First trip to deep water was successful

CATEGORIES: Field Blog/News, News

Day 2 part 2

While the others were collecting their third lake core, Al head to the beach in Sanden Bay to look for monster A. islandica shells that tend to wash up to the beach from the shallow water. He was able to find a good haul of big shells, many of which were articulated (both valves still attached). We will use these “dead” shells to extend the master shell growth chronology that Maddie has been constructing.



Shells spotted by Al along the beach.

As the weather was perfect and the seas flat, Maddie, Claire, Michael C., and Al headed out to deep water in search of A. islandica. We departed Thorleif’s dock about 17:00 and steamed due north for 30 minutes. Maddie identified a sandy depositional region to sample based on our small bit of success last year and she guided Thorleif to the coordinates. We put out the dredge in about 75 fathoms of water (1 fathom = 6 ft or 1.83 m) and after about 20 minutes we brought it back to the surface. We were delighted (Al gave Thorlief a high-5; he reciprocated!) to find our largest (44 mm in height) live A. islandica from deep water. Also, about 10 dead single shell valves were collected. We certainly were in the right sediment type (sandy shell hash), but at 137m deep and strong tidal currents, these clams are hard to find! Although we did a few more tows we did not find any other live shells. As we headed back to our base, the sunset did not let us down! While we were “working,” Julie and Mike R. made an awesome spaghetti dinner with a reindeer meat sauce. Yum. We started eating at 21:30. Our sense of time is a bit blurred in the Arctic.


Deepwater Arctica (77 fathoms). Biggest one we have found in deep waters!


The only waves on the sea were those made by the boat.


Sunset at Ingøya.


Michael and Al monitoring the dredge line.

Day 3 part 1 (Sunday)

OK- maybe Al’s watch and phone clock was wrong, but apparently he slept in until 10:00. Mike R. had coffee ready shortly after 07:00, but Al never showed– strange behavior for sure. The beautiful weather of yesterday moved out slowly and was replaced by a dense fog and light rain (i.e., perfect sleeping weather). We used this morning to give “science updates” to the group. Maddie talked about her ongoing shell/paleoclimate work; Mike R. provided the context for his sea level work in Finmark and gave us a peak at his relative sea level curve for Ingoya for the mid-to-late Holocene. Michael C. presented work on A. islandica densities in Sanden Bay and “gaping” results from the lander experiment (work with Irene B-A, and Rob Witbaard). Although this was intended to get Claire and Sam up to date, we all learned much! As this blog is being written, there is an apple cake in the oven for Thorleif’s birthday! Thanks Julie!