During September 1983 an unusually early freeze-up and persistent northwesterly winds that drove heavy multi-year ice into Proliv Longa and against the north coast of Chukotka resulted in a critical situation with regard to shipping in the Soviet eastern Arctic. Ports such as Zelenyy Mys and Mys Shmidta were prematurely closed by ice, leaving Pevek as the only functioning port in this part of the Arctic. Worse still, dozens of ships were beset in the ice at various points from the mouth of the Indigirka east to Bering Strait. One freighter, Nina Sagaydak, was crushed and sank near Kosa Dvukh Pilotov on 8 October; a sister ship, Kolya Myagotin, was badly holed and barely managed to limp out of the Arctic. Practically all available ice breakers, including the nuclear-powered icebreakers Lenin, Leonid Brezhnev and Siber', were transferred from the western to the eastern Arctic to free the jammed ships. Ultimately all were rescued, but it was late November before the last ship sailed from Pevek. Many ships were forced to head west from Pevek to the Atlantic, rather than attempt to battle their way through the heavy ice in Proliv Longa in order to return to their Pacific home ports. Singled out for particular praise in Soviet post-mortems of the crisis were the nuclear-powered icebreakers and the new Noril'sk class (SA-15) icebreaking freighters, several of which came straight from the Finnish shipyards to help rectify the situation in the eastern Arctic.
Distribution and abundance of kelp in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea near Prudhoe Bay
Arctic, v. 38, no. 1, Mar. 1985, p. 18-22, ill.
ASTIS record 16731
Seventeen stations on five transects near Prudhoe Bay were quantitatively sampled for kelp. The easternmost transect was located along the fringe of the Boulder Patch, an area of cobbles and boulders supporting a dense kelp community. The transects progressed westwards for 26 km. Low densities of Laminaria solidungula and L. saccharina were found throughout the area. Approximately one-half of the specimens were attached, usually to a pebble or shell buried in the sand-silt substrate. Kelp was most abundant in depths of 4-7 m. No density gradient from the Boulder Patch was found within the study area. Kelp may exist over additional areas of the Beaufort Sea in sufficient numbers to affect faunal diversity and biomass.
The fauna of the lower few centimetres of the sea ice in Frobisher Bay, Arctic Canada, consists mainly of meroplanktonic young of benthic adults and holoplanktonic representatives of generally benthic groups. The major arctic zooplankton species are not included. The ice fauna comprises nematodes, harpacticoid copepods, polychaete larvae, ciliates, various benethic larvae, young gammaridean amphipods, and others. Some species occur in the ice as young animals only, others in all stages of development. Adaptation to the ice is shown best by the copepods, some of which occur there in all stages from egg to adult. The most abundant ice inhabitants reach high concentrations in the ice (nematodes more than 100 000, Cyclopina nearly 10 000/m²). Others appear to show only accidental presence in the ice, and are found in small numbers only, often at times when great numbers of the same species are present in the water below the ice. Probable feeding of the ice fauna and the food chain linking the ice flora to vertebrate predators are discussed.
During the summers of 1977 and 1978, populations of phytoplankton collected in Frobisher Bay at depths of 0, 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 m were enclosed in dialysis bags and incubated in situ at the depths from which they were collected. The greatest growth rate of the populations occurred at 10 m in July-August 1977 and at 5 m in late August-early September 1978. Exponential growth rates and generation times of dominant species of phytoplankton are tabulated. Growth rates ranged from 0.06 to 1.12 division/day and generation times varied from 21.4 to 404.7 hr/division. Light appears to be the major limiting factor for phytoplankton growth in this area; nutrients, temperature and salinity were not limiting in this experiment.
The proportion of caloric energy associated with each of the macrozooplankton populations at two stations in upper Frobisher Bay was determined at intervals during three consecutive open-water seasons. In the upper 50 m of the water column three species (the ctenophore Mertensia ovum, the chaetognath Sagitta elegans, and the hyperiid amphipod Parathemisto libellula) consistently accounted for 90% of the caloric content of the marcozooplankton community. The ctenophore dominated the samples and accounted for 60-95% of the total calories. In deeper water (>70 m) euphausiids, primarily Thysanoessa inermis, accounted for most of the macrozooplankton calories. Ctenophores do not appear to be major prey of arctic marine vertebrates. Thus, in Frobisher Bay surface waters a large proportion of the available energy ends up in an apparent trophic dead end of low specific caloricity. The ctenophores' precise role in this northern marine ecosystem is as yet unclear.
