University of Colorado: 1972 Field Season on East Baffin Island


  • John T. Andrews
  • Roger G. Barry
  • John D. Jacobs



Algonquian Indians, Animals, Birds, Chipewyan language, Cree languages, Cree Indians, Dene Indians, Human migration, Traditional knowledge, Warfare, Athabasca, Lake, region, Alberta/Saskatchewan, Great Slave Lake region, N.W.T.


SEA ICE. Studies of surface energy budgets on the fast ice at Broughton Island 67°35' N, 63°50' W) were undertaken from late May to August 1972. The program included micrometeorological measurements on the fast ice and ice thickness surveys. Climatological observations including radiation studies begun in June 1971 by The Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research at a site in Broughton village were continued. The summer of 1972 was one of unusually severe ice conditions for this section of Davis Strait, and the results of our winter 1971-72 and summer 1972 fieldwork are being examined together with synoptic data in an attempt to understand this situation. Meteorological satellite data are being analyzed to obtain regional extrapolations of synoptic surface energy budgets. BOAS GLACIER. The Boas Glacier was visited in early June, at which time snow pits and probing were used to estimate the winter balance. The mean snow depth based on 190 probes was 0.948 m with a standard error of ±0.06 m. Average snow density was 0.326 g/cm³ giving a specific winter balance of 0.31 m H2O. The glacier could not be visited in August due to extremely bad ice conditions, but on the basis of the weather in previous years we predict that the net specific balance will be positive and greater than 0.3 m H2O. The strain diamond was remeasured and analysis indicates that the principal strain axis is directed down-glacier and shows a compressive strain of 10**-6 yr (based on 2 years of measurements). Using the Boas Glacier mass balance data, a discriminant equation has been developed based on September to May accumulation at Broughton Island, and accumulated summer degree days (June, July, August). Investigations of other mass balance data suggest that the Broughton Island data constitute a sensitive predictor of mass balances as far north as Devon Island. This finding ... indicates a broad similarity of climatic events throughout major sections of the Arctic. QUATERNARY GEOLOGY. Investigations on Neoglacial, Wisconsin and pre-Wisconsin local ice advances were carried out in the area between Cape Dyer and Padloping Island. Echo soundings indicated the presence of glacio-marine deltas at depths of 30 m below sea level. Dr. G. Boulton, University of East Anglia, Norwich, visited the area and collected a peat monolith in front of the Maktak Glacier, and Dr. M. Church, University of British Columbia, carried out investigations on the Maktak sandur.