Greenland Guide to the First Millennium

Greenland Guide

The archaeological narrative for Greenland in the 1st Millennium is essentially one long hiatus [aka lacuna aka void] that is only disturbed by the error bars of radiocarbon dating.

The mainstream historical narrative only begins after the Heinsohn Horizon with the arrival of Erik the Red in 986 AD.

From 986, Greenland’s west coast was settled by Icelanders and Norwegians, through a contingent of 14 boats led by Erik the Red.

Eigil Knuth - Calibrated Radiocarbon Dates

The Northernmost Ruins of the Globe – Bjarne Grønnow and Jens Fog Jensen

The Great Greenland Gap in the 1st Millennium was simply buried under the “One Thousand Centuries” of snow and ice that was unleashed by Willi Dansgaard in 1969.

A correlation of time with depth has been evaluated for the Camp Century, Greenland, 1390 meter deep ice core.

Oxygen isotopes in approximately 1600 samples throughout the core have been analyzed.

Long-term variations in the isotopic composition of the ice reflect the climatic changes during the past nearly 100,000 years.

Climatic oscillations with periods of 120, 940, and 13,000 years are observed.

One Thousand Centuries of Climatic Record from Camp Century on the Greenland Ice Sheet
W. Dansgaard, S. J. Johnsen, J. Møller, C. C. Langway Jr. – Science Vol 166 – 1969

Camp Century Core

Willi Dansgaard’s Great Greenland Snow Job is solely based upon a hypothetical Flow Model [for ice sheets that suddenly appear fully formed] that mathematically manages to squeeze 80,000 imaginary years worth of snow down into the final 100 metres of the 1,360 metres long Camp Century Ice Core i.e. 80% of the years into 7.35% of the ice.

The Holocene Hockey Stick

A Flow Model and a Time Scale for the Ice Core from Camp Century, Greenland
W. Dansgaard and S. J. Johnsen – Journal of Glaciology – Vol 8 No 53 – 1969

snow job
An effort to deceive, overwhelm, or persuade with insincere talk, especially flattery.

Digitising Willi Dansgaard’s Holocene Hockey Stick successfully recreates the graph.

Camp Century d18O

But the digitising process failed to capture the quasi-exponential Years BP axis because it was manipulated to emphasise the imaginary Dansgaard–Oeschger Events.

Dansgaard–Oeschger events (often abbreviated D–O events) are rapid climate fluctuations that occurred 25 times during the last glacial period.

Some scientists (see below) claim that the events occur quasi-periodically with a recurrence time being a multiple of 1,470 years, but this is debated.

The comparable climate cyclicity during the Holocene is referred to as Bond events.

The best evidence for Dansgaard–Oeschger events remains in the Greenland ice cores, which only go back to the end of the last interglacial, the Eemian interglacial.


However, the d18O trace from the Camp Century Ice Core can be successfully matched with my trusty digitised Japanese Cedar Isotopic Tree Thermometer by simply working backwards and aligning the graphs around the 1st Millennium Minimum at 654 AD.

Japan vs Camp Century d18O

It’s breathtaking how almost 99,998.5 years of imaginary snow and ice can be vaporised simply by correctly calibrating the Camp Century Ice Core with my trusty digitised Japanese Cedar Isotopic Tree Thermometer.

The initial deluge of rain and snow associated with the 1st Millennium Minimum [at 654 AD] may explain why the Farm Beneath the Sand [settled centuries before the official arrival of Erik the Red in 986 AD] was found under “1.5m-thick layers of sand and gravel”.

The…“Middle Settlement”… is the smallest and least well known of the three, and no written records of its residents survive, for which reasons it is believed to have been established last (and abandoned first) of the three.

The mainstream eventually stumbled upon the aptly named Farm Beneath the Sand [aka GUS – Gården Under Sandet] in the Western Settlement under “1.5m-thick layers of sand and gravel”.


Furthermore, the calibrated Camp Century Ice Core suggests that the northward advance of the glaciers in Greenland across the silty lake lands of central Greenland [following the 1st Millennium Minimum] continued for nearly 300 years before the domed Greenland Ice Sheet evolved upon its base of silty glacial ice.






Gallery | This entry was posted in Atmospheric Science, Catastrophism, Dendrochronology, Earth, Glaciology, Greenland, Gunnar Heinsohn, History, Radiocarbon Dating, The Old Japanese Cedar Tree. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Greenland Guide to the First Millennium

  1. Tim,

    That’s cheeky – using a log scale for the time axis, apart from the glacial modelling assumptions.

    Which suggests Greenland got iced up after the Comet of Justinian event, turning Greenland into Whiteland. No wonder the Vikings got cold since I suspect we also had a slight pole shift as proposed by Peter James in NCGT which put Greenland into higher latitudes. So there has to be a geomagnetic anomaly at that period or event, but obviously misdated.

    As well I’ve just got bogged in “Peat” bogs etc, from which many trees are found which often supply “rings” for dating. The process of peat formation etc which with time turns into lignite etc which then gets buried to form coal etc – is even more fantastic than this ice tale. There’s hardly any geological input into this area since it falls out of the usual geological domain of ‘rocks’.

    There is a serious occurrence of the logical fallacy of arguing the consequent in all of these examples.

  2. malagabay says:

    “That’s cheeky”
    I can think of other descriptions 🙂

    • Oh I could too but it’s sort of a valid technique insofar as displaying stuff graphically within a page. I wonder if anyone has done Fourier analysis on the O2 isotopes measured from the ice cores?