Aerial surveys were conducted in 1974 and 1975 to determine distribution and abundance of waterfowl along the coasts of Somerset, Cornwallis, Little Cornwallis, and Byam Martin islands, Boothia Peninsula, as well as parts of Prince of Wales, Devon, Bathurst, and Melville islands. Waterfowl nested normally in 1975 but were prevented from doing so in 1974 by a late thaw. In 1974, but not in 1975, Barrow Strait was ice free by 1 June. Densities of most species were lower in spring 1975 than in 1974, when inhospitable conditions inland forced the birds to concentrate in coastal areas. In late summer Brant (Branta bernicla) and Oldsquaw (Clangula hyemalis) were more numerous in 1975 than in 1974; Brant left the central High Arctic in midsummer 1974, but the reason for the smaller number of Oldsquaw is not evident. Both Snow Geese (Chen caerulescens) and eiders (Somateria spp.) were more abundant in late summer 1974 than in 1975. Many Snow Geese moved to southeastern Somerset Island and adjacent waters to moult in 1974. In 1975 many eiders and Snow Geese remained at inland locations with their broods. Queens Channel, northern Somerset Island and Bellot Strait were particularly important to waterfowl, irrespective of spring phenology. Melville and Byam Martin islands were used by Brant, and Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) occurred mainly on the Boothia Peninsula. Snow Geese were abundant in both years in southeastern Somerset Island, particularly near Creswell Bay, where both breeding and moulting occurred. Coastal waters of Barrow Strait, Prince Regent Inlet and the Gulf of Boothia were heavily used by Oldsquaw in spring and summer, and Crooked Lake, Prince of Wales Island, was used by many moulting Oldsquaw in both years. Common Eiders (S. mollissima) occurred principally in Queens Channel, Barrow Strait and near Bellot Strait; King Eiders (S. spectabilis) also concentrated in the same areas but were more widely distributed throughout the study area.
Two large groups of mosquito-harassed caribou (Rangifer tarandus granti) were followed for 8-12 h as they repeatedly attempted to cross an elevated pipeline in the Kuparuk Development Area near Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. In 1981, 46% of a group of 917 eventually crossed beneath elevated portions of the pipeline in 26 separate attempts, 13% crossed a section of buried pipe in two attempts, 22% trotted parallel to the pipeline for 32 km and did not cross, and 19% separated from the group and were not accounted for. In 1982, 26% of a group of 655 crossed under elevated portions of the pipeline in 36 attempts, 37% crossed at a buried section in one attempt, and 37% left the main group and could not be accounted for. The majority of crossing attempts occured near intersections of lakes with the road/pipeline complex, but crossing success was highest at a section of buried pipe isolated from the road traffic.
During joint Soviet-American shipboard surveys in autumn 1979 and 1980, numerous sightings of gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus) were made in the western Chukchi and East Siberian seas. Gray whales were observed well offshore in ice-free water in 1979, but near the Chukotka coast in 1980. During the 1980 survey, gray whales were observed further west than previously recorded, with three animals seen at 174 08 E longitude, well into the East Siberian Sea. Based on indirect evidence of gray whale behavior and typical prey organisms identified in bottom samples, we assume gray whales are feeding in the western Chukchi Sea during summer and fall. Movement of these animals further west into the East Siberian Sea may occur regularly when ice conditions permit, but it may also be a response to increasing population size over the past several decades, and gray whales may be reoccupying habitat unused during periods of low population caused by commercial whaling.
The importance of adequate selenium in diets of native wild herbivores can only be inferred from data for beef cattle where minimum dietary concentrations range from 50 to 100 ppb. Concern about possible selenium deficiencies in wild herbivores is based on a few reports of symptoms in wildlife, a paucity of data on selenium in their forages, and the idea that excessive atmospheric sulfur may increase the incidence of selenium deficiencies in herbivores. Concentrations of selenium in sedges, Carex spp., and reedgrasses, Calamagrostis spp., the main food plants of bison, Bison bison, in northwestern Canada, varied from 9 to 800 ppb in samples collected at three lowlands locations. However, approximately three-quarters of all the samples of plant species consumed by bison were dietarily deficient by the beef cattle standard.
A newspaper, The North Georgia Gazette and Winter Chronicle, was published during the wintering-over, 1819-20, of Parry's first arctic expedition. The authors of the contributions were anonymous. In a presentation copy of the London edition of the Gazette, now in the Research Library of the U.S. Air Force Geophysics Laboratory, Parry had pencilled in the names of most of the contributors. These notations are here published.
An intersex individual of the isopod Mesidotea sibirica was found among 50 specimens taken from collections obtained in Pauline Cove, Herschel Island, Yukon Territory, in the summer of 1975. This is the first such intersex form reported for M. sibirica. Intersexuality has not been reported previously among isopods of the genus Mesidotea ....
