Strong winds kept us out of the boats today (Wednesday). The day was not wasted, however, as there was plenty of work to do on land. Rob and Irene worked on servicing the benthic lander. The lander contains an array of clams connected to gaping sensors to monitor their activity, as well as a myriad of environmental data loggers. Rob and Irene downloaded data from their instruments, measured shell growth on the lander clams, and replaced a few clams with younger individuals. Younger clams are preferred because they grow faster – shell growth will be easier to measure in the future.
Meanwhile, Will, Al, Mike, Julie, Maddie, Aubrey, Dan, and Randall piled into a van and drove to the beach where Mike and Julie had done reconnaissance the day before. The primary goal was to collect clams from the beach face which might cross-date into the modern chronology. When we reached the beach, we discovered the strong winds and waves had piled up all the shells into nice little deposits – perfect for sorting through. It was a gold mine! We selectively collected the largest, thickest, best preserved shells with the most potential for long, clean records of shell growth.
Shell pavement near beach face, and a water sample that will be used for an isotope mixing line.
Pile ‘o shells on the beach
The shear number of A. islandica shells found washed up on the beach is just one indicator of the healthy population just offshore. On the walk back to the van, Mike toured us through the terraces, storm deposits, lag deposits, and blowout features present above the beach.
The aftermath of the king crab feast
Upon returning to camp, Thorleif suprised us with some king crab caught on the eastern side of Nordkapp. “Kong Krabb” were introduced there and are now an invasive species. The crab fisheries west of Nordkapp is unlimited, in an attempt to limit the spread.
Tide pool near base camp
Blue mussels on the shore near base camp
Blue mussels – we collected some of these and steamed them up for an appetizer
Sunset from base camp
This empty shell was brought up in a dredge. Note the borehole near the hinge made by a predatory gastropod.
The “little dredge.” For use on the small boat in the bay.
The small boat
One of the “big dredges.” These are too large to pull up by hand and so are limited to the big boat and pulled up by a winch.
This is base camp. Our apartments are on the second floor.
Mike, Will, and Al discuss beach deposits
Geese block the road home
Al poses with the king crab