Geological Guide - South Greenland. The Narsarsuaq - Narsaq - Qaqortoq region

Geological Guide - South Greenland. The Narsarsuaq - Narsaq - Qaqortoq region. This book is a handy guide book to the fascinating geology of South Greenland which houses some world-famous mineral localities. It focuses on the description of the main geological features of the region and of localities and is planned as a handy guide book to be used in the field.

Authors: Henning Sørensen, Anker Weidick, Henry Emeleus, Brian Upton, Karsten Secher and Tom Andersen.

132 pages richly illustrated and with many topographical and geological maps.

Further information

The Geological Guide - South Greenland describes the geology of the region along the long fjord Tunulliarfik from Narsarsuaq at the head of the fjord to Narsaq, which is located where the fjord changes name to Skovfjord, and further on to Qaqortoq at the mouth of the fjord.

The geology of the region is very interesting. 1200 million years ago, this part of Greenland was the site of volcanic activity. The volcanic cones and most of the lavas have been removed by erosion. Thus, Tunulliarfik and the neighbouring fjords and valleys offer unique opportunities for studies of the geological processes which took place at depth beneath the volcanoes. Furthermore, some of these volcanic "root zones" are outstanding in the world in their richness in rare rocks and minerals. One of the rare minerals is the red tugtupite which has become a popular gemstone and is a sort of ambassador for the region.

The area includes the Ilímaussaq complex, which is one of the world's most fascinating igneous complexes because of its extreme enrichment in rare elements expressed in more than two hundred and twenty-five different minerals and in unique multi-coloured rocks. Thirty minerals were first discovered and described in the complex and twelve are unique to it.

Narsarsuaq airport is the gateway to a mountainous region dissected by valleys and fjords which give access to a variety of landscapes and provide rich opportunities for a broad spectrum of tourist activities such as hiking, fishing, climbing and visiting towns and settlements and sites of historical or naturalistic interests such as the sites of some of the most important Norse settlements: Brattahlid, Gardar and Hvalsey which can be visited from Narsarsuaq and Qaqortoq.

This book presents an introduction to the geology of the region and describes localities of particular geological interest. Many of the described localities are within walking distance from Narsarsuaq, Qassiarsuk, Igaliku and Narsaq, but most localities can only be reached by boat, since no roads or trains connect the towns.

The book is designed as a handy field guide, it is in A5 format, the cover is plastic laminated, the 132 pages lacquered. It is thus prepared for use in the field. There are many topographic and geological maps and colour photos of practically all described localities. The target group is the people living in the region and visitors who would like to know more about the geology of the region or become fascinated by its mountains, glaciers, multi-coloured rocks and minerals. Therefore, it has been endeavoured to use a minimum of technical terms, those used are explained at the end of the book which also brings a list of supplementary literature.

Four of the contributors have studied the geology of the region covered by the book for more than 50 years, Henning Sørensen, the editor of the book, since 1946, Anker Weidick since 1950, and Henry Emeleus and Brian Upton since 1955. Karsten Secher and Tom Andersen are also experienced investigators of this region.


The Ketilidian
The Gardar
Plate tectonics in Ketilidian and Gardar times

Guide to localities (Tour 1)

Guide to localities
The geology from Narsarsuaq harbour to Kiatuut Sermiat (Tour 2)
Glacial geology in the Narsarsuaq area (Tour 3)
The Suuluaqqap Qaqqaa viewpoint (Signalhøjen) (Tour 4)
The mountains north-east of Narsarsuaq (Tour 5)
Qooroq (Tour 6)
Itilleq to Igaliku (Tour 7)
South coast of Tunulliarfik (Tour 8)

Guide to the voyage
The north coast of Tunulliarfik (Tour 9)
The south coast of Tunulliarfik (Tour 10)

The naujaite
The lujavrites
The kakortokite
Pegmatites and veins
The contact relations of the Ilímaussaq complex
Guide to localities
The north coast of Tunulliarfik (Tour 11)
The south coast of Tunulliarfik (Tour 12)
Kangerluarsuk (Tour 13)
Kvanefjeld (Tour 14)
Tugtupite (Box)

The giant dykes
Ultramafic rocks
Syenites and granites
The latest Gardar events near Narsaq
Narsaq glacier
Guide to localities
Narsaq (Tour 15)
The north-east coast of Tuttutooq (Tour 16)
Narsaq glacier (Tour 17)

Niobium and tantalum
The economic potential of the Ilímaussaq complex
Uranium - Kvanefjeld
Guide to localities (Tour 18)

The light coloured minerals
Black minerals
Yellow and brown minerals
Platy minerals
Red minerals

Order the book

GEOLOGICAL GUIDE - SOUTH GREENLAND can be ordered by contacting:

GEUS Booksale

Price: DKK 120 (ex. VAT and postage)


In United Kingdom order at:

Amazon United Kingdom

Additional information


Henning Sørensen


Henrik Klinge Pedersen; GEUS


Carsten E Thuesen, Henrik Klinge Pedersen, GEUS og Britta Munch, Geologisk Institut


13,5 x 21 cm


December 2006 

ISBN: 987-87-7871-431-2