Robert John LeMesurier McClure was born of Anglo-Irish gentry in 1807. He joined the Navy at the advanced age of 16 and for many years missed promotion. In 1836-1837 he was mate on George Back's Terror cruise in Hudson Bay and came back well initiated in the dangers of pack ice. ... After years of obscurity, he was made first lieutenant of the Enterprise, in which James Ross was leading the first Franklin rescue expedition. McClure gained no credit on this almost abortive cruise, as ill health barred him from major sledge journeys, and when Ross was disabled, Second Lieutenant McClintock was given temporary charge of the ship. ... On his return to England, McClure was made commander and appointed to the Investigator, which was to second Captain Richard Collinson of the Enterprise in a voyage by way of South America and Bering Strait to search the western Arctic. ... Collinson had intended to reach the Arctic by making a wide sweep around the Aleutians; McClure now resolved to halve the distance by striking straight through the uncharted and fog-bound island chain. ... By good fortune he carried with him two industrious diarists - his surgeon, Alexander Armstrong, and J.A. Miertsching, a Moravian missionary enlisted as Eskimo interpreter - as well as the gifted water-colour artist Lieutenant S.G. Cresswell. Confined near the shore by the pack and calling at Eskimo camps, McClure sailed past the Mackenzie River hundreds of miles to the east until at Cape Parry he was shouldered north by ice and made the lucky discovery of Prince of Wales Strait, separating Victoria and Banks islands and the last link in the passage sought. Ascending this almost to its outlet, he was caught by gale and tide and swept back to the narrows of the strait, where the ship was almost wrecked in the churning pack. When it froze solid, McClure took a sledge crew to its northern outlet on Parry's Viscount Melville Sound and linked their joint discoveries into one continuous Northwest Passage. In the spring, sledge parties mapped much of the shore of Banks and Victoria islands without finding a trace of Franklin's lost crews. Weeks failed to get the ship into the dense pack of Viscount Melville Sound. The proper course was then to return with his valuable report by the way he had come, but McClure, obsessed with the glory of navigating the passage, attempted the circuit of Banks Island to enter the sound from the west. ... In the spring McClure crossed the sound and cached his report on the Melville Island shore. That report was instrumental to their survival. After caching the message, they were ice-imprisoned in the same bay for a second winter. Supplies were nearing exhaustion; on half-rations for more than a year, many men grew shrunken, haggard, and tottering. McClure's desperate scheme of detaching them for a foot journey to the continent was averted by the arrival of Lieutenant Pim with word that two rescue vessels awaited them on Melville Island. ... Despite an unofficial statement that the Admiralty were displeased at irresponsibility that had almost caused a second Franklin disaster, McClure was knighted and a House of Commons committee convened to consider a generous reward for the discovery of the passage and the propriety of granting a portion of the bounty to the rescue ships of Kellett. With ingratitude and gross lack of candour, McClure testified that he could have saved his crew without Kellett's aid and secured the entire bounty of 10,000 [Pounds Sterling] for his own ship. ...
... In 1831, James left Britain as an apprentice with the Hudson's Bay Company. For 20 years he served with energy, judgement, and business acumen in the James Bay, Lake Superior, and Athabasca areas. Then-Governor George Simpson entrusted him with the remote and valuable Mackenzie District. He improved profits by better book-keeping and retrenchment on the upper Yukon basin. His preference was to open trade directly with the Inuit via the Anderson River north of Fort Good Hope. Suddenly, in 1855, he was ordered to take part in the search for John Franklin's expedition. The Admiralty had wearied of the expensive probing of the arctic islands, but Dr. Rae of the Hudson's Bay Company had reported finding relics while surveying Boothia Peninsula. Inuit had told him of white men perishing on an island west of a great river. This was obviously the river down which Captain Back and Dr. King had taken a York Boat in 1834. Now the British government asked the Company to use the same route to check out Rae's report. Simpson had confidence that Anderson would see the matter through without creating new disasters. ... Because he could not carry enough supplies to overwinter, Anderson had to accomplish his mission in the short interval between breakup and the onset of the next winter. On Indian advice to bypass frozen lakes, he chose a new, more direct mountain portage route from Great Slave Lake. Solid ice on Lake Aylmer put him 12 days behind the schedule of Captain Back, whose carefully mapped route he joined at that point. ... On July 31, only two days later than Back, Anderson entered Chantrey Inlet. It was choked with wind-driven floes, and the fragile canoes could not operate as icebreakers. When the men managed to reach Montreal Island, they began finding wood and metal fragments along the shore and in Inuit caches. One chip bore the name "Mr. Stanley" of the Erebus. Using an inflatable rubber raft, three men pushed on to Maconochie Island. ... Anderson, with a true instinct, wanted to search Cape Richardson but was prevented by a "millstream" of jagged ice. Had he done so, he would have encountered, a scant eight kilometres to the west in a cul-de-sac later known as Starvation Cove, the last encampment of the Franklin expedition. Instead, he packed up the raft in the canoes, which had been repaired and regummed, and gave the order to return. Not until 1962 was the whole Back River canoed and kayaked again. ... Anderson's official report was brief and restrained. He had found no papers or bodies and could merely confirm Rae's statement that the disaster had occurred somewhere northwest of the Back. ... Anderson's health had been undermined by the trip. After three more years as chief factor in the Mackenzie District, he asked to be transferred. At Mingan on the St. Lawrence, he straightened out the account books and entertained the governor-general with salmon fishing. He finally retired, as a country squire, to Ontario, where his children were entering the professions. James Anderson's service to the Company was exemplary, and he narrowly missed fame at Starvation Cove. Altogether, he was a fine frontiersman - Canadian style.
