The United States Coast Guard has announced a departure from the traditional practice of naming vessels in honour of former Secretaries of the Treasury (in effect since 1830), and hereafter will use the names of heroes. One of the first of three new 378-foot cutters bears the name Jarvis. During the winter of 1897-1898, Lieutenant David H. Jarvis of the U. S. Revenue Cutter Bear led a three-man relief party to 265 whalers whose ships had been stranded in the ice off the northern coast of Alaska, a feat that must rank among the highest in the annals of polar history and exploration. More remarkable, it was not carried out on the high seas but instead on land; three brave men, wearing parkas and boots instead of chaps, helped to carry out a reindeer drive from Cape Nome to Point Barrow, a distance of approximately 800 miles. ... during the summer of 1897, whaling ships came north as usual; some ships returned south early in the summer, while others familiar with shifting ice planned to remain until early fall .... Perhaps a sign of things to come happened during the last of July when the Navarch got caught in the pack-ice off Icy Cape and had to be abandoned. A little over two months later seven other whaling ships had been icebound off Point Barrow or within a 100-mile radius .... The situation was serious. Most of the ships had supplies to last only till January, and sailing south would be impossible until the following July or even later. ... When part of the whaling fleet failed to return to San Francisco by early November, an urgent plea from the people of that city to organize a relief expedition was sent to President William McKinley. ... The problem was to get food to an area inaccessible by ship in a reasonable amount of time. ... Borrowing proven methods used by the Texas cattlemen to transport beef on the hoof, it was decided to let the potential food move itself. Instead of cattle, though, it was necessary to use an animal species capable of surviving and feeding under the harsh conditions of the arctic winter - the reindeer. These were already in Alaska having been domesticated for possible industry during the early 1890s .... The next problem to solve was to find someone to carry out the drive or at least supervise it. ... It would be up to three men to deliver a herd of reindeer to Point Barrow. The leader of this party was to be First Lieutenant D. H. Jarvis, accompanied by Second Lieutenant E. P. Bertholf, and Surgeon S. J. Call. They would pick up the herds in northwestern Alaska and drive them overland. This would have to be done in darkness and under the worst of weather conditions because the arctic winter was approaching fast. ... So the job was done. A party of three, with help from natives, missionaries, traders and government workers, under the command of a tough, modest sailor, had led a herd of reindeer over the frozen tundra, and in the dead of winter, something that no one had done before or has done since .... He had procured a total of 448 reindeer, 66 of which were lost or killed en route. At Barrow, after delivery, 1 died and 180 were killed for food. There were 254 fawns born, 64 died, for a net increase of 391. With those remaining at Point Hope the sum total was 439, almost enough to pay back the herders from whom they were borrowed. The remaining herd was driven back from Barrow .... Jarvis and his valiant companions left the Arctic that year under sail and steam to return many times, Jarvis and Bertholf as Captains of the Bear. All members were awarded a special Congressional Gold Medal. The new Coast Guard cutter Jarvis, launched on 24 April 1971, is a monument to a brave and capable seafaring man ....
Observations of bird movements at Cape Prince of Wales, Alaska, were made by means of radar during the spring migration seasons of 1969 and 1970. Between 10 and 15 May 1970, flocks of sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis) made huge radar targets and were tracked easily as they flew westwards across the Bering Strait. It is believed that lesser snow geese (Chen caerulescens) were also followed by radar, en route to Wrangel Island, U.S.S.R., on 19 May 1970. On later dates in May and early June 1969, extensive westward and northward flights and some eastward movements were recorded by radar. Automatic camera data obtained from the Cape Prince of Wales radar site also show extensive eastward migration from Siberia to Alaska by 24 July 1969.
Tundra mudflows are one of the characteristic features of arctic slopes with unstable soils. They generally occur during the early part of the thaw period, but may occur after a heavy rainfall. Only two relatively short-lived vegetation elements were evident and both are characteristic of disturbed sites. Islands of vegetation and soil of the type that dominate the slope before the mudflow are left scattered within the flow lines. Once a turf of grasses, sedges and herbs has formed the island, vegetation is able to colonize the turf mat. Areas where previous mudflows have occurred are clearly recognizable both by a long depression parallel to the direction of the slope and terminal fan of debris. Detailed studies on such naturally occurring phenomena would be of great value in view of increased use of heavy vehicular equipment by the oil and mining companies in the Canadian North.
