Stratigraphic, sedimentological and faunal evidence for the occurrence of Pre-Sangamonian artefacts in northern Yukon
Arctic, v. 34, no. 1, Mar. 1981, p. 3-33, figures, tables
ASTIS record 6502
The stratigraphic position of artefacts of undoubted Pleistocene age found in the Old Crow Basin has long been in question. We report on geological, palaeontological and archaeological excavations and studies there which show that artefacts made by humans occur in deposits of Glacial Lake Old Crow laid down before Sangamonian time, probably during a phase of the Illinoian (=Riss) glaciation. The geological events surrounding and following the deposition of Glacial Lake Old Crow were complicated by a changing lake level, localized soft-sediment flowage, pingo formation and dissolution, and by the colluvial transport of vertebrate fossils and artefacts. Following deepwater stages of the Lake, an environment not greatly different from that of the present is suggested by the excavated vertebrate fauna and by permafrost features, although warming during the succeeding Sangamon can be considered likely. Sangamonian and later phenomena in the Old Crow Basin are referred to briefly; they show that humans persisted in the area for some time.
The Bailey Point region and other muskox refugia in the Canadian Arctic : a short review
Arctic, v. 34, no. 1, Mar. 1981, p. 34-36, figures, table
ASTIS record 6503
The muskox (Ovibos moschatus) is widely distributed over much of arctic Canada but only at a few locations do their densities remain high and populations relatively stable. These refugia constitute the most favourable muskox ranges in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago .... Refugia for muskoxen in the High Arctic include lowlands on eastern Axel Heiberg Island in the Mokka Fiord region, the lowlands of northeastern Devon Island, and the Bailey Point region of Melville Island .... All of those regions historically have supported high densities of muskoxen from time to time but the Bailey Point region must be considered the best habitat for muskoxen in the Canadian High Arctic. ...
The vegetation of shoreline habitats was examined and systematically sampled at 15 locations along the Chukchi and Beaufort seas of arctic Alaska. In tidal salt marsh habitats, sampled at eight locations, three plant communities are described: Puccinellia phryganodes, at the seaward limit of vascular plant growth; Carex subspathacea/P. phryganodes, at midtidal levels; and Carex ramenskii/C. subspathacea, at the upper limits of the tidal zone. Dupontia fisheri was the major dominant in the upper storm zone above the tidal communities. Plant communities of raised beaches, sampled at four locations, were floristically variable, but Salix species and Elymus arenarius consistently had high prominence values. Elymus arenarius dominated the five gravelly beach habitats sampled. Coastal dunes were sampled at two locations and again Salix and Elymus were the most important plant genera. Finally, four eroding coastal bluffs were examined and abundance values were assigned to representative plant species.
Seven species of land mollusk (2 slugs, 5 snails) were collected on Attu in July 1979. Three are circumboreal species, two are amphi-arctic (Palearctic and Nearctic but not circumboreal), and two are Nearctic. Barring chance survival of mollusks in local refugia, the fauna was assembled overwater since deglaciation, perhaps within the last 10 000 years. Mollusk faunas from Kamchatka to southeastern Alaska all have a Holarctic component. A Palearctic component present on Kamchatka and the Commander Islands is absent from the Aleutians, which have a Nearctic component that diminishes westward. This pattern is similar to that of other soil-dwelling invertebrate groups.
Growth conditions and vitality of Sphagnum in a tundra community along the Alaska Pipeline haul road
Arctic, v. 34, no. 1, Mar. 1981, p. 48-54, figures, tables
ASTIS record 6506
Effects of road dust and road related construction upon Sphagnum lenense were found in one Sphagnum-rich tundra community along the Alaska Pipeline haul road. Dust, arising from vehicular traffic, settled in greatest quantities near the road with the amount rapidly decreasing away from the road. Water content of Sphagnum lenense in quadrats close to the road and to a buried gasline was generally low when compared with those of S. lenense in more distant quadrats. Total conductivity, pH, and calcium content of water extracted from the Sphagnum was greatest in heavily dust-impacted quadrats. Chlorophyll content (µg chlorophyll a/g dry weight plant tip) was greatest in Sphagnum lenense little exposed to dust and lowest in Sphagnum heavily exposed. Carbon uptake rates in Sphagnum lenense from quadrats far from the road were higher than uptake rates in quadrats near the road, as determined by fixation of 14C labeled CO2.
