2002 REPORT, PAGE 2
Irish-Canadian Franklin Search Expedition
The 2002 expedition was conducted under a Scientific Research Licence issued by the Nunavut Research Institute. An advance 3-person field party assembled in Hay River NWT on 28 April 2002, and flew to Gjoa Haven, Nunavut the next day. Here they were met by their guides, led by Mr. Saul Aksalook, and departed on the two-day trip to Umiartalik Is. (pos. 68.42° N 98.87° W). This group conducted the high-resolution survey of the 2001 targets. Each high-priority target which had been located on the previous years 200m grid was enclosed by a box defined by having one snowmobile drive a pattern of lines 1 km long and 50m apart centered on the target. Position was confirmed using handheld GPS receivers operating in non-differential mode (selective availability was off for the period of this survey.) To confirm area coverage trackpoints were recorded to dataloggers from each GPS at 5 second intervals. Track spacing was achieved by a person pacing out the distance and acting as an "aiming point" for the navigating snowmobile. A second snowmobile towing the sled with the gradiometer operator and instrumentation then followed in the tracks established by the navigator.
The high-resolution surveys were run on lines oriented in the generally N-S "troughs" of the sastrugi to minimize pounding of the sleds and equipment. After two days of survey a computerized review of the gradiometer data revealed some abnormalities and it was determined that one or both of the magnetometer sensors had suffered damage from either vibration or freezing (temperatures at the time ranged from 15 to 40 C). This resulted in the need to redo some of the survey on the return trip to Gjoa Haven, which was accomplished on May 18th by the same sub-party of the expedition.
On May 4th the initial party shifted to the south to commence the 200m survey of the area to the northeast of OReilly Is. They were joined there by three more members on May 8th which allowed for three survey teams to be established. Weather and equipment permitting survey lines were run in four survey boxes between 8 am and 10 pm daily until May 17th. The following day the parties left camp and departed for Gjoa Haven, one detachment reaching town that day and the other following after a one-day delay at Umiartalik to resurvey some of the missed high-priority targets from 2001. The expedition members departed for Yellowknife on May 20th.
Throughout the fieldwork the weather was generally favourable, although one storm did accompany the shift of camp on May 4th and prevent survey on the following day. Daytime temperatures ranged from 5 to 40C, and the winds ranged from calm to 35 knots, coming from every direction at some time. Whiteout conditions were common, especially in the early morning and evening hours. Approximately 3 feet of snow fell on the camp at one time. Ice conditions were generally good first year ice with 1m sastrugi and some areas of broken ice. The latter appeared to correlate with shallower areas or reefs, and there was a pronounced and lengthy line of such ice running generally along the 99° 03 meridian in the southern area. It was generally possible to maintain the desired survey lines through and around the broken ice.
Figure 2: Area covered by the 2002 Irish-Canadian Franklin Search Expedition
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