Geological guide. South Greenland. The Narsarsuaq - Narsaq - Qaqortoq region

Henning Sørensen (Editor), Anker Weidick, Henry Emeleus, Brian Upton, Karsten Secher, Tom Andersen

Research output: Book/ReportBookResearch


The Geological Guide - South Greenland describes the geology of the region along the long fjord Tunulliarfik from Narsarsuaq at the head of the fjord to Narsaq, which is located where the fjord changes name to Skovfjord, and further on to Qaqortoq at the mouth of the fjord.

The geology of the region is very interesting. 1200 million years ago, this part of Greenland was the site of volcanic activity. The volcanic cones and most of the lavas have been removed by erosion. Thus, Tunulliarfik and the neighbouring fjords and valleys offer unique opportunities for studies of the geological processes which took place at depth beneath the volcanoes. Furthermore, some of these volcanic "root zones" are outstanding in the world in their richness in rare rocks and minerals. One of the rare minerals is the red tugtupite which has become a popular gemstone and is a sort of ambassador for the region.

The area includes the Ilímaussaq complex, which is one of the world's most fascinating igneous complexes because of its extreme enrichment in rare elements expressed in more than two hundred and twenty-five different minerals and in unique multi-coloured rocks. Thirty minerals were first discovered and described in the complex and twelve are unique to it.

Narsarsuaq airport is the gateway to a mountainous region dissected by valleys and fjords which give access to a variety of landscapes and provide rich opportunities for a broad spectrum of tourist activities such as hiking, fishing, climbing and visiting towns and settlements and sites of historical or naturalistic interests such as the sites of some of the most important Norse settlements: Brattahlid, Gardar and Hvalsey which can be visited from Narsarsuaq and Qaqortoq.

This book presents an introduction to the geology of the region and describes localities of particular geological interest. Many of the described localities are within walking distance from Narsarsuaq, Qassiarsuk, Igaliku and Narsaq, but most localities can only be reached by boat, since no roads or trains connect the towns.

The book is designed as a handy field guide, it is in A5 format, the cover is plastic laminated, the 132 pages lacquered. It is thus prepared for use in the field. There are many topographic and geological maps and colour photos of practically all described localities. The target group is the people living in the region and visitors who would like to know more about the geology of the region or become fascinated by its mountains, glaciers, multi-coloured rocks and minerals. Therefore, it has been endeavoured to use a minimum of technical terms, those used are explained at the end of the book which also brings a list of supplementary literature.

Four of the contributors have studied the geology of the region covered by the book for more than 50 years, Henning Sørensen, the editor of the book, since 1946, Anker Weidick since 1950, and Henry Emeleus and Brian Upton since 1955. Karsten Secher and Tom Andersen are also experienced investigators of this region.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages131
ISBN (Print)987-87-7871-431-2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 4: Mineral Resources


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