An illustrated key with supplementary descriptive material is presented for six species groups of gadid fishes which are of trophic importance in the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas. These species include: Arctogadus spp. Drjagin, Boreogadus saida (Lepechin), Eleginus gracilis (Tilesius), Gadus macrocephalus Tilesius, Microgadus proximus (Girard), and Theragra chalcogramma (Pallas).
Observations made during recent studies into fire history of forests in central Yukon ... suggest that, in the event of long-continued absence of fire, mixed stands of black and white spruce ... might become mono-specific black spruce stands. It is, however, unlikely that fires will often be absent for the long time periods needed for this change to develop. ...
Anchor ice is broadly defined ... as "submerged ice attached or anchored to the bottom, irrespective of the nature of its formation". We discuss here a form of anchor ice of which we can find no previous description. During August 1978 and 1979 we observed a belt of fresh-water anchor ice along 30 km of beach between Sheringham Point and Prospect Hills in southwest Cornwallis Island, N.W.T. ...
Climatic relationships of permafrost zones in areas of low winter snow-cover
Arctic, v. 34, no. 1, Mar. 1981, p. 64-70, ill.
Biuletyn peryglacjalny, no. 30, 1981, p. 227-240, figures
ASTIS record 6510
In areas with under 50 cm snow cover in winter, the permafrost zones show diagnostic long term freezing indices and thawing indices. The warmer boundary of the zone of continuous permafrost traverses the mean annual air temperature (MAAT). The boundary between discontinuous and sporadic permafrost lies just on the cold side of 0° C MAAT. The sporadic permafrost zone includes the zone of ice caves and the regions with patches of ice beneath ponds and peatbogs, extending to 5° C MAAT at a thawing index of 4000 degree days per year. The relationship is applicable to Norway, Iceland, Spitzbergen, Canada and the People's Republic of Mongolia. There are some marked variations in lapse rate from one environment to another, the most marked of which occurs above tree line where the lapse rate increases markedly in winter, though not in summer. This produces a change in MAAT of 2.5° C on Plateau Mountain. The changes also occur at some points in non-permafrost areas and it appears likely that they are due to spatial and seasonal changes in albedo. Whatever the cause, the variations in lapse rate indicate that calculations of past world climate change based on data from one area may be misleading.
Tundra-fire effects on soils and three plant communities along a hill-slope gradient in the Seward Peninsula, Alaska
Arctic, v. 34, no. 1, Mar. 1981, p. 71-84, figures, tables
Special report - U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, 80- 37
ASTIS record 6511
During summer 1977, wildfires burned extensive areas of low arctic tundra in the Seward Peninsula, Alaska. The present study was initiated in July 1978 to determine the effects of these fires on tundra soils and vegetation. Nine 10 m × 1 m permanent belt transects were established at regular intervals along the topographic gradient of a burned hill-slope in the central Seward Peninsula near Imuruk Lake. Soil characteristics and plant species density and cover were determined in each of the 90 1-m˛ plots on this slope during July of both 1978 and 1979. Soils and vegetation had been quantitatively sampled on this slope in 1973, thereby providing pre-fire comparisons; a sedge tussock-shrub tundra community with mud circles occupied the poorly drained footslope and a birch and ericaceous shrub tundra community with elongate turf-banked frost boils had developed on the moderately well-drained backslope. The broad, poorly-drained summit of this slope was occupied by sedge-shrub tundra with low-centered polygons. The severity of burning in July 1977 varied along this slope with moderate to heavy burning of the birch and ericaceous shrub tundra and light to moderate burning of the sedge tussock-shrub tundra and sedge-shrub tundra communities. Post-fire (1978 and 1979) changes in plant cover, species composition and soil thaw depths are shown to vary with position on the slope and burning severity. The relationship of these changes to natural succession in the absence of fire is discussed.
