Geography of Greenland

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to navigation
Jump to search

Greenland
Native name: Kalaallit Nunaat
Grønland
Greenland
Greenland ice sheet AMSL thickness map-en.png

Outline map of Greenland with ice sheet depths. (Note that much of the area in green has permanent snow cover, but less than 10m (33ft) thick.)
Geography
Locationbetween the Arctic Ocean and the North Atlantic Ocean
Coordinates 64°10′N 51°43′W / 64.167°N 51.717°W / 64.167; -51.717
Area2,166,086 km2 (836,330 sq mi)
Area rank 1st
Coastline44,087 km (27,394.4 mi)
Highest elevation3,694 m (12,119 ft)
Highest point Gunnbjørn
Administration
  Kingdom of Denmark
Province  Greenland
Largest settlement Nuuk (Godthåb) (pop. 15,047)
Demographics
Population56,344 (2007)
Pop. density0.026 /km2 (0.067 /sq mi)
Ethnic groups
  • 88% Inuit (Inuit- Danish and Inuit- European mixed);
  • 12% Europeans , mostly Danish .

Greenland is located between the Arctic Ocean and the North Atlantic Ocean , northeast of Canada and northwest of Iceland . The territory comprises the island of Greenland–the largest island in the world –and more than a hundred other smaller islands (see alphabetic list ). As an island, Greenland has no land boundaries and 44,087 km of coastline. A sparse population is confined to small settlements along certain sectors of the coast. Greenland possesses the world’s second largest ice sheet .

Greenland sits atop the Greenland plate , a subplate of the North American plate . [1] [2] The Greenland craton is made up of some of the oldest rocks on the face of the earth. The Isua greenstone belt in southwestern Greenland contains the oldest known rocks on Earth, dated at 3.7–3.8 billion years old. [3]

The vegetation is generally sparse, with the only patch of forested land being found in Nanortalik Municipality in the extreme south near Cape Farewell .

The climate is arctic to subarctic , with cool summers and cold winters. The terrain is mostly a flat but gradually sloping icecap that covers all land except for a narrow, mountainous, barren, rocky coast. The lowest elevation is sea level and the highest elevation is the summit of Gunnbjørn Fjeld , the highest point in the Arctic at 3,694 meters (12,119 ft). The northernmost point of the island of Greenland is Cape Morris Jesup , discovered by Admiral Robert Peary in 1900. Natural resources include zinc , lead , iron ore, coal , molybdenum , gold , platinum , uranium , hydropower and fish .

Contents

  • 1 Area
  • 2 Land use
  • 3 Natural hazards
  • 4 Environment – current issues
  • 5 Climate
  • 6 Future projections
  • 7 Extreme points
    • 7.1 Territory of Greenland
    • 7.2 Islands of Greenland
  • 8 Towns
  • 9 History of Exploration
  • 10 Gallery
  • 11 See also
  • 12 References
  • 13 External links

Area[ edit ]

total:
2,166,086 km²

land:
2,166,086 km² (410,449 km² ice-free, 1,755,637 km² ice-covered)

Maritime claims:

territorial sea:
3 nautical miles (5.6 km; 3.5 mi)

exclusive fishing zone:
200 nautical miles (370.4 km; 230.2 mi)

Land use[ edit ]

arable land:
approximately 6% ; some land is used to grow silage .

permanent crops:
approximately 0%

other:
100% (2012 est.)

Total population 56,000 inhabitants of whom ca. 15,000 live in the capital Nuuk .

Natural hazards[ edit ]

Continuous ice sheet covers 84% of the country; the rest is permafrost .

Environment – current issues[ edit ]

Protection of the Arctic environment, climate change , pollution of the food chain, excessive hunting [4] of endangered species (walrus, polar bears, narwhal, beluga whale and several sea birds).

Climate[ edit ]

Greenland map of Köppen climate classification.

See also: Greenland ice sheet and Greenland § Geography and climate

Retreat of the Helheim Glacier, Greenland.

Map of Greenland’s rate of change in Ice Sheet Height.

Map of Greenland bedrock

The Greenland ice sheet is 3 kilometers (1.9 mi) thick and broad enough to blanket an area the size of Mexico. The ice is so massive that its weight presses the bedrock of Greenland below sea level and is so all-concealing that not until recently did scientists discover Greenland’s Grand Canyon or the possibility that Greenland might actually be three islands. [5]

If the ice melted, the interior bedrock below sea level would be covered by water. It is not clear whether this water would be at sea level or a lake above sea level. If it would be at sea level it could connect to the sea at Ilulissat Icefjord , in Baffin Bay and near Nordostrundingen , creating three large islands. [6] But it is most likely that it would be a lake with one drain.

It is thought that before the Ice Age Greenland had mountainous edges, and a lowland (and probably very dry) center which drained to the sea by one big river flowing out westwards past where Disko Island is now.

