The coast of Greenland is related to the variety of rock types, and the activity of glacier ice during the Pleistocene and Holocene. Much of the western and southeastern coast consists of bedrock, often fringed by sea ice. The coast facing the Polar Sea is primarily built up of Pre-Cambrian sedimentary rock, whereas the northeast coast is dominated by Palaeozoic and Mesozoic formations. Younger geological strata, such as erodible Cretaceous sandstone and plateau basalts of Tertiary age are found both on the east and the west coast, but only between latitudes 69° and 72° N (Escher and Watt 1976).
Most of the rocks outcropping along the Greenland coasts are very resistant to marine erosion, and the coastal landforms bear the strong imprint of glaciation. The ice cap has been much more extensive, covering nearly all of Greenland until about 12,000 years ago. The effects of glaciation are most obvious in the numerous large fiords, where the ice cap, through selective erosion...
KeywordsLate Pleistocene Marine Terrace Marine Erosion Coastal Landform Greenland Coast
- Escher A, Watt WS (eds) (1976) Geology of Greenland. Geological Survey of Greenland Copenhagen, DenmarkGoogle Scholar
- Humlum O (1980) Arctic geomorphology, Enoks havn, Disko (in Danish). Geogr Noter 5:1–142Google Scholar
- Humlum O, Christtansen HH (2008) Geomorphology of Ammassalik Island, SE Greenland. Geografisk Tidsskrift 1089:50–20Google Scholar
- Nielsen N (1969) Morphological studies on the eastern coast of Disko, West Greenland. Geografiska Tldsskrift 68:1–35Google Scholar
- Nielsen N (1978) Coastal morphology in the Arctic region (in Danish). GO. Geograforlaget Brenderup:242–247Google Scholar
- Nielsen N (1979) Ice-foot processes. Observations of erosion on a rocky coast, Disko, West Greenland. Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie, N.F. 23:321–331Google Scholar
- Stablein G (1975) Ice-margin deposits and coastal evolution in West Greenland (in German). Polarforschung 45(2)Google Scholar
- Weidick A (1972) Holocene shorelines and glacial stages in Greenland – an attempt at correlation. Geological Survey of Greenland 41Google Scholar