A couple of weeks ago the rebirth of our research vessel “Christine” allowed us to sail in the Herschel Basin (50-60 m water depth), southeast of the Island, to test the seismic imagery system.
Strong winds, waves, and cold temperatures did not help us to acquire data all the time, but the reward came after more than 40 km of seismic lines with a record of very promising images that will guide our future coring plans. The seismic data collection was not straightforward considering the size of the Basin (5 km width by 20 km length) and the ideal cruising speed (4-5 km/h), but sailing amongst icebergs with red sun light above Herschel Island was such an amazing experience.
Meanwhile, we also explored surrounding bays around Herschel Island and the Yukon Coast. Although the seismic imagery was not as exciting in shallower waters, the coring operations were successful. We had fun trying to collect the longest record like fishermen trying to get the biggest Arctic char (the local delicious salmonid). Was it worth it? Yes it was. We came home from Ptarmigan Bay with a couple of short sedimentary cores holding valuable information for geochemical and paleoclimate studies. Coring operations were even too successful, and we were disappointed to leave Ptarmigan Bay without our longest PVC liner that remained stuck in the sediment.
Working along the Arctic coast was also a unique experience for wildlife observation: what a spectacle! A caribou family running, muskox fighting, seals diving, and much more! This made our days every day we were on the water, no matter what happened with the seismic surveys or the coring operations.
Thank you Qiqiktaruk!