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Biohabitat Studies in Glacier Bay National Park

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Paul Carlson joined colleagues from the Biological Research Division and the National Park Service to investigate biohabitats of halibut and Dungeness crab in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, from July 9 to 15. On BRD's R/V Tamnik, I observed biologists Philip Hooge and Alex Andrews (BRD) and photographer John Brooks (NPS) as they completed several dives in areas where we had collected sidescan-sonar imagery. While being propelled by motorized scooters, they photographed, videotaped, and verbally described the bay-floor habitats along multiple dive transects, each about 1 km in length. During the last half of my trip, I worked with Eric Lunde on BRD's R/V Eider to collect bottom samples in some of the dive areas and also in other areas where we have obtained sidescan-sonar imagery in previous years. The bottom sampling was done with a Van Veen grab in such diverse environments as:

  • a Little Ice Age terminal moraine at the mouth of Bartlett Cove,

  • a small delta at the mouth of the Bartlett River,

  • the severely ice-gouged, 100-m-deep Whidbey Passage, last covered by ice in about 1850.

The data (grab samples and videos) will be used to ground-truth the sidescan-sonar imagery obtained on previous cruises in this bay/fjord system, which was only recently deglaciated (in the last 200 years).

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