  3. The ice core photographs are revealing – the bottom core coloured brown looks like its got fine silt in it. If ice sheet melting at the base is a valid idea, and the ice then sinks downwards from additional ice deposited at the surface, then there should not be any old ice at the bottom, or pristine original ice at the base of the ice cap. So there does not seem to be a depositional cycle or conveyor belt via basal melting and seepage.

    And the un-layered upper ice is also interesting compared to the layered stuff. I bet the dark layered stuff was deposited during the Roman termination event and its aftermath until the start of the MWP and the LIA would correspond to some layering under the un-layered core at the top and the presumably more unlayered core between the MWP and the RTE.

    I wonder if there is a catalog of all the ice core photos arranged according to depth? We photograph rock core as a matter of procedure in the Australian mining industry before it gets hacked up for analysis.

  4. malagabay says:

    You may find P. Buford Price interesting.

    The interpretation of those regions by Tung et al. (2005) was that jerky ‘stick-slip’ glacial flow of ice across a frozen wetland repeatedly scraped thin layers of microbe-rich ice off of the silty region, intermixing it with glacial ice at distances up to nearly 100m above the interface between silt and ice.

    Microbial life in glacial ice and implications for a cold origin of life – P. Buford Price
    Physics Department, University of California, Berkeley, USA


    I find the Greenland fascinating:

  5. malagabay says:

    “there’s no lateral movement at the bottom of an ice cap”
    “Price’s explanation does not apply”

    That may be a truism NOW.

    BUT ice sheets don’t arrive overnight fully formed.

    Originally the ice had to “flow and grow” until it filled the “pudding basin”.

    When the ice overflows the Greenland “pudding basin” then the ice sheet advances.

    • The perimeter of the ice cap obviously advances but the stuff at the base of the pudding basin, at the topographical lowest point, which is also where that silty ice seems to occur, doesn’t.

      • malagabay says:

        Last try.

        There is a difference between a) formation processes and b) steady state processes.

        a) During formation the evidence [from P. Buford Price] indicates some glacier ice flowed over the inland [lake land] basin as it was initially filled with ice.

        b) The dirty [brown] bottom ice from the cores also suggests a lot of silty [lake land] water became frozen during the formation process.

        The trifle in the glass bowl [pictured above] DOES NOT currently flow.
        But the contents of the glass bowl DID flow when the trifle was made.

  6. No argument with this but the unintended consequence of static ice in the bottom of the metaphorical trifle bowl is that since it at present isn’t moving anywhere, least of all from melting due to an underlying mantle hotspot, (presently the glacial crisis du jour in the climate crisis camp), means that the burial rate is applicable to the layering that is constrained by the sides of the trifle bowl, and since there is thus also a horizontal component to the ice movement as the deposited ice moves down and laterally spilling out over the lip of the trifle bowl, or through breaches in the walls, (otherwise the peripheral glacial tongues would not advance) this suggests that the burial rate might be underestimated.

    This suggests there exists a cap of ice that is being rapidly changed as the falling snow –> ice only descends a shallow distance but at the same time also moves out laterally.

    The idea that if an airplane was left at the summit of the ice sheet that it would, with time, sink down to the bedrock 3000 metres plus below may not happen at all.

    If there is a constantly replenished cap to the ice cap, then structurally this might be discernible seismologically as a layer break at depth, or it might be restricted to the unbanded pristine white ice that seems to have a depth of about 1500 metres according to D18O measurements. In other words the first large notch in the plot represents a physical break between in-situ ice, and the uppermost replenished ice rather than an exact analog for the tree data.

    • malagabay says:

      this suggests that the burial rate might be underestimated

      The big unknown is just how static [or mobile] the various layers in the Greenland ice sheet really are. The mainstream have studiously avoided placing track-able markers “down hole” after they have extracted their ice cores – I wonder why 🙂

      It would be very interesting to know how deep the other ditched WWII planes are today.

      It’s also interesting to note that in 1988 the planes had moved laterally by “about two miles from their original location”.

      If there is a constantly replenished cap to the ice cap, then structurally this might be discernible seismologically as a layer break at depth, or it might be restricted to the unbanded pristine white ice that seems to have a depth of about 1500 metres according to D18O measurements.

      Camp Century ice core is very interesting because:

      a) The bedrock is at an altitude of [about] 493 metres above sea level
      b) It is fairly close to the North-Western “overflow outlet” which appears to be in the 0-100 metre range above sea level
      c) The Western “overflow” route appears to be in the 100-500 metre range above sea level.

      Unfortunately, the real “flow rates” [by depth] are unknown BUT it’s possible that most of the Camp Century ice core was extracted from flowing ice.

      In other words the first large notch in the plot represents a physical break between in-situ ice, and the uppermost replenished ice rather than an exact analog for the tree data.

      It’s very unlikely to be an “exact analog for the tree data” if the bottom layers are predominantly [grey] glacier ice overlying [brown] silty lake-land ice.

      However, if the glacial advance was rapid then this would tend to minimise this issue.

      From my perspective:

      1) The “flow rate” [vertically and horizontally] of glaciers and ice sheets vary by depth [and location].

      Therefore, only the very top layer of snow on an ice sheet actually fell “in situ”.

      Therefore, every drilled ice core [which excludes the uppermost snow and firn] is a trip back in time [and original accumulation locations] that is controlled by [the unknown] “flow rate” profiles.

      2) This analysis gives a “broad brush stroke” overview of:
      a) When glacier ice started to form in Greenland
      b) The Greenland ice sheet formation process.

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  8. malagabay says:

    There are “glacial iceflow” measurements but I haven’t come across an “ice sheet” flow profile from the centre of Greenland.

    The only clues I’ve found are very superficial: like the crushing of Camp Century.

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