Mohn, " The Climate of the Interior of Greenland," The Scott.
North of the fiftieth parallel the depths diminish towards the north-east, two long submarine ridges of volcanic origin extend north-eastwards to the southwest of Iceland and to the Faeroe Islands, and these, with their intervening valleys, end in a transverse ridge connecting Greenland, through Iceland and the Faeroe Islands, with Northwestern Scotland and the continental mass of Europe.
The second, the Irminger stream, passes up the west side of Iceland; and the third goes up the Greenland side of Davis Strait to Baffin Bay.
Some species, such as Anemone alpine, which are wanting in the Arctic flora of the Old World, he thinks must have reached Europe by way of Greenland from north-east America.
The discovery of the insularity of Greenland might again give rise to the argument as to the distinction between island and continent.
South America and North America follow this type most closely; Eurasia (the land mass of Europe and Asia) comes next, while Africa and Australia are farther removed from the type, and the structure of Antarctica and Greenland is unknown.
Denmark Strait is the sea between it and Iceland, and the northern Norwegian Sea or Greenland Sea separates it from Spitsbergen.
A submarine ridge, about 300 fathoms deep at its deepest, unites Greenland with Iceland (across Denmark Strait), the Faeroes and Scotland.
If they be reckoned as integral parts of Greenland, then the north coast, fronting the polar sea, culminates about 83° 40' N.
The extreme length of Greenland may therefore be set down at about 1650 m., while its extreme breadth, which occurs about 77° 30' N., is approximately Boo m.
Greenland is a Danish colony, inasmuch as the west coast and also the southern east coast belong to the Danish crown.
The communication between the Norse settlements in Greenland and the motherland Norway was broken off at the end of the 14th and the beginning of the 15th century, and the Norsemen's knowledge about their distant colony was gradually more or less forgotten.
The south and west coast of Greenland was then re-discovered by John Davis in July 1585, though previous explorers, as Cortereal, Frobisher and others, had seen it, and at the end of the 16th and the beginning of the 17th century the work of Davis (1586-1588), Hudson (1610) and Baffin (1616) in the western seas afforded some knowledge of the west coast.
Ikermiut Puisorr)ok the great ice-cap, or inland ice, which may be asserted to cover the whole of the interior of Greenland, has been prosecuted chiefly from the west coast.
- The coasts of Greenland are for the most part deeply indented with fjords, being intensely glaciated.
Steenstrup in 1898 discovered in it the warmest spring known in Greenland, having a temperature of 66° F.
The east coast of Greenland F is in thii respect highly interesting.
The Petermann Spitze, near the shore of Franz Josef Fjord, measured by Payer and found to be 11,000 ft., has hitherto been considered to be the highest mountain in Greenland, but according to Nathorst it " is probably only two-thirds as high as Payer supposed," perhaps between 8000 and 9000 ft.
The ice-cap of Greenland must to some extent be considered as a viscous mass, which, by the vertical pressure in its interior, is pressed outwards and slowly flows towards the coasts, just as a mass of pitch placed on a table and left to itself will in the course of time flow outwards towards all sides.
The drainage of the interior of Greenland is thus partly given off in the solid form of icebergs, partly by the melting of the snow and ice on the surface of the ice-cap, especially near its western margin, and to some slight extent also by the melting produced on its under side by the interior heat of the earth.
In twenty-four hours, with which the glaciers of Greenland move into the sea, the margin of the inland ice and its glaciers was studied by several expeditions.
Numerous glacial marks, however, such as polished striated rocks, moraines, erratic blocks, &c., prove that the whole of Greenland, even the small islands and skerries outside the coast, has once been covered by the inland ice.
Numerous raised beaches and terraces, containing shells of marine mollusca, &c., occur along the whole coast of Greenland, and indicate that the whole of this large island has been raised, or the sea has sunk, in post-glacial times, after the inland ice covered its now icebare outskirts.
- So far as made out, the structure of explored Greenland is as follows: 1.
Greenland, but as they are unfossiliferous sandstone, rapidly disintegrating, this cannot be known.
It is, however, likely that this formation occurs in Greenland, for in Dana Bay, Captain Feilden found a species of Spirifera and Productus mesolobus or costatus, though it is possible that these fossils represent the " Ursa stage " (Heer) of the Lower Carboniferous.
In erratic blocks of sandstone, found on the Disco shore of the Waigat, have been detected a Sigillaria and a species of either Pecopterisor Gleichenia, perhaps of this age; and probably much of the extreme northern coast of Ellesmere Land, and therefore, in all likelihood, the opposite Greenland shore, contains a clearly developed Carboniferous Limestone fauna, identical with that so widely distributed over the North American continent, and referable also to British and Spitsbergen species.
Feilden notes as suggestive that, though the explorers have not met with this formation on the northern shores of Greenland, yet it was observed that a continuation of the direction of the known strike of the limestones of Feilden peninsula, carried over the polar area, passes through the neighbourhood of Spitsbergen, where the formation occurs, and contains certain species identical with those of the Grinnell Land rocks of this horizon.
No Secondary rocks have been discovered in the extreme northern parts of West Greenland, but they are present on the east and west coasts in more southerly latitudes than Smith Sound.
This formation, one of the most widely spread in polar lands, though the most local in Greenland, is also the best known feature in its geology.
These Miocene strata have not been found farther north on the Greenland shore than the region mentioned; but in Lady Franklin Bay, on the Grinnell Land side of Smith Sound, they again appear, so that the chances are they will be found on the opposite coast, though doubtless the great disintegration Greenland has undergone and is undergoing has destroyed many of the softer beds of fossiliferous rocks.
GREENLAND (Danish, &c., Gronland), a large continental island, the greater portion of which lies within the Arctic Circle, while the whole is arctic in character.
The whole interior of Greenland is completely covered by the so-called inland ice, an enormous glacier forming a regular shield-shaped expanse of snow and glacier ice, and burying all valleys and mountains far below its surface.
Nathorst has suggested that the whole of Greenland is a "horst," in the subordinate folds of which, as well as in the deeper " graben," the younger rocks are preserved, often with a covering of Tertiary or later lava flows.'
The mean temperature of the warmest month, July, in the interior should be, reduced to sea-level, on the 64th parallel 32° F., and that of the coldest month, January, about - 22° F., while in North Greenland it is probably - 40° reduced to sea-level.
The interior of Greenland contains both summer and winter a pole of cold, situated in the opposite longitude to that of Siberia, with which it is well able to compete in extreme severity.
2 The well-known strangely warm and dry fain- winds of Greenland occur both on the west and the east coast; they are more local than was formerly believed, and are formed by cyclonic winds passing either over mountains or down the outer slope of the inland ice.
It was long a common belief that the fauna and flora of Greenland were essentially European, a circumstance which would make it probable that Greenland has been separated by sea from America during a longer period of time than from Europe.
Of the sixty-one species of birds breeding in Greenland, eight are European-Asiatic, four are American, and the rest circumpolar or North Atlantic and North Pacific in their distribution.
On the climate of the east coast of Greenland see V.
Northwards and eastwards it extends through the Parry Islands and Grinnell Land to north Greenland, reaching on the west coast as far south as Melville Bay; and it also occurs at Sabine Island on the east coast.
Wide, leading to Baffin Bay; (3) Denmark Strait, between Greenland and Iceland, 130 m.