Photostory #444B: In Canada's High Arctic: Exploration 67
National Film Board of Canada
June 6, 1967
Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography fonds, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives
Arctic exploration carries on apace in Canada during the nation's centennial year. Where the outermost arctic islands shelve down under heavy rafts of polar pack ice, a team of physicists, geologists, oceanographers and geographers - members of the 70-man-strong Polar Continental Shelf Project - are spending their ninth March-to-September field season exploring a region of thousands of square miles. The northern Queen Elizabeth Islands and adjacent shallow seas, long thought to be a rich deep-freeze of mineral wealth, are giving up their secrets under relentless investigation. With operational bases established at Isachsen, Mould Bay and Alert, the members of the Polar Shelf Ice Project range far and wide across the frozen seas, the outermost islands and the channels between. By sky-plane, motor toboggan, helicopter, tracked-truck and dog team, Polar Shelf scientists are carrying out an overall study including hydrography, submarine geology, geophysics, geodesy and other sciences. From small, two-man parties set down in a tent on the polar ice 300 miles from land to safaris by convoys of specially-adapted trucks snaking along the frozen channels and offshore seas, Canada is obtaining vital data of economic and strategic importance. In keeping with her geographical position as a nation responsible for large arctic territories, Canada is assessing the region's future and potential wealth. Gathering the knowledge for this task is the work of the Polar Continental Shelf Project.