|Athro, Limited Skull Cliff Virtual Field Trip|
You are now about 45 km south of Barrow, Alaska, in the vicinity of Skull Cliff. A reasonable campsite is available on Tuapaktushak Creek about one km to the southwest. In summer, fresh water is available about two km up Tuapaktushak Creek.
There is plenty of wildlife in the area, and you might see, to name a few, caribou, arctic foxes, and wolves.
|Infrared aerial photograph of Skull Cliff.|
This is a false color infrared aerial photograph of Skull Cliff and vicinity. Vegetation strongly reflects infrared radiation, and appears red in this image. Most of this image shows the wet tundra characteristic of the north slope of Alaska. There are many elongated roughly north-south oriented shallow lakes in this area, most of those visible in this image are swampy areas that appear as mottled red and blue ovals. Several creeks drain northwards into the Chukchi sea, these can be distinguished by their branching patterns. The tundra is covered with vegetation and underlain by permafrost, so the exposures of underlying rocks are found along the coast. Here the sea is eroding fresh exposures in sea cliffs, such as Skull Cliff.
There are two dominant landforms visible here - the dendritic drainages (little streams and things) eroding into the tundra, and the large shallow oval lakes.
|Features found on aerial photograph of Skull Cliff.|
This virtual field trip explores sediments exposed on sea cliffs and in gullies at Skull Cliff. Most of these sediments are part of the Quarternary Gubik Formation. You can examine exposures in two adjacent gullies, labeled as Sections 20 and 65 on the image to the left. (These numbers come from J. Brigham-Grette's doctoral dissertation. They are her numbers for sections that she measured at Skull Cliff.) Overlain on this aerial photograph are images of the main topographic features in this area. Along the Chukchi Sea, Skull Cliff has a relief of some 75 feet. Other significant exposures are found in gullies that cut into the tundra (and permafrost) and drain down Northwest into the sea. You can click on this image to look more closely at these features.