrement impliquent que la plus ancienne glaciation (Mirror Creek) est d'âge fini-wisconsinien et a culminé vers 13,700 A.P. La stratigraphie des dépôts englobés par la limite glaciaire de Macauley laisse supposer que la déglaciation interglaciaire a été minime.
Botanical exploration along the continental slope of the northern St. Elias Mountains has revealed several floristic novelties. My 1965 collection from a nunatak in the Kaskawulsh Glacier (60°43'N, 139°19'W) was examined by Dr. Eric Hultén, Museum of Natural History, Stockholm, and he has reported and mapped this new locality for Lewisia pygmaea (Gray) Robins., Arabis lemmonii Wats., and A. lyallii Wats., far north of their previously known range. Neilson collected nearby and also found interesting taxa, in particular the only North American population of the Eurasian species Artemisia rupestris L. Work has continued during subsequent summers (1966-1969) east from the nunatak along the Kaskawulsh Glacier-Slims River drainage, north to the vicinity of the Steele Glacier, and into the northernmost portion of the St. Elias Mountains on the south side of the upper White River valley. [These] ... notes are offered for those botanists with an interest in the floristics of northern regions.
The beach southwest of Barrow, Alaska, is limited to a foreshore which is backed by wave-eroded cliffs of the Quaternary Gubick Formation. These cliffs, which have an approximate elevation of 20 to 35 feet above mean sea level, are covered with a thin layer of coarse sand and gravel. This gravel unit ranges in thickness from a few inches to an intermittent covering of gravel. The unit extends inland about 10 feet in some places to about 300 feet in others. A gravel deposit of these dimensions is of little or no importance to most scientific disciplines. However, its presence and method of formation are of extreme importance to the unravelling of the archaeological sequence along the coast of Northern Alaska. The gravel units were first observed during the archaeological excavation of an Eskimo site at Walakpa, which is approximately 12 miles southwest of Barrow. At this location there is a sequence of gravel units interspersed throughout the stratigraphic column of the site. These gravel units were formed at the surface after a period of Eskimo occupation and then covered by a subsequent period of occupation, thus they served as a basis for separating one period of occupation from another either older or younger occupation level. ... The presence and method of deposition of the sand and gravel units at the Walakpa site give further evidence that vertical sorting has not occurred. This in turn suggests that the artifacts found in an occupation level belong only to that occupation level; i.e., the tool assemblages found can be attributed to a single period of cultural deposition. The observations are of extreme importance to the unravelling of the archaeological sequence along the arctic coast of Alaska. Owing to the uncommon occurrence of this phenomenon the author has only pieced together the sequence of events necessary for the deposition of these gravel units. However, they have been observed by Silas Negovanna who is a native of the area (personal communication).
In discussing the botany of the northwestern Queen Elizabeth Islands I noted that the available climatic data did not suggest a significant difference between the summer climate of Isachsen and of Mould Bay; yet Mould Bay harbours plant species that are absent from Isachsen, and specimens from there are less depauperate than those from Isachsen. It seemed probable that Mould Bay, which is better protected from winds off the Arctic Ocean, might have less of the very low stratus that often covers Isachsen and which must pass less sunlight than do sheets of high stratus and altostratus. The available data on cloud cover, which do not include cloud height and which are inevitably somewhat subjective, indicated no marked difference between the stations, and sunshine records were lacking for both. With three years' bright sunshine data now available for Isachsen and Mould Bay, I have extracted the summer figures from the Monthly Record of Meteorological Observations in Canada. The growth period at Isachsen extends from mid June to early August, and July is clearly the critical month. The Isachsen total for August 1969 is missing, but for the other 8 months Isachsen exceeded Mould Bay only once. The Mould Bay excess for July was 25 per cent or more in each year. Although soil surface and screen temperatures differ little at Isachsen on heavily overcast days, thermograph records kept by D. St-Onge showed: that on predominantly sunny days the soil surface maxima exceeded the screen maxima by 20-30°F (11-17°C). Thus modest differences in total bright sunshine can be very important to plant growth in this region where almost all activity is confined to the lowest 10 cm of air and much of it to the lowest 3 cm. A longer record is needed before we can fully accept a higher July sunshine figure for Mould Bay; but if the three years of record are nearly representative they must go far in explaining the better growth at this station. However, there is a distinct possibility that diffuse sunlight through thin cloud, not registered by the Campbell-Stokes recorder, adds to Mould Bay's advantage.