Diptera and other arthropods of the Sukkertoppen Tasersiaq area, southwest Greenland
Arctic, v. 25, no. 2, June 1972, p. 107-114, ill.
Contribution - Ohio State University. Institute of Polar Studies, no. 126
ASTIS record 10180
Arthropods were collected in the Sukkertoppen area of Greenland (66°16'N, 51°13'W) during the summer of 1963 and identified. Thirty-one families of insects in the orders Neuroptera, Trichoptera, Homoptera, Hemiptera, Coleoptera, Diptera, Lepidoptera, and Hymenoptera were collected. Seventeen of the 31 families of insects were Diptera, and these comprised more than 90% of the total insects collected. Other insect families collected and identified included Hemerobiidae, Cicadellidae, Lygaeidae, Coccinellidae, Pieridae, Nymphalidae, Lycaenidae, Arctiidae, Noctuidae, Lymantriidae, Ichneumonidae, and Bombidae. Dipping of aquatic habitats produced specimens of Dytiscidae and Limnephilidae. Other arthropods collected by dipping or sweeping included Bdellidae, Eviphididae, and Cheyletidae (Acarina), and Branchinectidae and Lepiduridae (Crustacea).
The Walakpa Bay archeological excavation site 18.4 km southwest of Barrow, Alaska, is on the arctic coastal plain tundra. The use of native vegetation for food is principally limited to leaves, as few species set fruit. Several species of food plants function as pioneer plants on disturbed areas. Poa arctica was a dominant invading species of disturbed sites. Principal physiographic forms were analyzed for vegetational composition.
Nest locations and contents were observed in 16 colonies over a 3-year period. Laying times correlated with spring temperatures, but not with colony size. Clutch size increased with time between ice breakup and laying onset. Egg losses were insufficient to account for differences in clutch size. The results are taken to indicate that under arctic conditions, variations in clutch size, timing of the nesting cycle, and associated events in the Arctic Tern are closely related to variations in the physical environment.
Field observations in the Mackenzie Delta area largely substantiate Lachenbruch's theoretical considerations of thermal contraction crack development. Frost crack patterns, representing the incipient stage of tundra polygons, were observed on both bare and vegetated surfaces of low alluvial flats and sandspits of three islands. Individual polygons, where developed, ranged in size from 20 to 30 metres diameter on bare surfaces to 2 to 3 metres on sedge-covered areas, and 80% of the angular intersections measured were of orthogonal type. Most cracks exhibited random orientations, except in close proximity to water bodies where tendencies toward normal and subparallel orientations occurred.
Since 1966 the Institute's Baffin Bay-North Water Project has been investigating the causes and effects of the large semi-permanent polynya in northern Baffin Bay and Smith Sound. Summaries of existing data have been made by Project personnel and detailed studies have been conducted during the summer season. Winter data in all disciplines relating to the North Water have been conspicuously lacking, so the Project proposed a ship-borne winter scientific reconnaissance of the area. The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Louis S. St. Laurent sailed from Halifax, Nova Scotia, on 1 February 1972, destined for the North Water. A 5-week period was allocated for the cruise. Aboard were: a team of physical oceanographers from the Defence Research Establishment Ottawa; teams representing three of the North Water Project's programs: oceanography, marine biology and meteorology; two ice observers from the Atmospheric Environment Service; and two representatives of the National Film Board. The objectives of the cruise were to collect data relating to the several disciplines represented and gain experience in the operating conditions in anticipation of increased year-round commerce in the eastern Arctic. ... [Because of adverse ice and weather conditions and time constraints] the St. Laurent turned south at 72°06'N, 63°55'W. ... Following the decision to turn south, the scientific party decided that the optimum program would consist of 5 oceanographic stations at 100-mile (160 km) intervals down the centre of Baffin Bay, and 4 stations along the latitude of Godthaab (64°), profiling the West Greenland current. The first station was begun at 10/1900Z at 71°57'N, 62°07'W in 2,000 m of water. Oceanographic samples were taken at 10-metre intervals down to 300 m and at standard depths to the bottom. Biological samples were taken throughout the water column and micrometeorological measurements made. Progress during the next 3 days was so slow that the second station was begun at 13/2400Z at 70°37'N, 56°52'W in 395 m of water. All 3 programs collected data. It had been impractical to remain in the centre of the Bay because of the ice conditions and additional stations over the West Greenland shelf were not warranted. Consequently, the ship proceeded south, in progressively slackening conditions, and took 4 stations along the 64th parallel on the 16th. The ship arrived in Halifax on the morning of the 21st, having logged 4200 miles (6750 km) and consumed 80 per cent of its fuel. The scientific party did not reach the North Water, but did obtain the first winter data from central Baffin Bay. Evaluation of the scientific returns of the trip is now under-way; however, the biologists found what appear to be some unusual specimens at the northern station, while the STD [salinity, temperature, depth] revealed a 6°C thermocline between 100 and 125 m in the West Greenland current. It was also shown that it is possible to collect oceanographic specimens at -30°F (-34°C) with a 20-knot wind (windchill equivalent of no wind and below -70°F, i.e. -57°C) although it was extremely uncomfortable for those who had to work in exposed areas. ...