There is concern about sea level rise caused by ice loss (melt and glaciers falling into the sea) on Greenland. Between 1997 and 2003 ice loss was 68–92 km3/a (16–22 cu mi/a), compared to about 60 km3/a (14 cu mi/a) for 1993/4-1998/9. Half of the increase was from higher summer melting, with the rest caused by velocities of some glaciers exceeding those needed to balance upstream snow accumulation (Krabill et al., L24402, GRL 2004). A complete loss of ice on Greenland would cause a sea level rise of as much as 6.40 meters (21.0 ft).

Researchers at NASA ‘s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the University of Kansas reported in February 2006 that the glaciers are melting twice as fast as they were five years ago. By 2005, Greenland was beginning to lose more ice volume than anyone expected – an annual loss of up to 52 cubic miles or 217 cubic kilometres per year, according to more recent satellite gravity measurements released by JPL. The increased ice loss may be partially offset by increased snow accumulation due to increased precipitation.

Between 1991 and 2006, monitoring of the weather at one location (Swiss Camp) found that the average winter temperature had risen almost 10  °F (5.6  °C ).

Recently, Greenland’s three largest outlet glaciers have started moving faster, satellite data show. These are the Jakobshavn Isbræ at Ilulissat on the western edge of Greenland, and the Kangerdlugssuaq and Helheim glaciers on the eastern edge of Greenland. The two latter accelerated greatly during the years 2004–2005, but returned to pre-2004 velocities in 2006. [7] The accelerating ice flow has been accompanied by a dramatic increase in seismic activity. In March 2006, researchers at Harvard University and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University reported that the glaciers now generate swarms of earthquakes up to magnitude 5.0. [5]

The retreat of Greenland’s ice is revealing islands that were thought to be part of the mainland. In September 2005 Dennis Schmitt discovered an island 400 miles (644 km) north of the Arctic Circle in eastern Greenland which he named Uunartoq Qeqertaq , Inuit for “warming island”. [8]

Future projections[ edit ]

In the Arctic , temperatures are rising faster than anywhere else in the world. Greenland is losing 200 billion tonnes of ice per year. Research suggests that this could increase the sea levels to rise by 30 centimeters by the end of the century. These projections have the possibility of changing as satellite data only traces back to 40 years ago. This means that researchers must view old photographs of glaciers and compare them to ones taken today to determine the future of Greenland’s ice. [9]

Extreme points[ edit ]

This is a list of the extreme points of Greenland , the points that are farther north, south, east or west than any other location.

Territory of Greenland[ edit ]

  • Northernmost Point — Kaffeklubben Island (83°40’N) – the northernmost permanent land in the world. There are also some shifting gravel bars that lie north of Kaffeklubben, the most famous being Oodaaq .
  • Southernmost point — unnamed islet 2.3 km south of Cape Farewell , Egger Island (59°44’N)
  • Westernmost point — Nordvestø, Carey Islands (73°10’W)
  • Easternmost point — Nordostrundingen , Greenland (11°19’W)
  • Highest point — Gunnbjørn Fjeld , 3,694 meters (12,119 ft).

Islands of Greenland[ edit ]

  • Northernmost point — Cape Morris Jesup (83°39’N)
  • Southernmost point — Peninsula near Nanortalik (60°08′31″N)
  • Westernmost point — Cape Alexander (73°08’W)
  • Easternmost point — Nordostrundingen , Greenland (11°19’W)
  • Highest point — Gunnbjørn Fjeld, 3,694 meters (12,119 ft).

Towns[ edit ]

Greenland has 18 towns – settlements with more than 500 inhabitants. Nuuk is the largest town – and the capital – with roughly one third of the country’s urban population. Sisimiut with approximately 5,500 inhabitants is the second largest town, while Ilulissat is number three with ca. 5,000 inhabitants.

  • Aasiaat
  • Ilulissat
  • Ittoqqortoormiit
  • Kangaatsiaq
  • Maniitsoq
  • Nanortalik
  • Narsaq
  • Narsarsuaq
  • Nuuk
  • Paamiut
  • Qaanaaq
  • Qaqortoq
  • Qasigiannguit
  • Qeqertarsuaq
  • Sisimiut
  • Tasiilaq
  • Upernavik
  • Uummannaq

History of Exploration[ edit ]

See Cartographic expeditions to Greenland

Gallery[ edit ]

  • The fractal coastline of eastern Greenland, with its many fjords .

  • An enlargeable satellite composite image of Greenland

  • Sermeq Kujatdlek Glacier on Greenland’s west coast.

  • Nunatak mountains on Greenland’s east coast.

  • A polar bear on Greenland’s eastern coast.

  • Image showing small glaciers spilling into a mostly dry valley in western Greenland.

  • View of deep canyons, or fjords, along the coast of north-western Greenland.

  • Mountains in southern Greenland, as seen from an altitude of approximately 34,000 feet

See also[ edit ]

  • List of mountain peaks of Greenland
  • List of mountain ranges of Greenland
  • Greenland’s Grand Canyon

References[ edit ]

  1. ^ Wikisource Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). ” Baffin Bay and Baffin Land “. Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.

