The glacial geomorphology of upper Godthåbsfjord (Nuup Kangerlua) in southwest Greenland

Danni M. Pearce, Douglas W. F. Mair, Brice R. Rea, James M. Lea, J. Edward Schofield, Nicholas Kamenos, Kathryn Schoenrock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
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The Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) is known to have experienced widespread retreat over the last century. Information on outlet glacier dynamics, prior to this, are limited due to both a lack of observations and a paucity of mapped or mappable deglacial evidence which restricts our understanding of centennial to millennial timescale dynamics of the GrIS. Here we present glacial geomorphological mapping, for upper Godthåbsfjord, covering 5800 km2 at a scale of 1:92,000, using a combination of ASTER GDEM V2, a medium-resolution DEM (error <10 m horizontal and <6 m vertical accuracy), panchromatic orthophotographs and ground truthing. This work provides a detailed geomorphological assessment for the area, compiled as a single map, comprising of moraines, meltwater channels, streamlined bedrock, sediment lineations, ice-dammed lakes, trimlines, terraces, gullied sediment and marine limits. Whilst some of the landforms have been previously identified, the new information presented here improves our understanding of ice margin behaviour and can be used for future numerical modelling and landform dating programmes. Data also form the basis for palaeoglaciological reconstructions and contribute towards understanding of the centennial to millennial timescale record of this sector of the GrIS.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-55
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Maps
Issue number2
Early online date8 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

This research project, Calving glaciers: longterm validation and evidence (CALVE), was funded by the Leverhulme Trust under grant number RG-12099-10. JL would like to acknowledge the British Geomorphological Society and Quaternary Research Association for supporting fieldwork undertaken in 2015. DP would like to acknowledge the NERC Geophysical Equipment Facility for their equipment loan (GEF1049) as well as time and advice offered whilst in the field.


  • geomorphology
  • tidewater glacier
  • Godthåbsfjord
  • Greenland Ice Sheet
  • Little Ice Age
  • moraine


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