Greenland

Lakes to the east of Sisimiut in south-west Greenland will be selected for sediment coring.  Large catchments will be selected to maximise the potential terrestrial vegetation inputs, and shifts in vegetation.  The northward West Greenland sea current influences climate in this region, keeping the sea free from ice all year round, and providing land near the coast with a maritime influenced climate.  Sisimiut has a mean annual temperature of -3.9ᴼC (1961-1990), with an average of -14ᴼC in March and +6.3ᴼC in July.  The vegetation is dwarf-shrub heath with mosses and lichens.  The predominant growth season matches the ice-free period, which is usually mid-June to early October.  The many lakes from the Sisimiut region (near the coast) to Kangerlussuaq (near the ice margin) were covered during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), and were likely formed by ice calving retreat which glacially scoured the bedrock, forming the present lakes.  Coastal lakes were initially covered with marine water, but have been subsequently raised due to the uplift of the landscape once the ice sheet had retreated (glacio-isostatic rebound).

Reference: Leng et al. (2012). Journal of Quaternary Science, 27, 6, 575-584

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