Tunulliarfik Fjord in southern Greenland  • Earth.com

Tunulliarfik Fjord in southern Greenland 

Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features Tunulliarfik Fjord, which is located along the southern perimeter of Greenland.

“On March 13, 2023, the Operational Land Imager-2 (OLI-2) on Landsat 9 acquired these natural-color images of Tunulliarfik Fjord. The images have been pan-sharpened to bring out more detail,” says NASA.

“At the time, the fjord’s waters were capped with a layer of sea ice. Atop the ice there are several long, straight lines connecting the towns of Narsarsuaq and Qassiarsuk, and running the length of the fjord. Though cracks and ridges can form naturally in the ice, there are indications that people were likely involved with producing some of the tracks pictured here.”

The images were reviewed by Nathan Kurtz and several other scientists in the Cryospheric Sciences Laboratory at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. The experts determined that many of the tracks were produced by vehicles like snowmobiles.

“It seems likely that residents from the town or nearby were out on the ice, possibly hunting or traveling,“ said Kurtz.

Tunulliarfik Fjord, also known as Erik’s Fjord, is historically significant because it’s close to the site where Erik the Red, the Norse explorer, established the first Norse settlements in Greenland around the year 985 AD. These Norse settlements, particularly Brattahlíð, were key starting points for the Norse exploration of the region and are the reason Greenland has its name.

The fjord offers picturesque landscapes typical of Greenland, with steep cliffs, icebergs, and vast open waters. The region is rich in history, and there have been numerous archaeological digs uncovering remnants of the old Norse settlements.

Today, the nearby town of Qaqortoq is one of the primary settlements in the area, providing modern amenities while retaining a deep connection to the region’s historical and cultural significance.

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory 

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Editor

Check us out on EarthSnap, a free app brought to you by Eric Ralls and Earth.com.

News coming your way
The biggest news about our planet delivered to you each day