A freshwater budget for the Gulf of Boothia (here considered to include Prince Regent Inlet) was estimated from oceanographic data available for the Canadian Arctic using a formula derived by Tully: integral of S(z) dz between limits L and 0 divided by S*L where C is the fraction of freshwater to the depth L, L is the depth at which the salinity attained S* or the depth to the bottom if the salinity there was less than S*, S(z) is the salinity at depth z and S* is the base salinity, in this budget taken to be 33.8 per mil. For each station occupied in 1961 and 1962 the amount of freshwater in metres, CL, was obtained. The result for 1962 is shown in Fig. 1. Sources of freshwater include direct precipitation, runoff, advection of less saline water and of ice, and condensation at the surface. It may be removed by evaporation and advection. We assumed that condensation is so small it may be neglected and that the rates of precipitation and evaporation are the same over the land as over the water. The mean precipitation in the region of the Gulf of Boothia is usually less than 20 cm/year and in nearby Barrow Strait it was estimated that the evaporation was about 8 cm/year in 1962. If the latter value is representative of the Gulf of Boothia and its drainage basin, the excess of precipitation over evaporation is about 12 cm/year. The estimate is supported by 1965 streamflow measurements of the Back River; for this basin the excess of precipitation over evaporation is about 17 cm/year. It seems that the water surplus for the Gulf of Boothia drainage basin is somewhat less so the estimate of 12 cm/year appears reasonable. As the area of the drainage basin is one and one quarter that of the gulf, runoff would add 15 cm/year to the freshwater of the gulf. Combining the gains and losses we estimate the net annual input at the surface to be 27 cm/year. If the 8 metres of freshwater estimated to occur in the gulf (Fig. 1) were due to the annual gain, it would represent an accumulation of close to 30 years. As free exchange with Lancaster Sound and beyond is possible, such a long period of accumulation seems unrealistic. There is no reason to believe that the accumulation is related to an excess of imported over exported ice, indeed export may exceed import, but data which would permit a quantitative assessment are not available. Examination of ice reconnaissance data in each year, for example that for 1967, indicates that, while movement of ice occurs from northern parts of the gulf to the south, the ice conditions observed within the system could be due entirely to ice formed there. It seems likely therefore that the accumulation is due to advection of low salinity water and that a direct relation exists between the depth of freshwater in the gulf and that calculated to occur in the archipelago to the west and in the Arctic Ocean (Fig. 1). It is generally considered that a net surface movement from west to east occurs through the archipelago; the freshwater budget provides support for this view.
Some years ago M. Dunbar gave a detailed account of earlier ice reports which could refer to ice islands, as distinguished by G. Hattersley-Smith from other ice in the polar sea by their great unit area, thickness, structural strength and rolling relief. Among the old descriptions of 'floebergs' and 'palaeocrystic ice' some of Greely's come closest to a description of an ice island. Another early report might be worth mentioning: Franz Boas, the German-born anthropologist and later professor at Columbia University states that in October 1883 a huge iceberg drifted into Cumberland Sound, Baffin Island. It had a height of 15 m to 20 m, a length of 14 km and a width of 5 km. The total thickness of 100 m to 150 m could be seen when the ice broke into pieces. The estimated volume was 13 cu km. Similar ice formations of smaller size had been repeatedly encountered when approaching Cumberland Sound. The upper surface consisted of long low rounded parallel rolls with a wavelength of about 150 m and extending over 1 km to 3 km. The surface and the uppermost 2 m of the ice contained stones; no stratification or crevasses were visible. The description fits that of a typical ice island. That ice islands from the northern coast of Ellesmere Island can reach Baffin Bay and Cumberland Sound is shown by the recent drift of ice island WH55; a segment of at least 14 km² passed through southern Davis Strait.
A distinguished career ended suddenly on 22 January 1971, when Roland E. Beschel, Professor of Botany and Director of the Fowler Herbarium at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, and a Fellow of the Arctic Institute of North America, died at the age of 42. As a scientist, Roland Beschel was brilliant, energetic and innovative. He was born in Salzburg, Austria, on 9 August 1928. His education was crowned with the achievement in 1950 of a D.Phil. in Botany and Physical Geography, summa cum laude, from the University of Innsbruck, with a "benchmark" thesis on the ecology and growth of lichens. After teaching at Rosenburg College, Switzerland, until 1955, and later at Mount Allison University, New Brunswick, he was appointed Assistant Professor at Queen's University, Ontario, in 1959, where he attained the rank of Professor in 1969. Professor Beschel applied his knowledge of lichens broadly to problems of dating rock surfaces, estimating precipitation, and assessing air pollution around industrial centres. His work in North America emphasized arctic problems. He performed extensive field investigations in West Greenland, Baffin Island, interior Quebec, Ellesmere and Axel Heiberg islands, the Yellowknife area, and Alaska where he was visiting lecturer on the Juneau Icefield with the Glaciological Institute of Michigan State University. During this period he visited Finland and, as a participant in the National Research Council of Canada-Academia Nauk scientific exchange program, the Soviet Union where again he engaged in active field work at a variety of localities. He also made useful published contributions to the botany of New Brunswick and the Kingston area, and revitalized the collections of the Fowler Herbarium at Queen's, which had been dormant for a number of years prior to his appointment. His over seventy publications include many works on lichens and floristics and, in addition, on vegetation associations, permafrost and frost patterns, dendrochronology, phytogeography and the automation of herbarium procedures. He was quick to adopt computer technology, applying it as a tool to the heavy tasks of information storage and processing, from scientific correspondence and specimen data filing to the analysis of the altitudinal zonation of arctic vegetation. Roland Beschel's activities made him widely known outside these specialized fields. He was a fine organizer who enjoyed involving those around him in his enthusiasm. Under his influence the Kingston Field Naturalists became active in botanical and phenological observation, and he was a valued committee member and former Director of the Federation of Ontario Naturalists. His work for the Canadian Committee for the International Biological Programme illustrates his immense energy. He was co-chairman of the panel charged with identifying and describing natural reserve sites in the Canadian tundra, as well as a member of the corresponding panel for Ontario. In addition, he took a leading part in initiating a tundra productivity program, and he involved a number of his own graduate students in these activities. His dedication to the tasks of the IBP panels extended beyond the purely scientific work into conferences and interviews with federal, provincial and territorial administrators and the managers of industrial enterprises. Professor Beschel was a stimulating, patient, charming and assiduous colleague. He leaves an international circle of collaborators, friends and admirers, as well as a gaping void in the arctic botanical sciences.