Kangerlussuaq

Kangerlussuaq
Søndre Strømfjord
Myers Avenue with church and congress centre
Myers Avenue with church and congress centre
Kangerlussuaq is located in Greenland
Kangerlussuaq
Kangerlussuaq
Location within Greenland
Coordinates: 67°00′31″N 50°41′21″W / 67°00′31″N 50°41′21″W / 67.00861; -50.68917
State Kingdom of Denmark
Constituent country Greenland
MunicipalityQeqqata-coat-of-arms.svg Qeqqata
Founded1941
Government[2]
 • MayorAlbrecht Kreutzmann
Population (2016)
 • Total499[1]
Time zoneUTC-03
Postal code3910

Kangerlussuaq (English: "Big Fjord" from Greenlandic language), (Danish: Søndre Strømfjord), is a settlement in western Greenland in the Qeqqata municipality[3] located at the head of the fjord of the same name (Danish: Søndre Strømfjord). It is Greenland's main air transport hub and the site of Greenland's largest commercial airport. The airport dates from American settlement during and after World War II, when the site was known as Bluie West-8 and then Sondrestrom Air Base. The Kangerlussuaq area is also home to Greenland's most diverse terrestrial fauna, including muskoxen, caribou, and gyrfalcons. The settlement's economy and population of 499[1] is almost entirely reliant on the airport and tourist industry.

Geography

Midnight sun under Sugar Loaf, Kangerlussuaq

Kangerlussuaq occupies an alluvial flatland on the far end of the 190 km long[4] Kangerlussuaq Fjord, straddling both sides of the Qinnguata Kuussua river estuary. East of Kangerlussuaq there is a confluence of the two major regional rivers, the Qinnguata Kuussua and Akuliarusiarsuup Kuua. The valley of the latter forms large quicksand plains. Both rivers originate from the Russell Glacier. The edge of the glacier is easily accessible and is a major tourist attraction from the town, as is the edge of the ice sheet in the Isunngua highlands to its northeast.[5]

Highlands such as Tarajornitsut bound Kangerlussuaq from the north and south. To the southeast behind lake Tasersuatsiaq, which provides fresh water to the town,[6] is the vast highland of Ammalortup Nunaa,[5] the original region artificially populated with 27 muskoxen.[7]

The town is situated about 50 kilometres (31 mi) north of the Arctic Circle.

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