In a previous posting the raised beaches of Greenland were graphed using basic data from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition [1910–1911].
The plot suggested the Greenland bedrock has tilted uniformly between 63º 14’ N and 72° 20’ N whilst the bedrock is fractured at some point [or points] between 60º N and 63º 14’ N.
There is support for the view that the Greenland bedrock is fractured as some point[s] south of 63º 14’ N because subsidence is observed in the south of Greenland [at around 61º N] which is causing “a relative sea-level rise” that has resulted in “the drowning of Inuit ruins of Late Holocene age”.
Geology of Greenland Survey – Bulletin 183 – 1999
However, the focus of this post is to explore the possibility that the Greenland bedrock has tilted uniformly from 63º 14’ N to the extreme north of Greenland at Cape Morris Jesup in Peary Land.
If this proposition is correct then extending the linear trend line established in the previous posting suggests raised beaches at Cape Morris Jesup should be almost 204 metres above sea level.
Unfortunately, there is a dearth of research projects that have studied the raised beaches around Cape Morris Jesup [presumably] because the perennial sea ice tends to inhibit the formation of raised beaches whilst also masking [or obliterating] any low lying sites of archaeological interest.
In areas with perennial sea ice, beaches rarely form.
The presence of systems of raised beaches in some areas shows that open water was present in the past, at least for some time during the summer.
However, in eastern North Greenland, early-Holocene raised beaches are seen at some sites, for example at Jørgen Brønlund Fjord (Bennike, 1987), in contrast to central North Greenland where raised beaches are not normally found.
Holocene sea-ice variations in Greenland: onshore evidence – Ole Bennike – 2003
Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, Øster Voldgade 10,
However, given that the hypothesis suggests the bedrock in northern Greenland has risen by over 200 metres it should be fairly easy to establish visually whether the theory is generally tenable.
Therefore, the next step is to search for raised beaches [and raised geological formations] in the fjords of Pearly Land.
Hopefully, any raised beaches will be well preserved because Pearly Land is classified as a “polar desert” and [very surprisingly] “it was not covered by glaciers during the most recent ice age”.
Being mostly north of the 82°N parallel, it contains the most northerly ice-free region of the world, mostly in Southern Peary Land (such as Melville Land just north of the Independence Fjord).
Precipitation levels are so low (only about 25 to 200 mm per year, all as snow) that it is called a polar desert.
It was not covered by glaciers during the most recent ice age.
The geological formations of Jørgen Brønlund Fjord [in southern Peary Land] provide strong support for this hypothesis.
Jørgen Brønlund Fjord is a fjord in southern Peary Land, northern Greenland, with its mouth located at mouth at 82°7.5′N 29°53.3′W.
Looking northward across the Jorgen Brønlund Fjord, Peary Land, north Greenland.
Foreground: large stromatolite domes within the Morænesø Formation.
Photo: C. Kirkland
Lithosphere – Geological Society of America – 2010
The 25 km long Jørgen Brønlund Fjord is a natural continuation of the trough that forms Wandel Dal. The westernmost 15 km of the fjord is 2-3 km wide and oriented east-west.
It has parallel sides, and only a few minor promontories and river outlets break the two shorelines.
During the summer months Jørgen Brønlund Fjord becomes ice-free due to a massive influx of freshwater from the rivers. This may help to make it attractive to both seals and humans. Of additional importance is the fact that the marine resources are supplemented by what is probably the largest wealth of terrestrial resources anywhere in Peary Land.
Midsommer Elv has a solid stock of arctic char and musk ox thrive in Wandel Dal.
The relatively rich and varied resources make the Jørgen Brønlund Fjord – Wandel Dal system a unique ‘oasis’ which throughout history has been the focal point of human settlement in Peary Land.
In modern times human presence has been concentrated around the mouth of Jørgen Brønlund Fjord. It was here, in 1948, that Eigil Knuth and Danish Peary Land Expedition built their first station Brønlundhus on the southern shore and where the Kap Moltke Station with its 1.2 km airstrip was built in 1973 on the northern shore.
