Danish Arctic ionosphere research   /   Taagholt, J.
Arctic, v. 25, no. 4, Dec. 1972, p. 250-262, ill., 1 map
ASTIS record 10198

The Danish Meteorological Institute celebrated its centennial on 1 April this year and on the same date the Ionosphere Laboratory, a division under the Meteorological Institute, observed its tenth anniversary, although its history goes back almost twenty years. The idea of establishing an Ionosphere Laboratory was first conceived by the active and foresighted Professor P. O. Pedersen .... During the Second Polar Year 1932-33 Pedersen wanted to build an ionosphere station in Godhavn ... but it was not until 1951 that his wish was fulfilled by his assistant and later successor, Professor Jørgen Rybner. The year before, the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Bureau of Standards had established an ionosphere station at the American military base in southern Greenland and in 1957 when the U.S. Armed Forces left what is now called Narssarssuaq, Professor Rybner also undertook the responsibility for this station in his capacity as the Chairman of the Danish National Committee of the International Radio Union (URSI). It was realized that operation of the Greenlandic stations would only be feasible if there were an active group in Copenhagen to analyze the ionosphere data obtained and to train the station personnel before leaving for Greenland. To fill this need Professor Rybner founded a laboratory at the Technical University based upon support from local URSI funds. At the same time rapid technological development made possible measurements in the ionosphere with instruments launched with rockets or from satellites. Using the resources at the new laboratory, Professor Rybner in 1961 accepted a Norwegian proposal for a joint campaign with rocket launchings from Andøya in Lofoten, Norway, in cooperation with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). This project formed the basis later for a Greenlandic ionosphere rocket program. ... it was deemed desirable to change the laboratory supported under the Danish URSI Committee to an official laboratory underthe Technical University of Denmark. ... on 1 April 1962 the Ionosphere Laboratory was established at the University .... Recordings of naturally generated electromagnetic noise at very low frequencies (VLF recordings), and studies had been made at Godhavn and Narssarssuaq for some years when , in 1964, a "VLF-station" was established at the Danish site Thule, approximately 80 miles north of Thule Air Base [AB]. Financial support was given by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and locally by the U.S. Army Research Support Group (USARSG). When in 1966 the American scientific camp situated approximately 16 miles east of Thule AB was closed down, the U.S. ionosphere station there was transferred to the Danish station at Thule; an ionosonde was made available from the U.S.A. and a building of 150 m² was moved from the camp to the station by helicopter! The U.S. National Science Foundation supported the operation for the following three years until the Danish Government took over financial responsibility. Between 1966 and 1968 the Ionosphere Laboratory was reorganized involving among other administrative changes the establishment of an independent Danish Space Research Institute for work with balloons, rockets and satellites. Today, ten years after it was officially established with a staff of four, the Laboratory with a staff of twenty, is continuing its ionospheric research based largely upon the operations of the Greenlandic observatories at Godhavn, Narssarssuaq, and Thule. Although it is administered and financed by the Danish Meteorological Institute, it is still located at the Technical University north of Copenhagen, and maintains close cooperation with other laboratories at the University in teaching and providing guidance to graduate students. [Included are summaries of research under the following headings: ground-based measurements, vertical soundings, cosmic noise absorption measurements, whistler and VLF emissions, auroral electrojet activity, the polar ionization, geomagnetic micropulsation studies, the polar slant E condition, stratospheric balloon measurements, high altitude meteorological observations, ionospheric rocket experiment, and electric field measurements].

Evaluation of North Water spring ice cover from satellite photographs   /   Aber, P.G.   Vowinckel, E.
Arctic, v. 25, no. 4, Dec. 1972, p. 263-271, ill., 1 map
ASTIS record 10199

Satellite photographs for 2 years (March-September) have been used to study ice cover in the polynia called "North Water," and to determine whether reliable ice maps could be made from satellite data without computer analysis. After early July the clouds became opaque and distinction between cloud and ice is impossible. It was concluded that ice distribution for short periods could best be obtained by careful photograph interpretation. The most persistent open water is found at the northern edge, at about 78° N. The southern ice edge is diffuse. The changes in ice cover in the North are mainly caused by freezing and melting, whereas ice transport is important in the southern area.

Short-term climate changes and coastal erosion, Barrow, Alaska   /   Hume, J.D.   Schalk, M.   Hume, P.W.
Arctic, v. 25, no. 4, Dec. 1972, p. 272-278, ill., 1 map
ASTIS record 10200

Records of shoreline and bluff positions in the vicinity of Barrow, Alaska, have been obtained from aerial photographs and taped measurements for intervals between 1948 and 1969. Although the source material in the bluffs is frozen and masses of pure ice are present, temperature and rainfall data fail to show any marked correlation with the retreat of the bluff face or with the retreat of the fronting or downdrift beaches. Removal of beach material for construction and frequency of storms from the west do show a relationship. Recorded retreats of the bluffs up to 3 m per year and of the beaches up to 4 m per year have resulted where there has been excessive beach borrow or where a series of severe storms have attacked the coast.

