As a result of various miscalculations 25 ships underwent an enforced wintering at various points in the Soviet Arctic in the winter of 1937-1938. Among the vessels involved was a convoy of six ships led by the icebreaker Lenin, which spent the winter drifting in the Laptev Sea. Several of the ships were severely damaged by ice pressure, and one ship was crushed and sank. Early in 1938 all superfluous personnel were flown south to Tiksi in an emergency airlift operation. The author presents the first detailed English-language account of this wintering.
Data collected in the nearshore region between Point Lay and Ice Cape, Alaska, support the thesis that a well-developed coastal jet is present during the summer. The temporal variability of the current is as predicted by theory. The physical characteristics of the region suggest a strong signal-to-noise ratio for the baroclinic coastal jet. It is probably the dominant mode of summer coastal circulation for the entire Chukchi Sea coast of the Alaskan North Slope.
Various techniques are used to detect the possible distortion of the tide by the presence of an ice cover at some gauging sites in the Canadian Arctic. Some stations are apparently unaffected, while those around the periphery of Amundsen Gulf and Hudson Bay experience larger tides during the annual period of open water and the time of arrival of the tide is altered.
In the eastern Canadian Arctic Archipelago major coal resources occur within the Late Cretaceous and Tertiary Eureka Sound Formation. The formation, which ranges in thickness from thin erosional outliers on central Axel Heiberg Island to a maximum thickness of 3300 m on Fosheim Peninsula, Ellesmere Island, contains numerous thick seams of coal. The coal is highly variable in quality, but seams of clean, vitrain rich coal several metres thick are present. The rank of the coal ranges from lignite through sub-bituminous to high-volatile bituminous as measured by vitrinite reflectance. Inferred resources within the area of study are calculated as 30,000 million tonnes of which 15,000 million tonnes are lignite, 11,000 million tonnes are sub-bituminous and 4000 million tonnes are high-volatile bituminous. The area encompassed only a small portion of the known outcrop area of Late Cretaceous and Tertiary coal measures in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago which indicates that considerable further resources are present.
Report on the distribution of dwarf birches and present pollen rain, Baffin Island, N.W.T., Canada
Arctic, v. 33, no. 1, Mar. 1980, p. 50-58, map
ASTIS record 4016
A distribution map for the dwarf birches is presented for the region from Frobisher Bay northward to Cumberland Peninsula. These shrubs are restricted to favourable habitats which, at the northern limit of the species (67 deg. 40 sec. N), are found on south-facing slopes above the immediate local cooling influence of the sea. Pollen studies within the zone of scattered dwarf birch indicate that pollen dispersal from these low, prostrate shrubs is minimal. Samples of moss collected beneath the bushes have 5-36% Betula pollen; whereas sites no more than 50 m away from Betula shrubs have percentages of <2%. These data will be useful in considering the Holocene and Pleistocene histories of these Low Arctic shrubs in the Eastern Canadian Arctic.
Altitudinal movements and summer habitat preferences of woodland caribou in the Kluane Ranges, Yukon Territory
Arctic, v. 33, no. 1, Mar. 1980, p. 59-72, ill., map
ASTIS record 4017
The altitudinal movements, preferred topography and plant communities of 150 to 200 woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) were recorded for two summers. Nine subalpine or alpine tundra communities constituting their major summer range were quantitatively described. Caribou calved in shrub communities between 1300 and 1450 m, moving upward as the summer progressed. Stags and associated juveniles preferred higher elevations than did other groupings. Caribou disproportionately chose north-facing slopes of less than 20 deg. They fed in birch-sedge meadow and sedge meadow communities nearly twice as much as expected from the areal extent of the communities, and also disproportionately chose other communities with high sedge components. The presence of sedges was the predominant vegetational characteristic chosen regardless of elevations, with only minor differences between caribou sex and age groupings.
The vegetation of Boothia Peninsula and the northern District of Keewatin (212,500 km²) was surveyed, and a vegetation classification suitable for synoptic level surveys of wildlife habitat was produced. A total of 45 plant communities was recognized on Boothia Peninsula. Principal components and discriminant function analysis were used to identify seven significant groupings of these communities. These seven groups, designated as the vegetation groups for Boothia Peninsula, were: Sedge Meadows, Willow Hummocks, Lichen-Dryas Plateaus, Seepage Slopes, Moss Tundra, Purple-Saxifrage Plains, and Rock Barrens. Forty-two plant communities were recognized in the northern District of Keewatin. The six significant groupings which resulted, and which were designated as the vegetation groups for the northern District of Keewatin, were: Sedge Meadows, Willow-Sedge Meadows, Orthophyll Shrub, Lichen-Heath Plateaus, Lichen Uplands, and Barrens. The species composition and relationship to the physical environment for each of these vegetation groups is described.
Spatial patterns in the snow and ice cover of Elizabeth Lake, Labrador, as surveyed in late February 1979, are displayed and analysed. Relationships between distinct trends in the ice and less distinct trends in the snow are discussed within a context of processes operative during a winter. The nature of and spatial patterns in the winter cover of lakes and of their evolution have important implications for those interested in generalizing about lake ice properties and about the effects of snow and ice on the lake ecosystem.