The Kap Moltke peninsula forms the eastern junction between Jørgen Brønlund Fjord and Independence Fjord. The station is situated on the clay plain formed by the raised sea floor which makes up the most of the Kap Moltke peninsula.
Oksejægerpynten (Ox Hunter Point) is the largest Thule locality in Peary Land.
Oksejægerpynten is located between Børglum Elv and Slikbugt (Silty Bay) on the northern shore of Jørgen Brønlund Fjord.
The topography is characterised by at least 13 terraces rising like a staircase towards a 27 m high flat top located approximately 125 m from the shore.
All the terraces have an even gravel surface, whereas the front slopes are more uneven with boulders and stones of all sizes.
On either side the terrace system is delineated by mud flows from the hilltop to the present shore so the preserved terrace system is a large triangle with its 300 m long base defined by the shore. The site was discovered in 1947 when Knuth, assisted by Ulrik Møhl, carried out the first mapping between August 4th and 7th.
The Northernmost Ruins of the Globe – 2009
Eigil Knuth’s Archaeological Investigations in Peary Land and Adjacent Areas of Greenland
Bjarne Grønnow and Jens Fog Jensen with contributions from Christyann M. Darwent
However, the general reluctance of the modern mainstream to measure [or even mention] raised beaches can probably be traced back to the First Thule Expedition of 1912.
Knud Johan Victor Rasmussen (1879 – 1933) was a Danish polar explorer and anthropologist.
In 1910, Rasmussen and friend Peter Freuchen established the Thule Trading Station at Cape York (Uummannaq), Greenland, as a trading base.
The name Thule was chosen because it was the most northerly trading post in the world, literally the “Ultima Thule”.
Thule Trading Station became the home base for a series of seven expeditions, known as the Thule Expeditions, between 1912 and 1933.
The First Thule Expedition (1912, Rasmussen and Freuchen) aimed to test Robert Peary’s claim that a channel divided Peary Land from Greenland.
They proved this was not the case in a remarkable 1,000-km journey across the inland ice that almost killed them.
Clements Markham, president of the Royal Geographic Society, called the journey the “finest ever performed by dogs.”
Meddelelser om Grønland – 1915
The report of the First Thule Expedition that appeared in Meddelelser om Grønland in 1915 includes a distinctly catastrophic description of “clay alternating with level raised beaches of gravel and pebbles” which “were found up to a height of 400 metres” in a valley close to Independence Fjord in northern Greenland.
Valmuedalen, to which we then proceeded, is a big, broad valley running out from the lower portion of Nyeboes Bræ into Adam Bierings Land.
There is no doubt that this must be the hollow which Peary and Astrup looked out over in 1892 but without being able to see down into it. The country rises again, however, a little farther in:
It is very fertile here, plains of clay alternating with level raised beaches of gravel and pebbles. These were found up to a height of 400 metres.
Page: 364 – General Observations as to Natural Conditions – Peter Freuchen
Meddelelser om Grønland – 1915
Meddelelser om Grønland – 1915
This page presents the geographical name data for Valmuedalen in Greenland, as supplied by the US military intelligence in electronic format, including the geographic coordinates and place name in various forms, latin, roman and native characters, and its location in its respective country’s administrative division.
Full Name (see definition): Valmuedalen
Primary Country Code (see definition): GL (Greenland)
Latitude in degrees, minutes, and seconds (see definition): 81° 54′ 00″ N
Longitude in degrees, minutes, and seconds (see definition): 34° 00′ 00″ W
Feature Designation Code (see definition): VAL (valley)
Evidently, the uplifting of the Greenland bedrock in the far north was very traumatic based upon the evidence of alternating levels of clay and raised beaches [formed of gravel and pebbles].
Therefore, it is quite possible that the Greenland bedrock in the far north has been raised by 200 metres in such a catastrophic manner that an additional 200 metres of clay, gravel and pebbles were deposited [presumably by marine tidal waves] in the valley of Valmuedalen.
However, until such time as the mainstream myopics and academic amnesiacs start to use the Scientific Method the truth will remain buried in a remote valley in northern Greenland.