An aerial census of ringed seals, northern coast of Alaska   /   Burns, J.J.   Harbo, S.J.
Arctic, v. 25, no. 4, Dec. 1972, p. 279-290, 1 ill., maps
ASTIS record 10201

Aerial surveys of ringed seals, Phoca (Pusa) hispida Schreber, in areas of land-fast ice extending along the Alaskan coast from Point Lay to Barter Island were made between 8 and 15 June 1970 in order to establish a base line index of density and distribution. Surveys of 8, 9 and 13 June were used for determining density and estimating the minimum number of seals present within 6 sectors of the total area. The density of seals in sectors east of Point Barrow was low and relatively uniform (2.28, 1.06, 1.38 and 2.43 seals/mi²). Within sectors southwest of this point, density was substantially higher (5.36 and 3.70 /mi²). The minimum number of ringed seals in all sectors surveyed was 11 612. Comparison of survey results in areas of intensive seismic exploration with undisturbed areas indicated that even with intensive disturbance associated with exploratory activities conducted within the limits imposed by state regulations, ringed seals were not appreciably displaced.

The tundra microclimate during snow-melt at Barrow, Alaska   /   Weller, G.
Arctic, v. 25, no. 4, Dec. 1972, p. 291-300, ill.
ASTIS record 10202

The microclimate of the tundra during spring of 1971 (29 May to 17 June) at Barrow, is described and analysed in terms of the heat balance at the terrestrial surface and the effects of terrain parameters on the heat balance components. Changes through the snow-melting period are large. Within 2 weeks, 35 cm of snow are removed, soil interface temperatures increase by 15°C and the dry snow environment is replaced by a saturated water-soaked tundra surface. As a result, evaporation rates are high: up to 6 mm/day occurs immediately after the snow melt. The latent heat required for this is 40 times higher than during the pre-melting period.

Nora Corley Murchison : an appreciation   /   Marsden, M.
Arctic, v. 25, no. 4, Dec. 1972, p. 301, ill.
ASTIS record 53549

With the marriage of Nora Theresa Corley to John T. Murchison on St. Patrick's Day 1972 the Arctic Institute lost one of its earliest and most valuable staff members. A charter member of AINA and a polar enthusiast from her university days in McGill's Geography Department and Library School, she arrived finally at the Montreal headquarters of the Institute in October 1954, very much by choice; and at a time of budgets which only barely distinguished staff from the amateur volunteers, she brought a dedicated professionalism to the task of creating a first-rate research facility. Having acquired a sound basic collection from her predecessor, she began the enormous task of cataloguing and cross-indexing the entire collection single handed, while expanding and completing coverage. It must have been a great satisfaction to her when the catalogue was published by G. K. Hall in 1968 as a research tool. Perhaps only those who use the Library can fully understand how accessible the collection has become, both intellectually and physically, and how extensive is the coverage. Many arctic expeditions have begun and ended in the AINA Library; many field workers have been and are dependent upon the resources; literally hundreds of research officers, university teachers and students have learned to depend upon Nora's knowledge of the literature and its availability. In the final analysis her labours created and shaped the largest capital and research resource of AINA and what is surely the most enduring of its many facilities. In addition to this major achievement she somehow found time for scholarship: finishing an M.A. in Geography, publishing original research, and contributing to the Dictionary of Canadian Biography. Among many activities she provided material to the Northern Service of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and gave a large sector of her private life to various library associations, contributing regular reviews to the Library Journal and serving as a Chapter President of the Special Libraries Association and Chairman of their Geography and Map Division. She travelled and corresponded widely, acquiring friends around the world, keeping most of them for AINA. In spite of all this rather earnest-sounding activity, and sheer hard work, there is also a profound femininity and a lively sense of fun. The Library was often the scene of quite unconventional gaiety, and it was sometimes surprising to see who could melt when Nora's dæmon was loosed. She leaves a happy working Library and takes with her the gratitude, affection, and good wishes of all those she helped. For many of them "Nora" is a significant part of that quite special aura "The Institute."

