Arctic Challenge for Sustainability Project

ArCS Blog

Oceanographic observation in Inglefield Fjord and workshop with residents in Qeqertat Village, northwestern Greenland

We started our expedition to Qeqertat on 12th August after the glacial observation on Qaanaaq Icecap and oceanographic observations in Bowdoin Fjord. Qeqertat is a small village located in the innermost area of Inglefield Fjord, with easy access to the marine-terminating glaciers within the fjord (e.g., Tracy Glacier, Heilprin Glacier).

In order to study the interaction of the ice sheet/glaciers and the ocean, and its impact on coastal environments and human activities in the Arctic, we carried out four parts of work on the surrounding ocean near the terminal of glaciers: 1. Stratified seawater, plankton sampling, and CTD (conductivity-temperature-depth) cast; 2. Marine sediment sampling; 3. Ship-based ocean bathymetry surveys; 4. Marine mammals’ observation and hydrophone recording. During the observation, we met a lot of icebergs in varying sizes discharged from glaciers, making our trip routes more difficult. According to our local collaborator Toku Oshima, the icebergs and calving events seems more frequent than usual because of the extremely warm summer this year, causing the area near glacier terminals more dangerous. During boat measurements, we also have witnessed seal hunting, which is the traditional living way of local people.

On 18th August, we held a workshop with the residents in Qeqertat. By convention, we introduced our research work to the local people and answer the questions raised by local people. Also, the participants expressed their worry about the bioconcentration on marine animals they feed on and other environmental concerns related to their hunting activities. The workshop ended with Toku Oshima’s talk about her journey to Japan. After that, we provided the participants with ocean bathymetry maps generated from our ocean measurements and conducted a questionnaire about the spotted location of different marine mammals. The enthusiasm and hospitability of local people made us realize the importance of our research and inspired us to continue the research in the future.

Wang Yefan (Hokkaido University)

Seawater sampling for chemical analysis in Inglefield fjord

We introduce our research to the residents in Qeqerta’s workshop

We measured the length of ring-seal hunted during our observation

Observation team are:
Wang Yefan, Naoya Kanna, Takuto Ando, Izumi Asaji, Yuta Sakuragi

Other posts of Qaanaaq observation
- Field observation in Qaanaaq, northwestern Greenland (From Qaanaaq 1)
- Field campaign in Bowdoin Glacier, Greenland (From Qaanaaq 2)
- Oceanographic observation in the Bowdoin fjord near Qaanaaq, northwestern Greenland (From Qaanaaq 3)
- Workshop with Qaanaaq village people (from Qaanaaq 4)

- Research expedition on the northwestern Greenland Ice Sheet 1 - Maintenance of Auto Weather Station -
- Research expedition on the northwestern Greenland Ice Sheet 2 - Geophysical survey at Bowdoin Glacier, northwest Greenland (6-17 July 2017) -
- Workshop with Qaanaaq village people
- Ocean observations in Bowdoin Fjord, Northwest Greenland

- Ice cap and outlet stream observations in Qaanaaq, northwestern Greenland
- Ocean measurements in Inglefield Fjord and workshop with the residents of Qeqertat Village in Greenland

- Field observations of surface mass balance and meltwater discharge on Qaanaaq Ice Cap, northwestern Greenland
- Oceanographic observation in Inglefield Fjord and workshop with residents in Qeqertat Village, northwestern Greenland