... let me conclude by suggesting that the community of northern scientists ... was caught in disarray by the onslaught of development proposals. The response, translated by the eager media, was scrambled and so confused that much of our credibility has evaporated - particularly in the north. ...
Analyses for total mercury, methyl Schreber mercury and selenium, with age determinations for 390 ringed seals (Phoca hispida Shreber) and 64 bearded seals [Erignathus barbatus (Erxleben)] from 7 localities across the Canadian Arctic confirm (with up to 420 ppm) earlier reports of very high values for total mercury in liver. Concentrations in muscle were higher than 0.5 ppm in mature animals. There were not significant differences between localities. Mercury and age show a strong positive correlation, and so do selenium and age; the concomitant correlation between mercury and selenium is striking, the elements occurring together in a ratio by atoms of close to 1:1. Rates of accumulation appear to be somewhat higher in bearded seals. Methyl mercury in liver amounts to less than 5 percent of the total in ringed seals and to less than 1 percent in bearded seals. There appears to be a small increase with age of the fraction present as methyl mercury. This low proportion of methyl mercury in liver, together with some 75% in muscle is in contrast to reports of 89% methyl mercury in the blood of Inuit in Arctic Bay and remains to be explained.
The Naval Ocean Research and Development Activity conducted an oceanographic research program in northern Smith Sound during middle July 1977 using USCGC Westwind (W-AGB 281) as the data collection platform. One aspect of the program was to investigate the water mass interactions at the narrowest portion of Smith Sound which: (1) represents the boundary between this sound and Kane Basin to the north; and (2) is the area of the most well-known semipermanent open water area - the North Water Polynya. From an analysis of 2 West-East cross sections and a comparison of these data with data collected by the Coast Guard in 1963, it is suggested that the northern Smith Sound area is a meeting area of two different water masses: (1) a warm (>-1.0°C), dense (>26.8 sigma tau) mass on the eastern side of Smith Sound which enters the area from the south; and (2) a cold (<-1.0 deg. C), low density (<26.7 sigma tau) mass on the western side of Smith Sound which originates in the Arctic. It is further suggested that since the warm, dense water mass was also observed in 1963, this feature in eastern Smith Sound may be a permanent or, more likely, a semipermanent (seasonal) phenomenon and could be highly modified Atlantic Water. This latter conclusion is in contrast to the general belief that Atlantic water does not enter Smith Sound.
Spatial and seasonal variation patterns were studied for bacterial populations in Beaufort Sea ice, water and sediment. Bacterial populations in the Beaufort Sea were found in concentrations as high as are found in temperate oceans. Bacterial populations, especially viable bacteria, were lower in surface water during winter than summer, but not in sediment. Beaufort Sea bacterial populations are mainly psychrotrophic and are clearly adapted to growth at low temperatures. Ice conditions appear to be important in determining levels of bacterial populations in water.
Haughton Astrobleme is a nearly circular impact crater with a diameter of about 16 km and a central uplift in Devon Island. Bedrock exposed in the crater comprised the following mainly carbonate Lower Ordovician to Upper Silurian formations in order upward: Eleanor River, Bay Fiord, Thumb Mountain, Irene Bay and Allen Bay. The Eleanor River Formation in the centre of the crater is raised about 480 m above its normal stratigraphic position outside the crater. The much shattered and faulted lower Paleozoic rocks within the crater contrast markedly with the subhorizontal surrounding strata. The Allen Bay Formation constitutes surface exposure around all but the easternmost part of the crater's border where the Thumb Mountain and Irene Bay Formations are exposed. Also exposed in the crater are two newly recognized, and as yet unnamed, formations: a polymict impact breccia that overlies the lower Paleozoic rocks, with marked angular unconformity and crops out over about a quarter of the area of the crater; and a unit of lake sediments near the western border of the crater that lies disconformably on the impact breccia and with angular unconformity on the lower Paleozoic rocks. The impact breccia is composed chiefly of carbonate rocks, but locally contains clasts of Precambrian crystalline basement from a depth estimated to be at least 1700 m. The basement clasts show varying degrees of shock metamorphism, the highest being that displayed by rocks with vesicular, flow-banded feldspar or quartz glass. Coesite has been identified in a sample of gneiss. The lake sediments are interpreted as an infilling of the crater that occurred shortly after impact. On the basis of fossils these sediments are dated as Miocene or, possibly, Pliocene. From this and other evidence, it is concluded that the impact took place in the Miocene or Pliocene.
The results of analyses of rumen contents from 101 Peary caribou (Rangifer tarandus pearyi J. A. Allen 1902) collected on Banks Island are presented. Peary caribou on Banks Island were found to be versatile, broad spectrum grazers specializing on upland monocots, to ingest few lichens, and to exhibit significant seasonal and/or regional differences in diet.
The occurrence of grounded ice ridges and shore ice piling along the northern coast of Somerset Island, N.W.T.
Arctic, v. 31, no. 2, June 1978, p. 133-149, ill., tables, maps, charts
ASTIS record 419
Massive shore ice piles and grounded ice ridges up to 30 m high were examined along the northern coast of Somerset Island between 1973 and 1976. The ice ridges, composed of 1 to 2 m thick ice blocks and occasionally thicker multi-year ice blocks, occurred most frequently along the north and west shores of capes and headlands. 'Cape Fisher' was the site of shore ice piling during each of the four years and one set of ice piles, built 15-60 m inland existed three years. Effects of grounded ice ridges on nearshore morphology were minimal but ice-push features were observed as much as 185 m inland across the beach.