  2. ^ “BAFFIN BAY” (PDF). Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-06-13. Retrieved 2009-10-04.
  3. ^ Appel, Peter W.U., Hugh R. Rollinson, and Jacques L.R. Touret. (2001) “Remnants of an Early Archaean (>3.75 Ga) sea-floor, hydrothermal system in the Isua Greenstone Belt.” Precambrian Research, 112.1–2, 15 November, pp. 27–49.
  4. ^ [1] [ dead link ]
  5. ^ a b Los Angeles Times, June 25, 2006, “Greenland’s Ice Sheet Is Slip-Sliding Away”
  6. ^ “Is the world’s fastest-moving glacier set to speed up even more?” .
  7. ^ Howat, Ian M.; Joughin, Ian R.; Scambos, Ted A. (8 February 2007). “Rapid Changes in Ice Discharge from Greenland Outlet Glaciers” . Science. doi : 10.1126/science.1138478 . PMID   17289940 – via science.sciencemag.org.
  8. ^ The Warming of Greenland , New York Times, January 16, 2007
  9. ^ “Nature”, July 27, 2016

External links[ edit ]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Geography of Greenland .
  • www.geus.dk Geological map of Greenland from the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland ( GEUS).
  • Times Atlas reviews Greenland map accuracy after climate change row – The Guardian, 22 September 2011
  • v
  • t
  • e
Greenland   articles
  • Greenland is an autonomous constituent country of the Kingdom of Denmark
History
  • Timeline
  • Paleo-Eskimo
  • Dorset culture
  • Thule people
  • Norse Colonization
    • Eastern Settlement
    • Western Settlement
    • Language
    • Skræling
  • Hans Egede
  • Treaty of Kiel
  • Erik the Red’s Land
  • World War II
  • Thule accident
  • Home rule
  • Autonomy (self-rule)
  • Cartographic expeditions
Coat of arms of Greenland.svg
Geography
  • Climate
    • change
  • Fjords
  • Geology
  • Glaciers
  • Ice sheet
  • Islands
  • Mountains
  • National park
  • Rivers
  • Straits
  • Towns and villages
  • Wildlife
Politics
  • Administrative divisions
  • Elections
  • Independence movement
  • Foreign relations
  • Greenland and the EU
  • High Commissioner
  • Inatsisartut (Greenlandic Parliament)
  • Law enforcement
  • LGBT rights
  • Military
  • Political parties
  • Prime Minister
  • Territorial claims
Economy
  • Bank
  • Companies
  • Krone (currency)
  • Fishing industry
  • Mining
  • National Bank
  • Caribou hunting
  • Taxation
  • Telecommunications
  • Tourism
  • Transport
    • airports
Society
  • Demographics
    • Inuit
    • Inughuit
    • Kalaallit
    • Tunumiit
    • Danes
    • Danish
  • Suicide
Culture
  • Art ( Artists)
  • Cuisine
    • Greenlandic
    • Danish
  • Jante Law
  • Mythology
  • Language
    • Greenlandic
  • Music
  • Public holidays
  • Religion
  • Sports
Symbols
  • Coat of arms
  • Flag
  • National (civic) anthem
  • Royal anthem
  • Outline

  • Index
  • Category
  • Portal
  • v
  • t
  • e
Geography of North America
Sovereign states
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada
  • Costa Rica
  • Cuba
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • El Salvador
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Jamaica
  • Mexico
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United States
Location North America.svg
Dependencies and
other territories
  • Anguilla
  • Aruba
  • Bermuda
  • Bonaire
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Cayman Islands
  • Curaçao
  • Greenland
  • Guadeloupe
  • Martinique
  • Montserrat
  • Navassa Island
  • Puerto Rico
  • Saint Barthélemy
  • Saint Martin
  • Saint Pierre and Miquelon
  • Saba
  • Sint Eustatius
  • Sint Maarten
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • United States Virgin Islands
  • v
  • t
  • e
Climate of North America
Sovereign states
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada
  • Costa Rica
  • Cuba
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • El Salvador
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Jamaica
  • Mexico
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United States
Dependencies and
other territories
  • Anguilla
  • Aruba
  • Bermuda
  • Bonaire
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Cayman Islands
  • Curaçao
  • Greenland
  • Guadeloupe
  • Martinique
  • Montserrat
  • Puerto Rico
  • Saint Barthélemy
  • Saint Martin
  • Saint Pierre and Miquelon
  • Saba
  • Sint Eustatius
  • Sint Maarten
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • United States Virgin Islands

Retrieved from ” https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Geography_of_Greenland&oldid=862159170 ”
Categories :

  • Geography of Greenland
Hidden categories:

  • Wikipedia articles incorporating a citation from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica with Wikisource reference
  • All articles with dead external links
  • Articles with dead external links from October 2018
  • Articles using infobox islands with deprecated params