Last Days on Ingøya

CATEGORIES: Field Blog/News, News

The weather has turned here at Ingøya, cloudy with wind at 10+ m/s. The land crew got some work done this morning out at Rolvsøya before the winds blew in. The raised beaches on this neighboring island are easier to identify in some places, so Mike, Julie, and Claire set out collecting datable material from rabbit holes and other exposures. The team brought back many shells (mostly Arctica and a few Astarte) as well as an interesting new find – a handful of pumice stones! The mineralogy of these rocks can be tied to specific volcanic events and help bracket the age of the section. Good work from the infantry.


Pumice stones from Rolvsøya

Thorleif and the boat crew hit the seas this morning in search, again, for deepwater clams. We tried old faithful “Hole-A” with no success. We had mapped out a few other patches to try, also without success. Then, Thorleif suggested another location slightly south of the hole. We dredged for 15 minutes or so and then started reeling in the line (which also takes ~15 minutes for 500 meters of line). For the first time ever in deep waters, we nearly filled the net with shell hash – a mixture of tiny/broken shells with little else except a few small stones. Thorleif, Al, Mike, and Sam made little progress trying to manually haul the dredge and net on board, so Thorleif set up his crane and we somehow managed to get the thing to the deck. As the weather started to blow up, Maddie and Al went to sorting through the hash in search of Arctica while Thorleif motored home (~1 hour ride). The shell hash contained mostly shells smaller than 1cm in length of Astarte, Modiolus, and very few dead Arctica. But we did find one live one! It’s tough to spend so much energy searching for the deepwater clams with such little reward, but this year we are excited to bring back a couple more to add to the collection. These deepwater clams are important because they are positioned more fully within North Atlantic waters and are less influenced by Norwegian Coastal waters compared to our shallow bay shells. They should make for a good comparison, but we have had much trouble finding large, old specimens from the deep.


The big haul. Somewhere in there was 1 tiny live Arctica.


Sam and Maddie holding it together on the big boat.

Things are starting to wrap up for this field season. Michael heads out tomorrow on the MåsøyXpressen. The rest of us leave Saturday morning. Tomorrow we will do some final sampling if the weather holds and of course, pack up our gear. Tonight we dine with Thorleif and company serving traditional Norwegian fare with a side of Akvavit.


Yesterday we paid a quick visit to “The Bahamas.”