Day 8: Coronation Fiord

 
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Coronation Fiord: The glacier

Surrounded by towering cliffs, Coronation Fiord is an unforgettable place with a wide tidewater glacier forming the head of the fjord. This glacier is an outlet glacier of the Penny Ice Cap on Baffin Island. The expedition team was able to sail up close and witness some calving activity along the glacier’s edge.

Choose a hotspot for an in-depth look at one of the fascinating things we learned in this location.

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Coronation Fiord: The mission

Coronation Fiord is located within Baffin Island, Nunavut, which is the largest island in Canada. Canadian Museum of Nature scientists set off to explore the biodiversity the island had to offer.

Choose a hotspot for an in-depth look at one of the fascinating things we learned in this location.

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Coronation Fiord: The lake

After a long hike, the expedition team was ready for their Arctic swim!  Suited up and ready to go, the team took the plunge and jumped into the cold lake.

Choose a hotspot for an in-depth look at one of the fascinating things we learned in this location.

Day 8: Coronation Fiord

 
The base of a glacier surrounded by mountains.
 
 
 
 
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A polar bear sighting

As the expedition team travelled up the Coronation Fiord, a large polar bear was spotted walking along the shoreline. A reminder that polar bears can be found almost anywhere and can travel huge distances looking for food.

A polar bear at the side of a mountain.
 

Climate change

As with many glaciers around the world, Coronation Glacier is receding as the climate changes. This glacier has receded over 200 meters in the past 5 years. This image shows that points A, B, C, and D all lack snow cover, indicating that the glacier will recede even more (http://glacierchange.wordpress.com/tag/coronation-glacier-retreat/).

A satellite photograph showing a glacier receding.
 

Coronation Glacier

This is Coronation Glacier, one of many glaciers in the region. It is approximately 35 km long. As the glacier moves, parts of it continually break off (called calving) depositing lots of brash ice and bergy bits into the ocean. Sometimes very large sections of ice will break off of glaciers and ice shelves forming icebergs.

The base of a glacier.
 

Baffin Island is the largest island in Canada and the fifth largest island on Earth. Only Greenland, New Guinea, Borneo and Madagascar are larger.

Baffin Island is the largest island in Canada and the fifth largest island on Earth. Only Greenland, New Guinea, Borneo and Madagascar are larger.

 

Arctic plant life

Baffin Island is home to an incredible diversity of plants. Most people think of the Arctic as barren but it is teaming with plant life, which provides food for an incredible array of animal life as well.

A hand picking up moss from the ground.
 

Baffin Island

Baffin Island is the largest island in Canada and the fifth largest island on Earth. Only Greenland, New Guinea, Borneo and Madagascar are larger. This image shows the location of Baffin Island (symbolized by an A) in proximity to Nunavut, Greenland and the Northwest Passage.

A digital map pointing to the location of Baffin Island and showing the areas of Greenland, the Northwest Passage and Nunavut.
 

Auyuittuq National Park

This area is part of Auyuittuq National Park, an incredible Canadian natural history treasure. The park protects almost 20,000 square kilometers of glacier-swept mountains, valleys and lakes.

Tall mountains encased by clouds.
 

In the distance is the Penny Ice Cap. Over 6,000 square kilometers, the Penny Ice Cap is a remnant of the last ice age.
 

The Penny Ice Cap

In the distance is the Penny Ice Cap. Over 6,000 square kilometers, the Penny Ice Cap is a remnant of the last ice age.

A digital map of Baffin Island highlighting the location of the Penny Ice Cap.