Skip Navigation LinksEXCURSION NO 1 > Programme

Day-by-day stops: The excursion will be held from Monday 28 July to Friday 1 August 2008.

Day 1: Travel from Copenhagen to Ilulissat via Kangerlussuaq. Check in at Hotel Arctic. Orientation and short lectures about excursion.

Day 2:
Ice climate and energy Seven hours helicopter excursion to different ice margin locations:

  1. Helicopter flight through Ilulissat Icefjord to a location close to the margin of Jakobshavn Isbræ. One hour groundstop (1 stop, see map) where the participants will experience the dramatic changes of one of the world´s fastest moving glaciers. The view is unforgettable.
  2. Helicopter flying over the chaotic and extremely crevassed marginal area of Jakobshavn Isbræ.
  3. Helicopter flight along the Inland Ice margin further north to a location where very old ice is exposed at the ice surface.
  4. One hour groundstop (2 stop, see map), where participants will have the possibility to walk on ice from the last Ice Age and older. This is the location where intensive palaeoenvironmental studies have been made though studies of oxygen 18 and gas records retrieved from surface ice.
  5. Helicopter flight to a view point near the ice margin located between two lakes, which were planned to be used as reservoirs for a hydropower station.
    One hour groundstop (3 stop, see map) with a lecture in practical glaciology. The participants will face all the glacier-hydrological challenges and solutions needed, when you plan to use the meltwater from the Greenland ice sheet for hydropower production.
  6. Helicopter flight in over the Inland Ice to experience the large moulins and roaring meltwater streams on the ice surface.
  7. Helicopter flight back to Ilulissat over another retreating big outlet glacier Sermeq avangnardleq via the extremely scenic Ilulissat Icefjord.
  8. Helicopter flight back to Ilulissat over another retreating big outlet glacier Sermeq avangnardleq via the extremely scenic Ilulissat Icefjord.

Day 3: Ice climate and people Hike from Ilulissat to Sermermiut valley a few kilometres from Ilulissat. Sermermiut is an exceptional location at the shore of Ilulissat Icefjord, where archaeological excavations show that the site has been inhabited during all the cultural phases of West Greenland dating back over 4000 years. Hike from Sermermiut a few kilometres to a view point, where there is a magnificent view over the outer part of the icefjord and Isjeldsbanken - the iceberg bank where the larger icebergs run aground. It is assumed that the iceberg bank is part of a sub-sea line of moraines formed at the margin of the Inland Ice 9500-8000 years ago.

Day 4: Modern life, ice and beauty Sightseing day in Ilulissat town - a modern Greenland town whose livelihood is the fishing indudstry and tourism. The nutrient-rich icefjord creates, even today, living conditions suitable for professional hunters to catch halibut from boats in the summer and from dog sledges in the winter. Later on in the day there will be a boat trip among the spectacular icebergs at the mouth of Ilulissat Icefjord. 

Day 5: Travel back to Copenhagen from Ilulissat, where the excursion will end.


Explore Ilulissat Icefjord

Enjoy video and animated flight through the magic landscape.

Books for the excursion provided by the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland

Ilulissat Icefjord - A World Heritage Site, Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, 2004.

Quaternary glaciation history and glaciology of Jakobshavn Isbræ and the Disko Bugt region, West Greenland: a review. Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland Bulletin 14, 2007

Glacier-hydrological conditions on the Inland Ice north-east of Jakobskavn/Ilulissat, West Greenland. Grønlands Geologiske Undersøgelse Rapport 138, 1988. (including a glacier-hydrological map)

Jakobshavn Isbræ, West Greenland: the 2002-2003 collapse and nomination for the UNESCO World Heritage List. Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland Bulletin 4, 2004, pp. 85-88

Dramatic icebergs in Ilulissat Icefjord