Kayak adventure in King Oscar Fjord,

Northeast Greenland 1993

Amazing geology and beautiful plants and lichens

Gail Ferris

Gaileferris@hotmail.com

www.nkhorizons.com/1993NEGreenlandKingOscarFjord.htm

 

 

This journey started from Akureyri Iceland with a DeHavaland Otter flying us to a beach landing marked with a few rusty oil drums.

 

 

our flight route from Iceland leaving out our actual visit for lunch at Scorensby Sund

 

We were limited to 40 lbs each. We used double Kleppers I brought my own double Aerius II because I wanted to be sure it was in proper condition.

Kleppers are not just seaworthy and tough but they are the lightest, most portable folding kayaks with the capacity to carry a full compliment of camping gear, food and supplies.

 

 

Geology in this area is very interesting we start out in sedimentary rock.

 

 

 

We were in Franz Joseph Land and the view across the way was of sediment layers showing these incredible color layers

93 August 10th, Franz Joseph Land who could believe we would see purple over grayish white that has been eroding for ages

 

 

 

 

 

93 August 10th, Franz Joseph Land

I think this is Sillamanite but it is a mystery to me and below is a chip off this rock this is a wonderful area hard to believe I found this on Day 1.

 

 

93 August 10th, Franz Joseph Land

I found this piece of rock lying unweathered on a north facing slope I guess that it is Sillamanite with zinc that is causing this purple coloration. Sillamanite is a secondary type of metamorphism this looks like a geode.

 

 

93 August 10th, Franz Joseph Land even on this small scale where these rocks are only a few inches in size I found these very interesting colors to these metamorphosed rocks

 

this is our general route on the first three days

 

 

I could not resist taking this close up photo of a varnished rock, I do not know how many years it has taken to form this coating but it is something amazing to see. This is a very dry area.

 

 

93 August 10th, Franz Joseph Land

I very carefully took this photo just to show how drought and wind tolerant this Lesquricula arctica is. To see this in a line drawing is nothing compared to this plant in the wild. The seed pods are one of its most distinguishing characteristics.

 

 

this is terribly out of focus but these are an assemblage of micro rock lichens, the brown one is Licidea silacea athe tiny yellow is Rizocarpon geographicum nd the blue white is Leucanora chloroleprosa

 

 

another greatly magnified photo of some very tiny rock lichens showing their amazing range in color. This is considered to be a Cambro-ordivican geological layer

Aspicilia coesiocinerea, Xanthoria sp.,

 

 

August 10, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Franz Josef Land

some more crustose lichens, Lecananora chloroleprosa

 

 

August 10, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Franz Josef Land

very charming combination of Umbilaricia decussate, and crustose orange lichen, Xanthoria with yellow, brown and white Endocarpon pusillium, lichens

 

 

August 11, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Franz Josef Land

assorted bergs over there and here we are

just setting out on our first day paddling you can see one of our Klepper paddles

 

 

August 11, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Franz Josef Land

this is what is left of the icebergs and ice that had been floating around

 

 

August 11, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Franz Josef land

Here is a close up of a berg that has been melting and shifting its center of gravity as it has been breaking up, the question is where is the next center of gravity going to be?

 

 

August 12, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Franz Josef land some fog is wandering about

 

 

August 12, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Franz Josef Land

the next morning and it has snowed over night. The level of these clouds shows the altitude of the dew point shown by the fog indicating the temperature at some an altitude

 

 

August 12, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Franz Josef Land

Oh I guess that it is getting foggy and some rain is coming we have decided not to go any further and just camp out here. We have only just made a few miles but we would rather paddle in the sunshine so that we can see things.

 

 

August 12, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Franz Josef Land

a day later we have made it to Eleanor Bay and here is a Plover zipping back and forth on the beach, they are such funny little characters

 

 

August 12, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Franz Josef Land

precambrian limestone, silt and sandstone injected with hematite and iron and a sand granite deposit in front in upper Eleanor Bay

 

 

August 12, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Franz Josef Land

I thought this was very interesting. Here we have a piece of metamorphosed sandstone and on top I have put a conglomerate of sandstone or maybe hematite combined with injected minerals probably feldspar and limonite metamorphosed together

 

 

There they are again, those little creatures, plovers, running back and forth on the beach snatching up bits brought in by the waves

 

 

August 12, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Franz Josef Land

a wonderful assortment of mudstone, sedimentary, hornblende, biotite, metamorphosed feldspathic and quartzitic rocks

 

 

August 14, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, near Ymers

Carbonaceous Precambrian coal strata with limestone

 

 

August 14, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, near Ymers

this was one of those amusing moments when we found a tiny waterfall that was flowing from coal strata above

 

 

August 14, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Andees Land

a group of female brown Common eiders with chicks

you can always detect them because the adults are always calling the chicks

with soft clucking calls to guide and keep them together

 