... At the age of 21, William Duval shipped aboard a whaler for the Arctic; he arrived in Cumberland Sound in the summer of 1879 and remained there for the next four years. He was usually employed as second helmsman aboard the Lizzie P. Simmonds, a whaler owned by an American firm, Williams and Company. In 1883 he returned to the United States for a year. His activities over the next 20 years are little known. ... In the Arctic, Duval lived a life not unlike that of the Inuit whom he came to know so intimately. He learned to speak their language fluently, and they gave him an Inuktitut name - Sivutiksaq, the harpooner. He married a native woman, Aullaqiaq. They had at least four children. ... In 1903 Duval and his family, with other Cumberland Sound Inuit, accompanied the Scottish whaler James Mutch to Pond Inlet to establish the first shore station there for Robert Kinnes's Dundee-based whaling and trading firm. Duval remained in northern Baffin Island until 1907, when he returned to the United States for a winter. The following year he went out again and for the next eight years ran a post for Kinnes at Durban Harbour on the Baffin coast of Davis Strait. In 1916 he joined Henry Toke Munn's Arctic Gold Exploration Syndicate, despite its name a fur-trading company; he and his family accompanied Munn to Southampton Island, where they traded for two years. Duval returned to Cumberland Sound in 1918 and established a post for Munn at Usualuk, the American Harbour of the whalers. He remained there until 1922; in that year he returned to the United States again and spent the winter with relatives in New Jersey. The following year the Canadian government employed Duval as interpreter for the trial at Pond Inlet of the Inuit charged with the murder of the trader Robert Janes, the first trial in the High Arctic. In interpreting the words of the judge and the verdict of the jury against the three Inuit accused, Duval, a man who had long straddled two immensely different cultures, felt an empathy for the Inuit who could not possibly, he thought, understand the implications of the proceedings of which they were a part. ... Munn sold his syndicate to the Hudson's Bay Company, which now had a monopoly on trade in the sound. As a condition of its agreement with Munn, the Company gave employment to Duval as manager of the outpost it opened at Usualuk. ... In the latter half of the 1920s, Pangnirtung served as a base for official government scientific activity in southern Baffin Island. Geologists, naturalists, and map-makers explored Cumberland Sound and beyond. Some of them met the old man of Usualuk, whom they rightly recognized as a living store of knowledge on the Inuit and their land. ...
