Zarya, the expedition vessel of the Russian Polar Expedition of 1900-1903 mounted by the Imperial Academy of Sciences and led by arctic geologist Baron Eduard von Toll, sailed from St. Petersburg on 21 June 1900. Toll planned to spend a first winter on the little-known east coast of Poluostrov Taymyr, and a second winter on "Zemlya Sannikova", a landmass which he believed lay to the north of the Novosibirskiye Ostrova. Owing to ice conditions, Zarya spent her first winter on the west coast of Poluostrov Taymyr, where the expedition members made substantial contributions to knowledge of the geography, meteorology, geology, biology and magnetology of the area. A search for "Zemlya Sannikova" during the 1901 navigation season proved inconclusive and Zarya spent the second winter of the expedition at Bukhta Nerpalakh on Ostrov Kotel'nyy. In spring of 1902 Toll with three companions started north for Ostrov Bennetta by sledge and kayak. Zarya attempted to reach Ostrov Bennetta to evacuate the baron's party but was unable to do so because of severe ice conditions. Two search parties were dispatched in the spring of 1903; one, under M.I. Brusnev, searched the shores of the Novosibirskiye Ostrova; the other, led by A.V. Kolchak, travelled by whaleboat to Ostrov Bennetta. There he found signs that the Baron and his companions had reached the island, and also a note to the effect that they had left the island again, by kayak, in November 1902. No further traces of the four men have ever been found.
As a result of a comprehensive assessment of the climate of the Canadian Arctic Islands and adjacent waters, five climatic regions were identified. The regional boundaries were delineated by an analysis of the influence of the major climatic controls while further regional subdivisions were arrived at through consideration of the fields of the standard observed meteorological elements. Short discussions of the climatic characteristics of each sub-region are given and tables outlining values of selected climatic elements are presented. A brief discussion of climatic change across the entire area is included.
Measurements, chick meals and breeding distribution of dovekies (Alle alle) in northwest Greenland
Arctic, v. 34, no. 3, Sept. 1981, p. 241-248, figures, tables
ASTIS record 7592
This paper reports the results of an investigation of Dovekies (Alle alle L.) breeding near Cape Atholl and Siorapaluk in the Thule District, Northwest Greenland during July and August 1978. Mean values for body measurements of breeding birds were: total length = 218.2 mm (n = 265), wing length = 122.9 mm (n - 266), tail length - 40.8 mm (n = 266) and body weight = 150.5 g (n = 209). Most measurements between the sexes were not significantly different, but mean body weight of males (153.8 g) was significantly greater than that of females (147.2 g). Body weight was highly correlated with wing length and total length in males, but not in females. Food delivered to nestlings consisted primarily of copepods (Calanus hyperboreas and C. glacialis) and amphipods (Parathemisto libellula and Apherusa glacialis). Size of chick meals delivered by male and female parents did not differ significantly and average meal weight was 3.48 g (sd = 1.24, n = 204) with mean weight of meals increasing through the chick-rearing period. General information is presented on measurements of subadults, timing of breeding, feeding areas, population size and colony attendance, and predation and disturbance. The distribution of Dovekie colonies in the Thule District is reviewed and compared with earlier information.
Arctic ground squirrels (Spermophilus parryii) were studied for three summers near Haines Junction, Yukon Territory. Population characteristics and the behaviour of individual animals were monitored throughout the study. Ground squirrels entered hibernation in the order adult females, juvenile females, then males. Males emerged from hibernation before females. Males stored food in the autumn when conditions permitted, whereas females did not. Males emerged from hibernation having lost significantly less weight than females over winter. Males lost weight during the mating period, whereas females did not. These data are interpreted in terms of the mating period which for males lasts for approximately three weeks, whereas for females it lasts for less than a day.
Mercury, DDT and PCB in the Atlantic walrus (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus) from the Thule District, North Greenland
Arctic, v. 34, no. 3, Sept. 1981, p. 255-260
ASTIS record 7594
Tissue samples of 69 Atlantic walruses (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus) were collected in the Thule district, North Greenland, in May-July 1975 and 1977. The mean concentration of total mercury in liver was 1.78 mg/kg (SD=1.54; N=46), wet weight basis, with the mean percentage of methyl mercury being 5.5%. The mean concentration in muscle was 0.08 mg/kg (SD=0.05; N=58; mean age = 10.9 years; range: 1-26 years; neonates excluded). In neonates (N=9) the mean concentration of total mercury was 0.31 mg/kg (SD=0.45) in liver (19.9% methyl mercury) and 0.06 mg/kg (SD=0.03) in muscle. Mean Sigma DDT and PCB concentrations in blubber of 28 walruses (mean age = 7.4 years; range: 0-19 years) were 0.063 mg/kg (SD=0.080) and 0.221 mg/kg (SD=0.207), respectively. In males the concentration of Sigma DDT and PCB increased with age. In females there was no correlation between the concentration of Sigma DDT and age, while there was a negative correlation between the concentration of PCB and age. The values of mercury concentrations are low compared with values for seals in Greenland and the eastern Canadian Arctic, and the values of organochlorine concentrations are the lowest reported for pinnipeds.
Excavations undertaken in 1980 in the western Coronation Gulf area, arctic Canada, are described. Work concentrated on the Clachan site (NaPi-2), a small Thule winter village. Stylistic analysis of the artifacts recovered suggests affiliation with Alaskan rather than Canadian Thule, despite a comparatively recent date for the site. Also briefly described are two "protohistoric" Copper Inuit sites.
Field surveys have been carried out for the 1972 to 1979 period in order to study the growth of Aklisuktuk (Growing Fast) Pingo. The field surveys show that the top of the pingo was slowly subsiding during the seven-year survey period, possibly from a slow downslope glacier-like creep of the ice-rich overburden and ice core. The name "Aklisuktuk" probably dates back at least 200 years. The rapid growth which attracted attention was from accumulation of water in a large sub-pingo water lens.