 

August 14, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Andees Land

out of focus but it is lichens again crustose lichens on feldspar

Xanthoria with Pannaria hookeri

 

 

August 14, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Andees Land on Ymers

You cannot see it in this photo because the Narwhal that is coming down Eleanor Bay from Yumer Island is too far away for my lens to show

 

 

August 14, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Andees Land, Cape Weber

Some more crustose lichens, Xanthoria and Lepraria neglecta

 

 

August 14, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Andees Land

Cape Weber

Cetraria cucullata and Parmelia omphalodes

 

 

August 14, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Andees Land

metamorphosed minerals Gambro Ordovican dike

 

 

August 14, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Andees Land Cape Weber

crustose lichens Rhizocarpon inarense

 

 

August 14, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Andees Land

our evening campsite showing the eerie glow of the icecap above

 

 

Now we have made it around into Blomster Bay

 

 

August 14, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Eleonor Bay

I found this plant, Cerastrum alpinum, is only 2 inches tall with thick hairy leaves

 

 

August 14, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Eleonor Blomster bay

I looked inside the remains of house walls and happened to find tucked among the protection of the stones this fern, Cystopteris fragilis.

 

 

August 15, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Eleonor , Blomster Bay

Draba subcapitata the smallest most intricate flower I have ever seen

it is in the mustard or crucifera family and is hard to believe. It is nestled among Cassiopie tetragonia a wonderful plant for instantly making good hot cooking fires because it is full of resins that ignite with just a match and burns very hot.

 

 

1993 August 15 on Ymers Island NE Greenland Yumers Island backdrop horizon

 

 

August 15, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, on Ymers Island Saxifragia nivialis where we ate lunch on our way to Traille

 

 

1993 August 15 on Ymers Island, view from Bay of Flowers

 

 

1993 August 15 on Ymers Island, Ranunculis nivallis the buttercup of the snow

 

 

August 16, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Arctostaphylos alpina a relative of the blueberry and cranberry

 

 

August 16, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Blomster bugt

A cold Bumblebee this is a sort of vague photo but this opportunity allowed me to take such a close up photo because the bumblebee was not going anywhere. Bumblebees are the only bee that can fly in the arctic only because they are able to warm their muscles.

 

 

August 16, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Blomster Bugt

clouds in and out the mountains distant I saw this and thought it was quite interesting to see clouds in the foreground and clear open sunlight over the mountains in the center

 

 

August 16, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, unique are these tower shaped bergs on Blomster bugt special to this area not often seen elsewhere in Greenland

 

 

August 16, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord,

fog blows in daily dew point change Blomster Bugt

I watched this fog blow into this bay as if on schedule in the late afternoon

 

 

August 16, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, general overview from Cape Henry remains of dwellings where a group of Thule people had a good overview of the fjord around 1300. The last encounter with Thule people in this area was 1850.

 

 

August 17, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, 1300 house complex Cape Henry

 

 

August 17, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Cape Henry a house meat cache

 

 

August 16, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord,

general overview from Cape Henry people lived here in about 1300.

The ditches are remnants of Thule people house dwellings and there are also some smaller holes that were meat caches.

 

 

 

August 16, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Cytopeteris fragilis Blomster bugt

 

 

August 16, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Blomster bugt

Cystopteris fragilis fern

 

 

August 16, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Lone Muskox hiding from Blomster Bugt

This innocent moment for me turned out to be a touchy deal.

I was just out for an exploratory walk when I spotted this lone Muskox bull

I quickly changed direction to go hide out of sight only to find that the Musk ox too had also left I Then heard the fleeing creature clattering over the exfoliated sheets of slate. I looked out from around the stone to find that the muskox had indeed fled in the opposite direction, much to my relief. Nobody wants to be chased by a fast moving musk ox.

 

 

August 16, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Blomster bugt

Rhodendron lapponnicum in the center and to the left Mountain avens

 

 

August 16, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Blomster Bugt

Blue dolomite with pink feldspar injected

 

August 16, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, a curious lichen I found was fun to capture

Leucanora geophola

 

 

August 16, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Blomster Bugt

Devonian sediments as metamorphosed sand ripples that looked like they had just been made yesterday

 

 

August 16, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord,

Just a wonderful picture of this Saxifragia aizoides in Blomster Bugt

 

 

August 16, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Blomster Bugt

Rumex acetosella this is in the well known Dock family, the leaves are edible, very sour and very high in vitamin A

 

 

August 16, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Blomster Bugt

Woodsia ilvensis a tiny fern as you can see by the presence of the willow above and to the right side of the plant cluster

 

 

August 16, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Blomster bugt

upended sedimentary strata south of Blomster bugt

 

 

August 17, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, evening colors looking out from Ella Island

 

 