George M. Douglas was one of the most efficient and well-informed explorers of the Mackenzie District, particularly the northerly reaches of Great Bear Lake and the Coppermine River as far as the arctic coast, during the early years of the twentieth century. A lean, muscular six-footer, he was a pioneer who opened up new vistas for mineral investigation and development. Yet he is chiefly known for his only book, Land Forlorn, which, published in 1914, is noteworthy for its accuracy, attention to detail, and superb photographs. It stands as one of the classics of northern literature. ... He went to sea as a marine engineer between 1897 and 1900 and then began a career in Mexico and Arizona as an engineer, later as a consulting engineer, until 1940. His work in the Southwest was interrupted by the first of his northern explorations. This was for a 1911-1912 expedition to Great Bear Lake, the Dismal Lakes, and the lower Coppermine River to search for copper deposits. ... The three-man party, headed by George Douglas, included his brother, Lionel, a master mariner, and Dr. August Sandburg, a geologist. ... The Douglas party tracked up the swift-flowing Great Bear River with a York boat to Great Bear Lake, towing a canoe. They sailed across the lake to the northeasterly corner at the mouth of the Dease River, where Lionel Douglas built a substantial cabin for the winter. Meanwhile, George Douglas and August Sandburg canoed up the Dease to the Dismal Lakes and thence to the Kendall River and the Coppermine. They explored the Coppermine Mountains during the first season before returning to the cabin. ... In the spring of 1912 the Douglas party returned to the Coppermine and found the extent of the mineralized area to be much greater than had been supposed, the width of the belt being about 25 kilometres. It was deemed significant enough to justify more extensive prospecting, but the effects of World War I and the copper industry discouraged it. The party ranged as far as Coronation Gulf, meeting some of the Copper Inuit but missing Vilhjalmur Stefansson, who had visited the Dismal Lakes only a few months prior to their arrival. (George Douglas and Stefansson eventually became life-long friends.) The entire expedition was noteworthy for its meticulous planning and successful execution, with no serious mishaps. In 1928 Douglas carried out a summer journey with two canoes along the southeastern shore of Great Slave Lake for the United Verde Copper Company. Four years later he investigated coal deposits on the western shore of Great Bear Lake, and in 1935 he conducted mineral exploration around Athabasca Lake and the country between it and Great Slave Lake, as well as on Great Bear Lake. He resumed his mineral exploration in 1938 along the Snare River and between Great Slave Lake and Talston Lake, including Nonacho Lake. He wrote well and kept journals of all his journeys, profusely illustrated with his photographs of consistently professional quality, yet he published only one book and a couple of articles for technical magazines. ...
... Although deaf from a very early age, he qualified as an engineer and in the First World War served with the fishing fleet. In 1918 he sailed for Baffin Island in the auxiliary schooner Erme for the Sabellum Trading Company, which was quite the most irresponsible of the various concerns trading between the end of whaling and the entry to the farther north of the Hudson's Bay Company. ... Pitchforth traded through the winter of 1920-1921 and, unusually for a trader, made a number of sledge journeys, naming one fiord after himself. He was removed by Vera in 1921, but in 1922 the vessel was crushed by ice and, more disastrously, James Mutch retired. He had been the only man who really knew the trade, and in 1922 the Eskimo agents were not supplied with goods and their furs were not collected. Furthermore, the agent at Kivitoo went mad and had two people killed before being killed himself. And it was at Kivitoo that Pitchforth was settled by Sabellum's new vessel, Rosie, in 1923. ... But, as Pitchforth wrote that summer, Kivitoo was a poor place for trade, and he was moving back to Cape Henry Kater. ... By this time Pitchforth was not only deaf but suffering from snow-blindness, though, according to impartial witnesses, otherwise fit and competent for his work. But when the Canadian government offered to have him removed by their ship in 1925, the London manager of Sabellum said Pitchforth was "endeavouring to magnify some hardship he has voluntarily undertaken". At that point they might have expected Rosie to remove Pitchforth, but she met heavy ice in 1925, Pearson fell ill, and he landed stores for Pitchforth 480 km to the south, together with the unfortunate Nauyapik, who was also ill. Sabellum was virtually without any revenue for that year, and the London manager was reduced to assuring Pitchforth's brother that supplies had been left at an alternative point on the coast and that Pitchforth would have moved there, although he had no way of knowing what had been done and no way of getting there in any case. The manager did arrange for the Hudson's Bay Company ship to collect Pitchforth and his furs from Kivitoo in 1927, but the plans fell through, and Pitchforth was at Kater anyway. ... On Christmas Day 1926 he wrote in his diary: "Sky a bit clearer to the Southward, a beautiful ruddy flash tinted the ice and snow most beautifully. Not in the least like Xmas to myself and I feel so ill as to be nearly helpless." A few weeks later a traveller noted snow drifted over his doorway, and in due course the Mounted Police investigated and took his body to Pond Inlet for burial. Astonishingly, Pitchforth's death made the headlines when a ship reached Pond Inlet in the following summer: "World's Loneliest Man", and "Alone in the Arctic; Fate of a Gallant Englishman; Deserted and Starved in a Far Northern Island; Hector Pitchforth in War and Peace." Meanwhile Sabellum refused to pay Pitchforth's wages to his heirs until they gave up his diary, which it was hoped would tell where his furs were stored. It did not, and Sabellum collapsed. In fact the publicity was so unfavourable that this was the end of almost all the small trading concerns of that period. Pitchforth might have revived Sabellum had he lived, but in dying he destroyed it and changed the pattern of arctic trade for a generation.