In most, if not all, papers and monographs dealing with patterned ground there appears to be an implicit assumption that polygonal and patterned ground phenomena are exclusively characteristic of tundra regions. In rather extensive vegetational sampling in the forest, forest/tundra ecotone, and tundra of central northern Canada, it has been my observation that patterning is a relatively frequent characteristic of soils in at least the northern portion of the boreal forest in that region. This has escaped wider notice simply because the phenomenon is obscured by the thick layer of moss peat and living mosses and lichens, as well as herbaceous species, usually found under a boreal forest canopy. J. C. F. Tedrow (personal communication, September 1971) indicates that he also has observed patterning under forest in northern Canada and northern Scandinavia although the literature on this subject is either very brief or non-existent. At a site some few miles north of Inuvik, I observed during the 1971 summer field season an example of patterned ground formed beneath black spruce forest that had been exposed as a result of a recent fire (probably within the past 5 to 6 years as deduced from the initial stage of vegetational regeneration) .... Although Tedrow's extensive work in arctic soils clearly indicates that podzolization processes are at work in soils of regions northward of the continental forest borders, he indicates that very often these are not as clearly apparent as in the forested regions simply because of the absence or minimal development of the light coloration of the A2 horizon characteristic of well-developed northern forest podzols. That such minimal coloration is not without exception is demonstrated by the soil profiles shown in Figs. 2 and 3; the first from an area about 12.9 km inland (toward the northeast) at the north arm of Pelly Lake (66°02'N, 101°07'W) some 400 kilometres or more north of the forest border at the present day; the second from Winter Lake (64°29'N, 113°10'W) at the northern edge of the forest/tundra ecotone about 200 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. These observations demonstrate clearly that patterning is not exclusively a property of tundra soils nor is podzolization (with a light-colored A2 horizon) an exclusive property of northern forest soils. Much remains to be learned about both processes in the forest, forest/tundra ecotone, and tundra regions, but it is clearly apparent that soil characteristics cannot be taken alone as definitive or conclusive evidence of the former existence of forest or tundra vegetation (i.e., as basis for inferences concerning past climates from data employed in paleoclimatological interpretation). In such instances it is apparent that at least corroborative evidence in the form of macrofossils of tree species or arctic plant species of good climatic indicator value3 should also be used.
Tuborg Lake is at 81°N, 76°W at the head of Antoinette Bay in northern Ellesmere Island, Northwest Territories. It trends in an east-west direction and is separated from the fjord by a glacier at its western margin. The lake is 20 km long and about 3 km at its widest. An active glacier at the eastern end calves occasional small icebergs into the lake. In June 1963, the level of water in the lake was 10 to 12 m above sea level. The lake is markedly density-stratified; the salinity is less than 0.5 per mil depth of more than 46 m below its surface. The salinity rapidly increases below this depth, and at a depth of 57 m it is 25.594 per mil. Hattersley-Smith and Serson attribute the saline water at the bottom of the lake to sea water trapped by the advance of the glacier across the fjord. The depth of the halocline at 50 to 55 m (thus 40 to 45 m below sea level) and the fact that the present level of the lake is about 10 m above sea level both suggest a complex history of the lake. Recently, the isotopic composition of strontium, conveniently expressed as the 87Sr/86Sr ratio, has been used to indicate the source of dissolved salts .... The 87Sr/86Sr ratio of surface water depends on the Rb/Sr ratios and ages of the rocks exposed in the drainage basin. ... The isotopic composition of strontium in sea water is constant (87Sr/86Sr = 0.7093) and can therefore be useful in identifying marine strontium. The isotopic composition of strontium was determined on a sample of the brine from Lake Tuborg. This sample was collected 22 June 1967 at a depth of 90 m below the surface of the lake. At the sampling site the maximum depth of the lake was 130 m and the depth of the halocline was 60 m; salinity of the sample is 26 per mil. ... The 87Sr/86Sr ratio for the brine at 90 m depth of Lake Tuborg has a value of 0.7096 ±0.0005 (1 sigma), which is in satisfactory agreement