Saturday, May 26, 2007

Welcome To The Crystal Eye of Nunavit

This is what this story is about. From 25 miles up, via Google Earth:

"[Pingualuit Crater is] like a huge rainwater collector set out in the tundra, catching rainwater for 1.3 million years," said Prof. Pienitz, whose expedition was funded by the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences. "This lake is really special."

Working with Inuit from the nearby community of Kangiqsujuaq, Prof. Pienitz's team travelled in freezing temperatures by snowmobile to the edge of the crater rim. They then slid down the rim and trekked to the centre of its ice-covered surface. They travelled on foot because the crater, located in a new provincial park, is subject to stringent conditions that ban fuel-powered vehicles.

The team then drilled a hole through the ice to open a window into natural history.

Lowering their equipment through the ice, scientists reached into the extreme depths of the lake bottom to extract a nine-metre sediment core. A scientific time capsule, it's filled with fossils of pollen, algae and tiny insect larvae that researchers hope will yield clues about climate change dating to the last interglacial period 120,000 years ago.

PS. Saw my pair of Northern Mockingbirds again today, out by Markham and Steeles. According to the Toronto Xmas Bird Count, two of 34 observed in and around the GTA. I didn't bring my camera however, but am going back again tomorrow morning. Hopefully I can get a couple of good stills (they don't seem to be afraid of people at all).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

been there . . used to call the town Wakeham Bay back in the day.

Crappy little airstrip . . hard on the Twotters nose gear.

The crater was a popular spot for tourists . . Short trip by sikky-doo, give the tourists some cool hunting advice, make them some tea, charge them $500 bucks for an authentic Eskimo experience.

Ahhhh the old days.