Collecting Live Blue Mussels, Greenland

Collecting Live Blue Mussels, Greenland: Aquaculture Based Calibration in Greenland

Karl Kreutz, Hal Borns, Doug ‘Cap’ Introne, Alan Wanamaker, Zach von Hassein, University of Maine

Svend Funder, Copenhagen

July 10, 2004 to July 18, 2004

Karl Kreutz Hal Borns Doug 'Cap' Introne Alan Wanamaker Zach von Hasseln
Map of Greenland

We are traveling to western Greenland (Kangerlussuaq and Sisimuit) to collect live blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) and other bivalves, which will be grown in controlled temperature and salinity environments at the University of Maine’s Ira Darling Marine Center. This experiment will augment our results of growing blue mussels collected in coastal Maine in similar controlled temperature and salinity environments, where we developed an empirical isotope calibration (paleothermometer) for the blue mussel in Maine. The blue mussel isotope paleothermometer results combined with other methods will allow us to interpret the environmental conditions (temperature and salinity) in which blue mussels grew, by sampling isotopes in the shell material.

We will study geographic-specific effects on shell isotopic composition. It is largely unknown if bivalves of the same species, but of different geographic regions (temperate vs. sub-polar) record their environmental conditions identically.

In addition, from this isotope paleothermometer, we will be better able to interpret aspects the last deglaciation in Maine through isotope sampling of fossils found in well-dated glaciomarine deposits.

Sunday July 18, 2004

After a long ride from Albany, NY we arrived at the Darling Marine Center in Maine with a cooler full of clams and mussels. They were put into temperature and salinity controlled environments under quarantine. Fortunately, there was little mortalityto the animals during transport. In the next few days, the animals will be sorted into size class and prepared for growing under controlled conditions.


Friday July 16, 2004

We went up to the icesheet (Russel’s Glacier) near Kangerlussuag and collected ice and water samples, which will be used to determine the isotopic ratio of the the water flowing that into Sonde Stromfjord. In addition, we collected water samplesfrom local surface waters (ponds and lakes) that seems to be isolated from the main river system. We will compare thses water samples (isotopically) to the glacier meltwater flowing into the fjord. We are scheduled to fly to Albany, NY on Saturdaymorning (July 17th).


Thursday July 15, 2004

We just got back from Sisimiut where we collected the blue mussel (Mytilus edulis), and other clams (Hiatella arctica and Mya truncata) found in the late glacial marine sediments in Maine. We will calibrate these bivalves at the Darling Marine Center to better understand the how the Laurentide Icesheet behaved in Maine during deglaciation. We hired a local Inuit to take us clamming with a dredge. He taught mathematics, surveying, first aid, and explosives at the local institute in Sisimiut. We were very succesful and the weather held out for this trip.


Monday July 12, 2004

We arrived uneventfully yesterday in Kangerlussuaq, and explored the beautiful glacial geology today. We explored the fjord in and around the harbor and went up to the ice’s edge in the afternoon. Tomorrow we are flying into Sisimuit to collect blue mussels and other clams. The weather has been great(65 to 70 F).


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