The drawings and watercolours by Rear Admiral Frederick William Beechy, F.R.S., P.R.G.S. (1796-1856) in the collection of the Arctic Institute of North America, University of Calgary
Arctic, v. 33, no. 1, Mar. 1980, p. 117-167, plates
ASTIS record 4020
Presents a biography of Frederick Beechy including a discussion of his contributions to the scientific observation of the Arctic. An illustrated catalogue of Beechy's drawings and watercolours is accompanied by matching descriptive excerpts from rare expedition narratives.
Exploratory drilling for oil and gas in the Arctic Islands has been in progress since 1961. A majority of the reserves are thought to lie offshore. To drill the offshore structures a method has been developed by which the natural ocean ice is artificially thickened into ice platforms which carry the weight of conventional land drilling rigs. The first ice platform well was drilled in 1974; to date 22 platforms have been built and 13 offshore wells drilled. Ice platform design includes the analysis of stresses in the ice and deflections due to ice creep under long term heavy loads. Deflections are found to be the critical factor with loss of freeboard a possible result. The arctic environment poses numerous difficulties for construction and drilling operations and logistics are a large part of the effort. Construction of the ice platform in done by flooding the ice with sea water, using submersible electric pumps. During construction and drilling the ice platform is monitored and strains, deflections, strength, temperature, ice movement and other measurements are taken. Special equipment has been developed specifically for ice platform drilling and a subsea completion was made using the ice as a working surface. Further developments of ice platform technology are expected for oil and gas production.
Ice spirals off Barrow as seen by satellite
Arctic, v. 33, no. 1, Mar. 1980, p. 184-188, photos.
Contribution - Pacific International Research Association, no. 5
ASTIS record 4022
An eddy-like feature, similar to ones observed in the Kamchatka Current, has been observed off the Alaskan coast near Barrow at the boundary of the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas by the NOAA-5 satellite and radar imaging. Broken ice in the area was carried into a spiral pattern by complex current actions. Possible mechanisms for this phenomenon, including encounters between the Alaskan Coastal Current and the Beaufort Sea Gyre, local bathymetry, or sidewall friction effects caused by Point Barrow, are discussed.
This paper advances an explanation for the presence of surface currents in opposite directions on facing sides of some of the main channels of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. It is found that geostrophic dynamics coupled with geometrical constraints and the general direction of surface drift through the archipelago can readily account for the existence, if not all the properties, of the observed flow patterns.
This brief report describes results of a survey project which has been banding West Greenland peregrines annually since 1972. Statistics on number of eyries, sex ratios, and number of young hatched per eyrie are given.
While conducting an Ecological Reserves survey of Morfee Mountain in North Central British Columbia (55° 26' N, 123° 04' W) during mid-July 1971, the author noted an interesting variation of flower colour in Silene acaulis L. subsp. subacaulescens (F.N. Williams) Hult. The flower colours of Silene acaulis are usually purple, pink or lavender throughout its range. The majority of the individuals of this species on Morfee Mountain conformed to the usual flower colour. However, one individual plant with pure white petals was observed .... The specimen was collected near the British Columbia Telephone Company microwave relay station on Morfee Mountain at an elevation of about 1700 m. ... Although the white-flowered form of Silene acaulis is not unknown, Hultén (1968) notes that this form is rare, thus making the find an interesting observation for both the amateur botanist and the more serious student of intraspecific variation in plants.
Professor Don Gill, Department of Geography, University of Alberta, Canada was born 10 August 1934 in Kitchy, a small Swedish settlement near Kenton in northern Michigan. ... On Saturday 28 July 1979 while enroute to the Northwest Territories, the auto which Don was driving collided with another vehicle just outside Peace River, Alberta. Don was dead before an ambulance could arrive at the scene while the other 11 involved in the accident sustained minor injuries. Don was the eldest of 11 children and spent his early years in close contact with the outdoors. During 1950-52 he worked as a hunting and fishing guide in northern Michigan, and in 1952-53 served as a Marine Ranger with the United States Marine Corps in the Korean conflict. It was in the service that he completed his high school education; later, while working with the Marquette City Police, he completed his undergraduate training at Northern Michigan University. He moved in 1961 to California, taught secondary school for two years and then started graduate studies at the University of California at Los Angeles. His M.Sc. thesis, "Coyote and urban man - an analysis of the relationship between coyote and man in Los Angeles", was completed in 1965 and he then started a Ph.D. programme at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. At U.B.C. Don worked with J. Ross Mackay and Vladimir Krajina, completing his programme in 1971 with a thesis entitled "Vegetation and environment in the Mackenzie River Delta, Northwest Territories - a study in subarctic ecology." From 1966 on Don was active in the north conducting field studies, teaching courses, consulting for private and governmental sources, and leading or participating in professional field trips. ... In 1968 he was appointed to the Department of Geography at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. Between 1973 and 1976 Don was director of the Boreal Institute for Northern Studies at the University of Alberta, an institute which is one of the few independent bodies supporting faculty and graduate student research in the north. ... It is a great loss to the science of northern ecology that he was deprived of his life while at the peak of his academic career and with a creative and productive future ahead of him. Don Gill was "one bad-ass dude", to borrow a phrase he often used, whom many will miss.