Cântaro Magro, Serra da Estrela, Portugal, formed as a nunatak during the last ice age and now exposed[1]

A nunatak (from Inuit nunataq) is an exposed, often rocky element of a ridge, mountain, or peak not covered with ice or snow within (or at the edge of) an ice field or glacier. They are also called glacial islands.[2] Examples are natural pyramidal peaks. When rounded by glacial action, smaller rock promontories may be referred to as rognons.[3][4]

The word is of Greenlandic origin[5] and has been used in English since the 1870s.


The term is typically used in areas where a permanent ice sheet is present and the nunataks protrude above the sheet.[6] Nunataks present readily identifiable landmark reference points in glaciers or ice caps and are often named. While some nunataks are isolated, sometimes they form dense clusters, such as Queen Louise Land in Greenland.[7]

Nunataks are generally angular and jagged, which hampers the formation of glacial ice on their tops, although snow can accumulate on them. They usually contrast strongly with the softer contours of the glacially eroded land after a glacier retreats.

Typically nunataks are the only places where plant life can survive on ice sheets or ice caps. Lifeforms on nunataks are frequently isolated by the surrounding ice or glacier, providing unique habitats.[8]

Other Languages
azərbaycanca: Nunatak
беларуская: Нунатак
български: Нунатак
català: Nunatak
Чӑвашла: Нунатак
čeština: Nunatak
dansk: Nunatak
Deutsch: Nunatak
español: Nunatak
Esperanto: Nunatako
euskara: Nunatak
فارسی: نوناتاک
français: Nunatak
한국어: 누나타크
հայերեն: Նունատակ
हिन्दी: नूनातक
Bahasa Indonesia: Nunatak
íslenska: Jökulsker
italiano: Nunatak
עברית: נונאטאק
ქართული: ნუნატაკი
қазақша: Нунатак
Кыргызча: Нунатак
latviešu: Nunataks
lietuvių: Nunatakas
magyar: Nunatak
Bahasa Melayu: Nunatak
Nederlands: Nunatak
日本語: ヌナタク
norsk: Nunatak
norsk nynorsk: Nunatak
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਨੂਨਾਤਕ
polski: Nunatak
português: Nunatak
română: Nunatak
русский: Нунатак
Seeltersk: Nunatak
српски / srpski: Нунатак
suomi: Nunatak
svenska: Nunatak
Tagalog: Nunatak
Türkçe: Nunatak
українська: Нунатак
中文: 冰原岛峰