The Thetis, one of most famous Arctic ships was built as a whaler in Scotland in 1881, and served with distinction in the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service, and the U.S. Coast Guard on many an Arctic voyage, before ending her days as a Canadian sealer in 1950. Her sixty-nine years of travels took her from the polar wastes of Greenland to the lush tropics of Hawaii, and from the barren tundra of Siberia back to the frigid waters of Newfoundland. ... The launching of the Thetis coincided with a flurry of international interest in the Arctic. On 3 March 1881, the United States contributed to it by mounting an expedition to Lady Franklin Bay on the northeastern coast of Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Its ostensible purpose was to participate in the International Polar Year, but its leader ... harboured secret longings to be the one to push the farthest north .... Both of these goals were realized, but mishaps plagued this American expedition. The worst of them, since it doomed the members to deprivation and eventual starvation, was the sinking of the relief ship, the steam whaler Proteus on 23 July 1883, and the sailing away of her escort, the U.S.S. Yantic, without caching any provisions. ...
A study was made of the effects of construction, and use by wheeled vehicles, of snow and ice roads at a test site near Norman Wells, N.W.T. Peat was compressed as a result of these operations. The proportion of the test roads covered by live plants was about 12% in the first summer after construction and increased to about 35% in the second summer. Land cleared of vegetation by hand was less disturbed than that cleared by machine, but machine clearing is tolerable if there is to be further disturbance. Ice-capped snow roads and ice roads, properly constructed and maintained, are shown to be capable of withstanding the traffic and loads to be expected during possible pipeline construction along the Mackenzie River Valley.
Satellite imagery and high- and low-altitude aerial photography of the North Slope of Alaska indicate that naleds (features formed during river icing) are widespread east of the Colville River but less abundant to its west. Where naleds occur, stream channels are wide and often braided. Their distribution can be related to changes in stream gradient and to the occurrence of springs. Large naleds, such as occur on the Kongakut River, often survive the summer melt season to form the nucleus of icing in the succeeding winter. Major naleds also are likely to significantly influence the nature of permafrost in their immediate vicinity. A map of naleds may serve as a guide to sources of perennially flowing water.
Habitat requirements of arctic loons (Gavia arctica) and red-throated loons (Gavia stellata) were studied at Storkersen Point on the Arctic coastal plain of Alaska from 1971 to 1975. Nest success ranged from 28 to 92 per cent and 33 to 78 per cent for arctic and red-throated loons, respectively. Loons were ecologically isolated in their feeding habits and use of wetlands. Arctic loons fed to their young invertebrates captured in the nest pond, and red-throated loons fed to theirs fish captured from the Beaufort Sea. Both species preferred islands as nest substrates, but arctic loons utilized large ponds with stands of Arctophila fulva wetlands for nesting, whereas, red-throated loons used smaller, partially-drained basins most frequently.
During the summer of 1974, daily observations of muskoxen were recorded for a number of sites along Kong Oscars Fjord. Individuals sighted numbered 330, and the population of the region was estimated at 405, representing a density of about 0.6 animals per square kilometre in areas below the 200-metre contour. Comparison with counts from as far back as 1954 reveals that the population has increased on average by two per cent per annum over the last twenty years, allowing a partial recovery from its previously depleted level.
Systematic observations of the distribution and thickness of the permafrost were made in northeastern British Columbia, Canada, along a traverse extending northeastward from Fort Nelson (58 49 N, 122 41 W) situated at an elevation of about 1000 ft (305 m) above sea level, across the southwest-facing Etsho Escarpment which rises to an elevation exceeding 2200 ft (671 m), and to the boundary of the Northwest Territories at an elevation of about 1500 ft (457 m) .... The traverse was underlain mostly by cretaceous shales, with sandstone forming the higher land. ... The thickness of the active layer was measured by probing with thin steel rods. ... Wherever possible, seismic lines were used for this measurement, since probing is then more likely to indicate the approximate base of the permafrost in the area. ... Probing below permafrost bodies from seismic lines and natural depressions in the landscape revealed, however, no inconsistent results within the study area.
At the present time there is some uncertainty as to the role of winter and mean annual temperatures in initiating continental glaciation. Although there is no question that cool summers and snowy winters favour glaciation in high latitudes, the possibility must be considered that excessively snowy winters may be warm enough to raise the mean annual temperature. Thus a higher annual mean temperature could be favourable for glaciation. I wish here to present some observations on the relationship between temperatures and snowfall at one Subarctic station (Fairbanks, Alaska). ...