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Institute of Geography
Univ. of Copenhagen
Øster Voldgade 10
DK- 1350
Copenhagen K
Denmark

+45 3532 2500

+45 35322501


www.geogr.ku.dk

 

Sermilik Station

 

Sermilik Station is situated in southern East Greenland, c. 20 km north of the town Tasiilaq (Ammassalik). The station was built in 1970, and it is owned by the University of Copenhagen. The station can be used all year round, but is opened only when needed. An extensive monitoring of especially glacier mass balance has been carried out in the area since 1953. The station does not have a permanent staff.

Location
Sermilik Station is situated at 65°40'N / 38°10'W on the west side of the Ammasalik island in SE Greenland.

The nearest town is Tasiilaq (Ammassalik), the largest town in East Greenland (c. 2,900 inhabitants). The station is situated close to the shore line adjacent to the glacier Mittivakkat (Midtluagkat).

Setting
Sermilik Station is situated in a low arctic maritime environment. Mean annual temperature is 1°C and the annual precipitation is c. 825 mm w.e. Sermilik Station is located on the west coast of the 1,100 km2 Ammassalik Island which is dominated by a garnet rich granite-gneiss and a basic charnockite complex. The fjord adjacent to the station is ice covered from December to May. The landscape of Ammassalik Island is alpine with summits reaching c. 1000 m a.s.l. Ammassallik Island holds c. 40 glaciers.

Unique features
Sermilik offers the following:

  • large flora diversity
  • extensive long-term drainage basin monitoring
  • thematic, digital 3D terrain model of study area
  • easily accesible paleo-environment archives
  • easy access to fjord with glacial calf ice
  • easy access to different glacier types

Facilities
The main building at Sermilik is an insulated wooden house of 60 m2 with three rooms for scientists, a dining room, a living room, a kitchen, toilet and a storage room. A second, non-insulated building of 50 m2 holds fuel storage, workshop, equipment, generator, a rubber boat as well as optional accommodation for four persons. An annex facility (6 m2 wooden building) is situated on a small nunataq at the equilibrium line of Mittivakkat Glacier, 515 m.a.s.l. The annex is equipped with a propane stove, 12 V photovoltaic power as well as an emergency radio.

Equipment
Scientific equipment: Climate station, hydrometric station, surveying equipment, current meters, electrical power (220 V, 50 Hz)
Transport: Rubber boat
Safety: Riffles
Telecommunication: HF-radios and VHF-radios
.

Capacity
Sermilik Station can accomodate up to six scientists at any time.

Personnel
The Sermilik Station is not staffed. Visiting scientists are expected to be self-contained and take care of their own logistics.

Access and Transportation
Commercial air companies flies from Iceland to the town of Tasiilaq. From Tasiilaq the station can be reached either by foot, by boat or by helicopter. Local transportation in the area around the station is either by boating or hiking.

Field season
Sermilik Station is open for scientists throughout the year, but for logistical reasons the period from 1 July to 1 September is the prefered period for field research.

Monitoring
The Sermilik Station operates a small year-round monitoring programme sampling data on selected parameters of the physical environment around the station as well as on the adjacent glacier.
The information sampled through the monitoring of the physical environment at Sermilik is stored in a database maintained at the Institute of Geography, University of Copenhagen. Please see contact person for details on data accessibility.

Ownership and history
Sermilik Station is owned by the Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen and operated by Institute of Geography, University of Copenhagen. During 1956-58 international glaciological and hydrological research projects were initiated in the Sermilik area. To provide a logistical base for the research in the area two buildings were erected in 1970. In 1972 an avalanche destroyed the main building. This building was later rebuilt.