... Some of the most interesting developments in exploration literature have occurred since 1900. ... The 20th century has witnessed a gradual evolution in the response to this "call of the wild," an evolution that moves through three phases. The first stage ... is characterized by a desire to dominate the wilderness .... the second stage sought a relatively simple enjoyment of the natural world ... In ... the third and most recent stage - the explorer seeks out unspoiled regions for what he can learn from them, for the wilderness teaches him about himself and his antecedents. Three representative travels in the North sharply illustrate this development. ...
Dr. Roger Brown died in hospital in Ottawa, Ontario, on November 4, 1980 after a long and valiant battle with cancer. ... Roger Brown was born in Toronto, Ontario, on 17 January 1931 and received his B.A. and M.A. degrees in geography from the University of Toronto in 1952 and 1954, respectively. He attended Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, U.S.A. from September 1956 to July 1957 where he completed the course work for his Ph.D. From September 1957 to August 1958 he studied at the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge, England, gathering information for his thesis "Permafrost in Canada - Its Effect on Developments in an Area of Marginal Human Activity". He received his Ph.D. in geography from Clark University in June 1961. ... Roger joined the Division of Building Research, National Research Council of Canada, in June 1953 and immediately began studies to determine the distribution of permafrost in Canada and to investigate the climatic and terrain factors that affect the formation and stability of permafrost. He devoted his career to permafrost research and carried out both exploratory and detailed field studies throughout the permafrost region in Canada. ... In 1969 he initiated studies in other parts of the Canadian permafrost region. Observations on the climate, terrain and ground thermal regime were begun at various locations .... Much of this work was directed toward gathering information on permafrost conditions in the vicinity of the boundary between the continuous and discontinuous permafrost zones. In the early 1970s, similar work was begun on alpine permafrost in the Canadian Cordillera, the Gaspé and Labrador. He also undertook studies in the High Arctic to investigate the nature and distribution of permafrost in the northern part of the continuous zone. ... Roger was the author or coauthor of more than 45 scientific and technical papers. In 1967 he prepared the Permafrost Map of Canada, published jointly by the National Research Council of Canada and Geological Survey of Canada. ... Much of the information he gathered during his early years ... was published in 1970 by the University of Toronto Press in a book entitled Permafrost in Canada - Its Influence on Northern Development. The maps, the book and his papers represent not only the remarkable achievements of one man but also a tremendous contribution to the knowledge of permafrost in Canada, which is vital in the planning and development of the natural resources and the communities of northern Canada. ... In addition to his extensive permafrost research activities at the Division of Building Research, Roger was an active member of several national and international committees and organizations concerned primarily with permafrost and periglacial phenomena and the North. ... Over the years, Roger was asked to serve on the executive or on special Task Forces or Study Groups of many committees .... Roger was a member of the Canadian Association of Geographers for many years and a member of the Arctic Circle (Ottawa), serving as President of the latter organization in 1969 and 1970. He was a Fellow of the Arctic Institute of North America and was a member of the Board of Governors from 1970 to 1975. Due in no small part to his efforts, strong links were forged with permafrost workers throughout the world, notably in the U.S.A., U.S.S.R., People's Republic of China, France, Poland, England, Denmark, Finland and Iceland. ... Permafrost underlies about one-half of Canada and Roger was keenly aware of its importance to the efficient and effective development, with due regard for environmental concerns, of our northern areas. He therefore was very active in furthering the scientific and public knowledge of permafrost in Canada. ... In 1977, Roger was awarded the Silver Jubilee Medal and in late September 1980 (five weeks before his death) he received in person, at the annual Canadian Geotechnical Conference in Calgary, the R.F. Legget Award of the Ca nadian Geotechnical Society. ... Roger Brown was a man of many facets, having a wide sphere of interests outside his professional field. ...