A possible advanced Hypsithermal position of the Donjek Glacier   /   Johnson, P.G.
Arctic, v. 25, no. 4, Dec. 1972, p. 302-305, ill., maps
Icefield Ranges Research Project, scientific results, v. 4, 1974, p. 249-251, ill., maps
ASTIS record 10203

The history of the [Donjek] glacier from 1935 to the present is well documented photographically .... Documentation of the Hypsithermal and Wisconsin history of the glacier is less abundant. ... During the summer of 1970 the terminus area of the Donjek Glacier and the lower part of the glacier valley were investigated for evidence of its Hypsithermal position. No evidence was found in the valley occupied by the glacier to indicate that it had retreated back into the valley from the Donjek River Valley. The inclusion of 'Slims Soil' ... in the material of the Neoglacial moraine complex of the glacier indicates that there must have been some retreat up valley of the moraine position before the Neoglacial re-advance. Down valley from the Neoglacial moraines there is evidence for a relatively recent, probably Hypsithermal, ice marginal position. This evidence is in the form of a lateral moraine, terminal moraine remnants and the distribution and development of the Hypsithermal Slims Soil and volcanic ash. Unfortunately no material was found which could be dated by radiocarbon techniques to verify the age of the features. The glacial landforms are relatively easily identified when compared with the highly denuded forms which represent the pre-Neoglacial periods found elsewhere in the Donjek Valley. ... It is considered that there is evidence for a stable phase of the Donjek and Kluane Glaciers late in the Hypsithermal period. This position is down valley of the Neoglacial maximum position which contrasts with the documented situation in the Kaskawulsh Valley. Late in the Hypsithermal the glaciers retreated from this stable position, the Kluane Glacier retreating to a Neoglacial position 15 miles up valley and the Donjek Glacier apparently retreating only a short distance before readvancing to its Neoglacial maximum position.

The simulation of subsurface effects on the diurnal surface thermal regime in cold regions   /   Outcalt, S.I.
Arctic, v. 25, no. 4, Dec. 1972, p. 305-307, ill.
ASTIS record 10204

... Layered substrate materials are common in nature; these include naturally stratified soils, ice and snow. ... solar radiation penetrates the surface and produces subsurface heating in snow and ice terrain. The stratification problem has been treated by numerous authors as variation of the periodic heat flow problem using surface temperature as the forcing function. ... In recent years there has been a considerable interest in the possibility of acquiring surface environmental information using the spatial variance in the phase and amplitude of the diurnal surface thermal regime as an indicator. ... It would appear that melting rock glacier ice cores, massive ground ice and active layer depth variations contribute significantly to the surface thermal regime variance when these features are relatively close to the surface. It would however appear that lake and sea ice depth variations with either spatially homogeneous light snow cover or none should be detectable particularly where there are large depth variations. Whereas surface climate simulation presents an explicit method of estimating the influence of a wide range of surface environmental factors, specifically albedo, emissivity, substrate radiation extinction (ice and snow), roughness, wetness, stratified thermal properties, slope and exposure, the method would appear to be extremely valuable in the experimental design and hypothesis formation phases of thermal mapping investigations in cold regions. Furthermore as the strategy can be employed to estimate the sensitivity of the surface thermal response to individual environmental factors the method dictates the ground truth requirements for exploratory investigations. Lastly as process and environmental information becomes available the strategy can be used to construct explicit deterministic physical models of the spatial and temporal variance of surface thermal response which can be employed as an analytical portion of a remote sensing reconnaissance system specific to trafficability and site studies in arctic and alpine environments. In short, the capacity for modelling the surface thermal response as a function of the surface and substrate environment vastly increases the accessible information content of thermal infrared maps particularly where these are acquired at several times during the diurnal cycle.

Mosses from the Mackenzie Mountains, Northwest Territories   /   Brassard, G.R.
Arctic, v. 25, no. 4, Dec. 1972, p. 308
ASTIS record 10205

A recent collection by W. J. Cody (Canada Department of Agriculture) from the Mackenzie Mountains, continental Northwest Territories, arctic Canada, included 2 mosses of some phytogeographical interest. These were collected on the Plains of Abraham (64°30'N, l27°l3'W), on a shattered limestone plain at approximately 1,400 m altitude. The specimen (containing both species) was collected on 9 July 1970, W. J. Cody, collection number 19078. Bryum wrightii Sullo and Lesq. Cody 19078, with numerous sporophytes. This is the first report of this moss from the continental Northwest Territories, and a substantial southwestward range extension. The species is also known from a few of the Queen Elizabeth Islands1, Banks Island, Southampton Island, and Greenland, but it is rare and local throughout its distribution. Voitia hyperborea Grev. and Arnott. Cody 19078a, a few plants, with sporophytes. This species, whose distribution was recently mapped, was known from the eastern part of the continental Northwest Territories but not from the western part. The present collection extends the species' range to the southwest, and provides the closest locality yet to the Alberta populations of its vicariant, Voitia nivalis Hornsch. The Plains of Abraham specimens are, however, definitely the high arctic V. hyperborea. The presence of Bryum wrightii and Voitia hyperborea on a high-altitude plain which was unglaciated in the Pleistocene is significant. They have probably remained in this locality during the Pleistocene Glaciations. Both species undoubtedly also survived the glaciations in other Nearctic refugia. Bryum wrightii is also known from Banks Island but has not yet been reported from unglaciated Arctic Alaska. Voitia hyperborea seems also to have survived glaciation in several other widely scattered refugia, including arctic Alaska, northern Ellesmere Island, and Greenland. The discovery of these 2 mosses in an unglaciated part of the continental Northwest Territories may well indicate that the Plains of Abraham and other high unglaciated plateaus in the Mackenzie Mountains have a flora rich in high arctic bryophytes.

