The island – University of Copenhagen

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Arctic Station > About Arctic Station > Environment > The island

The Island

Disko Island or Qeqertarsuaq is a large island in Baffin Bay, off the west coast of Greenland at a latitude of less than 70° North, and to the north of Disko Bay. It has an area of 8,578 square kilometers (3,312 square miles), making it one of the 100 largest islands in the world. The name Qeqertarsuaq means The Large Island (from qeqertaq = island).

The island has a length of about 160 kilometers (99 miles), an area of 8,578 square kilometers (5,330 square miles), and rises to an average height of 975 meters (1,066 yards), peaking at 1,919 meters (2,099 yards). The port of Qeqertarsuaq (named after the island, and also known as Godhavn) lies on its southern coast.

Mineral deposits, fossil finds and geological formations have added to the interest in the area.

There are over 2000 hot springs on the island.

Eric the Red paid the first recorded visit to Disko Island at some time between 982 and 985 and it may have been used as a base for summer hunting and fishing by Viking colonists.