Unique Environment – University of Copenhagen

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Arctic Station > About Arctic Station > Environment > Unique Environment

Why is Disko/Qeqertarsuaq a unique research area ?



 

 

 

 

 

  • Largest variety concerning biology and landscapes in West Greenland.

  • Geological variation comprising Precambrian bedrock, slate and sandstone from the Cretaceous period, and large series of Tertiary volcanic rocks.

  • Large sea depth (up to 800 m) in the immediate vicinity of the Arctic Station.

  • Numerous homothermic springs (some radioactive) on the Disko Island; several close to the Arctic Station.

  • The coastal zone of the Disko Island, and the Disko Bay area in general, is unique with regard to studies of Holocene relative sea-level oscillations. The upper marine limit on Disko is located 60-100 m above sea level.

  • Fairly easy access to high-dynamic, glacial geomorphical landscape features; numerous large and smaller glaciers and ice caps are accessible on single day hikes.

  • The best possible diversity on a world-wide basis of large and active rockglaciers.

  • Easy access to coastal barriers, lagunes, wadden sea areas, salt marshes and a large variety of cliff coasts.

  • Easy access to 6 out of 11 'Ramsar' areas in Greenland.

  • Rich plant communities with approx. 250 of a total of 500 flowering plants found in Greenland.

  • Some of Greenlands largest bird cliffs (Fullmar, gulls, Cormorant, and Guillemot)

  • Adjacent commercial fishing and shrimping banks.

  • Traditional seal, whale and walrus hunting takes place at Qeqertarsuaq.

  • Detailed topographic (incl. digital versions) and geological  maps of the entire island; bathymetric maps of western Disko and the fjords were completed in 1997.

  • Biotic and abiotic ecosystem monitoring at the Arctic Station and at Akulliit (Mellemfjord)

  • Ecosystem data directory and database for the study area

  • Easily accessible paleo-environment archives