Peregrine Falcon survey, West Greenland, 1972   /   Mattox, W.G.   Graham, R.A.   Burnham, W.A.   Clement, D.M.   Harris, J.T.
Arctic, v. 25, no. 4, Dec. 1972, p. 308-311
ASTIS record 10206

... The main purpose of the 1972 survey was to study a sample area of West Greenland to supply baseline data about peregrine falcons from which future surveys could determine the status and trends of this bird in Greenland. The main part of the study had as its goals: 1) to determine the density, distribution, and reproductive success of nesting peregrines in a sample area; 2) to band all peregrine nestlings found; 3) to determine prey species of the peregrine; 4) to make interspecific observations of peregrines and gyrfalcons; 5) to make detailed observations from a blind of a sample peregrine falcon eyrie; 6) to conduct a small-bird census in the area of the sample eyrie; 7) to make a photographic record in colour slides and movies of the investigations. ... Eight peregrine falcon eyries and 3 gyrfalcon eyries were found in the survey area. In all, 18 nestlings were found in the 8 peregrine eyries. Of the 8 eyries, 1 had no young, but showed signs of occupancy ... and was defended by an aggressive pair of falcons. Of the other 7 eyries where we found hatched young, 1 had 4 young, 4 had 3 young, and 2 had 1 young bird each. Of the total of 18 nestling peregrines, 13 were banded and 5 were fully-fledged, on the wing, and unable to be caught for banding. Of the peregrine nestlings banded, 9 were males and 4 were females. The number of nestlings (18) in the 8 peregrine eyries gave a production rate of 2.25 per eyrie, or 2.57 if an average is taken of the 7 eyries actually producing young. At 1 eyrie a young falcon was found dead (the eyrie with 4 young). We know that at least 8 of the remaining 17 young fledged successfully, but we are uncertain about the success of the others and cannot therefore make a definite statement on fledging ratio. We estimate, however, that the fledging rate of the peregrines in our survey area was at least 2.00 per producing eyrie. The maximum dimensions of our irregularly-shaped survey area were 39 x 34 miles (63 x 55 km). The estimatedarea of the survey was about 800 mi² (2,072 km²), or about 700 mi² (1,800 km²) when the surface area of fiords and lakes is excluded. The nesting density of the active, young-producing peregrine eyries (7) was about 1 pair per 100 mi² (260 km²). ... At the 3 gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus) eyries we found 8 nestlings or fully-fledged young, of which we were able to band 3. Peregrines and gyrfalcons (and a rare white-tailed sea eagle, Haliaetus albicilla) are the only avian predators nesting in southern West Greenland, although ravens (Corvus corax) competed for some nesting cliff sites. We collected remains of prey species and pellets at each falcon eyrie. Addled eggs (2) from 2 peregrine eyries were collected for pesticide analysis. Eggshell fragments for thickness determination were gathered at 5 peregrine eyries. ... Peregrine falcons in West Greenland appear to be in a healthy state as evidenced by a high nesting density (1/100 mi²) and a high production rate (2.25/eyrie), especially in light of the unusually severe conditions in West Greenland during the winter and late spring of 1971-72. We found little interspecific competition for prey species between peregrines and gyrfalcons. The gyrfalcon is already nesting in West Greenland before the peregrines arrive from their winter migration to the south. The gyrfalcons could therefore be expected to be aggressive in defence of their nesting cliffs and thereby occupy optimal cliffs. Despite this, all the peregrines we studied occupied high, sheer, and quite optimal nesting cliffs. Gyrfalcons seemed to prefer a nesting site lower down on a cliff face than peregrines, and both falcons preferred high, sheer cliffs with a southern exposure. Ravens were relegated to lower, less desirable (more accessible) cliffs for nesting. We await pesticide analysis of the peregrine falcon eggs and prey species collected, as well as eggshell thickness determination. Before these facts are determined we can say n othing definite about the status of peregrines in Greenland. Nesting density and production, however, suggest that the status of the peregrine is better in Greenland than in other areas of the north. ...

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