with the accepted value for modern sea water. This suggests that the brine at the bottom of the lake could be sea water. However, this is not conclusive, because the dominant bedrock in the region consists mainly of marine carbonates of Early to Middle Cambrian age. The 87Sr/86Sr ratio of these rocks probably does not differ greatly from this value. We analyzed one specimen of limestone of Middle Cambrian age from the Nelson Formation of the Neptune Range, Pensacola Mountains, Antarctica, and obtained an 87Sr/86Sr ratio of 0.7093. The concentration of strontium, determined by isotope dilution using a spike enriched in 86Sr, was 6.239 ppm and is somewhat less than that of normal sea water, which has a strontium content of approximately 8 ppm. Using the established relationship between salinity and chlorinity in sea water and a salinity of 26 per mil, we find a chlorinity of 14.4 per mil for the brine sample. Accordingly, the Sr/Cl ratio of this brine is 0.43. Riley and Tongudai obtained an average value of 0.42 ±0.02 for this ratio for a large suite of sea water samples. The Sr/Cl ratio of the brine from Lake Tuborg is similar to this value, which also suggests that the brine could be sea water.
From April to October 1971 the Arctic Institute's research base on the northeast coast of Devon Island (75°40'N, 84°40'W) was the seat of operations for over 50 investigators and their field assistants. The major research program was a large integrated tundra ecosystem study sponsored by the Canadian International Biological Program (IBP) .... The Base Camp was also used, though briefly, by groups of researchers from the Canadian Wildlife Survey conducting polar bear studies in northern Devon Island, and from the Polar Continental Shelf Project who were making glaciological studies of the Devon Island Ice Cap. ... The status and condition of the Base Camp, and the logistics services, remain essentially as reported in the 1970 field summary ..., although minor improvements and repairs were made to the 8 huts, and the water and power system and local transportation facilities were improved by the addition of another skidoo, bringing the total to 3. ... In 1971, as in the previous summer, the size and capacity (unfortunately not synonymous) of the Base Camp increased. Those who have visited the Camp in previous years would find little resemblance today. The Camp at present consists of 8 Parcolls and Jamesways (many of which were enlarged in 1971), which together with tents, some lent to the Institute by the Canadian Forces, provided both laboratory and living space. A secondary camp, situated some 5 miles from Base Camp, provided a base of operations for a group of researchers from the University of Manitoba. Remote from the large population of Base Camp it made work on muskoxen and other mammals somewhat easier. One problem that came to the fore in 1971 was how to keep to the minimum the impact of relatively large numbers of people with their equipment on the Truelove Lowland itself. All of those who lived at Base Camp cooperated in efforts to avoid any unsightliness and in fact several visitors noted the general tidiness of the area. Outside the BaseCamp, movement, particularly vehicle movement, was also kept to a minimum. ... [The two AINA-sponsored projects (ecological studies of sedge dominated meadow tundras, comparative ecology of High Arctic species of Saxifraga) are summarized.]
The research in 1971 continued to emphasize the physical environment and the biological response of organisms on meadows (c. 49 per cent of the lowland) and raised beach ridges (c. 15 percent of the lowland) in the Truelove Lowland. The lakes (22 percent) were not included in the studies and all data are expressed on the basis of a 3,300 ha land area. As in 1970, the research was concentrated on a typical mesic meadow (soils, meteorology, primary production, nitrogen fixation, invertebrates, decomposition) with additional data gathered in 2 to 5 other meadows (extensive sites), depending upon the research unit. The intensive beach ridge site, approximately 7,500 years old, was studied with the same components of research as the master meadow site. In addition, 2 to 11 other beach ridges (extensive sites), and a site on the plateau (c. 300 m. above sea level) were studied in varying detail (soils, meteorology, primary production, and invertebrates). In all, 22 separate research projects were conducted in 1971. Two flights for aerial photography of the Truelove Lowland were made. The Atmospheric Environmental Service of the Department of Transport photographed black and white and an infrared scan in late July, and the Inland Waters Branch photographed black and white imagery at 3,330 and 830 m and infrared false colour at 1,660 m in mid-August. ...