Brønlundhus – University of Copenhagen

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Center for Permafrost (CENPERM) > Field sites > Brønlundhus

Brønlundhus

Bøndlundhus Station built as part of the The Danish Peary Land Expedition 1947/48. To day the station is an open museum with many interesting remains from 1947 including the very first Nescafe … Photo credit: Bo Elberling

Brønlundhus Fjord extent 23 km Northwest from the larger Independence Fjord at 82°N and surrounded by up to 800 m high plateaus. Lowlands are dominated by Quaternary deposits from deglaciation 8000 years BP including course fluvial and fine-grained marine sediments. The first observations from the area was made by Freuchen in 1915 reporting the marked marine terraces (strand lines) up to the early Holocene marine limit about 65 m above sea level. But also sand-wedge polygons, solifluction, rock glaciers, beautiful ventifacts are found in the area. The most dominating landscape is the vegetation-free wind-blown polar dessert.

CENPERM slope experimental site with co-workers David Hopkins and Ed Gregorich.
Photo credit: Bo Elberling

The climate is High Arctic with a relatively warm summer of less than two months and a mean July temperature between 4-6°C. Precipitation is low, poorly described and less than 100 mm per year mostly as snow during winter.

Despite the harsh climate more than 100 vascular plants are known from North Greenland and during the 2014 season more than 62 species were found in the Brønlundhus Fjord area.


The 2014-season included field work from July 19 to August 3 by a CENPERM team including Mathias Madsen, Paul Christiansen, Jørgen Skafte, David Hopkins, Ed Gregorich and Bo Elberling. Activities included setting up a new Meteorological station to provide a water-energy balance, a nitrogen addition experiment with addition of both litter at the surface and as dissolved N near the permafrost table, a slope study, a methane-oxidation study, Salix dendrochronology study as well as a general study of landscape morphology – soil and permafrost characteristics. A detailed permafrost coring programme was completed in 2014. A revisit and sampling is planned in 2016.

Contact: Bo Elberling for any further information

Aerial view of the Brøndlundhus and the main river. The landscape is generally open and wind-blown but also very patchy and small wind-sheltered areas where flora is rich and cover most of the surface.
Photo credit: Bo Elberling

See also

Bennike O. (1987): Quaternary geology and biology of the Jørgen Brønlund Fjord area, North Greenland. Geoscience 18, 1-24.

Fredskilde B. (1966): Contribution to the flora of Peary Land, North Greenland. Meddelelser om Grønland, 178 (2), 1-22