August 17, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, near Kirkenes

very interesting find for strata that has been metamorphosed, moved and remixed then remetamorphosed I think it is limestone impregnated with iron

 

 

August 17, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, view SE from Cape Henry

the view the opposite side has steeper cliffs

 

 

August 17, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Lichens 11 limestone substrate Ella Is

this is a conglomeration that I put together of lichens that are growing on limestone

Parmelia omphalodes and Pannaria hookeri

 

 

August 17, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Photomicrograph Ella Island

the one and only photo micrograph I took there

 

 

August 18, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Kirkenes area, Betula nana, Cassiopie tetragona

this is hard to believe the tree with rounded serrated edges is a birch tree very amazing to find birch at 73 N

 

 

August 19, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Kirkenes area, the limestone strata across the way with metamorphosed limonite, silica and feldspathic sand strata in the foreground

 

 

August 19, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Kirkenes area,

white caps starting off Kirkenes caused by sun angel and air circulation in the late afternoon

we have moved down past the peninsula on the left

 

 

August 19, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Kirkenes area,

now it is starting to freeze up as pans of ice are floating by.

 

 

August 19, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Kirkenes

metamorphosed gneiss, quartz, feldspar and hornblends

who would believe this

 

 

August 25, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Independence Fjord

sculpture in Lichens, Cetraria islandica

 

 

August 25, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Independence Fjord

more sculpture in lichens, Bryocaulon divergens

 

 

August 25, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Independence Fjord

Erigeron humilis the flower is sitting on top of the leaves to reduce exposure to the wind

not the hairy thick leaves typical of any arctic drought resistant plant

 

 

August 25, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Independence Fjord

Draba crassifolia another in the crucifera/mustard family and it is only 3 inches tall

one of the most universal plants in the Arctic

 

 

August 25, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Independence Fjord

here is one of those tiny lichens that only a camera with a macro lens can capture

Crustose lichen Problastenia terricola

 

 

August 25, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Independence Fjord

ice showing daily behind us was the famous landmark called Strindberg alps

now we are able to see the outside from here we are just a few miles from Mestervig

We had to get out of there soon because this skim ice is deadly for progress.

 

 

August 25, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Independence Fjord

Crustose lichen, Ranodina archaea

 

 

 

August 25, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Independence Fjord

Umbilaricia lyngei

 

 

August 25, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Independence Fjord

Marine fossils, mixed shells

 

 

August 25, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Independence Fjord

a group of pebbles showing everything imaginable from fossils, hornblende, feldspar, dolomite, biotite to quartz with many multi-metamorphosed sedimentary type

I took this photo with water covering them so the colors would show well

 

 

August 25, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Independence Fjord

Red Knots dining together on the tundra

 

 

August 25, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Independence Fjord

Eiders in flight

 

 

August 25, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Independence Fjord, Strindberg Alps

these mountains are on the east side of Independence Fjord and I am to the west on King Oscar Fjord some upended strata

 

 

August 25, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Independence Fjord

these mountains have never seen any glaciation!

 

 

August 25, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Independence Fjord

an arctic butterfly

some type of Skipper

 

 

August 25, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Independence Fjord

Arctic Fritillary

 

 

August 25, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Independence Fjord

Armeria maritima

 

 

August 25, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Independence Fjord

Diapensia laponica

 

 

August 25, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Independence Fjord

fossil stomatolites with quartz hornblende in front.

 

 

August 25, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Independence Fjord

ice showing at night

 

 

August 25, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Independence Fjord

Ice is coming in see the thin skim on the surface

 

 

August 25, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Independence Fjord

Leprocaulon subalbicans and Parmelia omphalodes

 

 

August 25, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Independence Fjord

Xanthoria elegans

 

 

August 25, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Independence Fjord

Physconia detersa

 

 

August 25, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Independence Fjord

Umbilarica rigida

 

 

August 25, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Independence Fjord

Parmelia alpicola on quartz

 

 

August 25, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Independence Fjord

Coelocaulon muricatum and Leprocaulon subalbicans

 

 

August 25, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Independence Fjord

Leprocaulon subalbicans

 

 

August 25, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Independence Fjord

Bryoria nitidula

 

 

August 25, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Independence Fjord

metamorphosed sediments of limestone, siltstone infused with iron and other minerals

 

 

Red Knots at Mestervig

 

 

September 1st, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Mestervig

frost on Minuartia

 

 

September 1st, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Mestervig

frost on some willows, Salix herbacea,

 

 

September 1st, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Mestervig

now it is cold at night ice is starting to form anywhere these are some ice stars

 

 

September 1st, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Mestervig

we got off the water just in time

 

 

September 1st, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Mestervig

How we escaped

 

 

September 1st, 1993 Kong Oscar Fjord, Mestervig

no we did not go here these are the Strindberg alps an unglaciated part of greenland